Friday, November 25, 2011

One Thermostat Later

It was chilly in the house this morning. Friends invited me for dinner last night. I debated. I didn't want to leave the girls but it wasn't cold in the house. With the little space heater and the oven going, the north end of the house was a nice 68. The south part of the house hovered around 62-64. You could tell the difference immediately when you walked down the hall. They were giving the heater wide berth so I knew there was no danger of them knocking it over and they would be comfortable. Plus, I would have sat here and stewed and cried and stewed. I accepted the invitation. I did turn off the oven before I left.

My friends loaned me another small space heater to keep the bedroom at 68. The living room was still 68 when I got home but the rest of the house hovered around 60. I bundled up, tossed another blanket on my bed and prepared for a night's sleep. The space heater had not been used in awhile so I blew out all the dust and set it up.

About 1 a.m., I was awakened by a pop and the smell of something burning. I have not moved that fast since April, before I fell. My friend's space heater had died. I guess I owe them another one. Fortunately, these aren't that expensive.

I didn't sleep very well. I tossed and turned and kept waking up, worrying and falling back asleep. I got up at 7:50 so right at 8 a.m., I could call a repair guy. The place that sold me the furnace, some 6 years ago, was nowhere in the yellow pages. I went downstairs and called the number on the sticker they attached to the furnace. Yes, they could come out but this was holiday time and the service fee BEFORE they told me what was wrong was $195. I told the guy I'd have to think about it. I called another company, Four Seasons. Their diagnostic fee was $85 and then they would give me options for fixing what was wrong. I didn't have to think twice.

The guy arrived right before the Iowa-Nebraska game kicked off. He determined my thermostat was shot. This kind of didn't surprise me. It was the original thermostat from when the original central air was purchased in the early 1970's. I have often wondered just how reliable it was. I was not offered a new thermostat when I bought my furnace. "We can use this one," I was told.

I have x amount of dollars to work with thanks to the surprise generosity of some friends. If I bought the cleaning package, they would, for me, waive the diagnostic fee, clean my furnace, install the thermostat and come back in the spring to service the air conditioning unit. This plan took most of my dollars but it seemed to be the best value for me. I have a humidifier attached to my furnace but I couldn't afford to have that cleaned so he detached it from the furnace. In the spring, when they come to clean the AC, I can have them reattach and clean the humidifier.

It took him 2.5 quarters to get everything done. I have since cranked the heat up to warm up the back end of the house. I think I will leave the temp high for the rest of the evening to make sure the house is up to temperature and then turn it down at bed time to where I want it. He said there was nothing else wrong with the furnace but I do need to replace the filter. Normally, you would replace it every 3 months, but with a long haired black cat living with me, I should think about replacing it every other month. I just replaced it in October, but I can understand fur.

So, that was a positive experience. I am set for the winter. If you ever need heating or AC service, consider them. There is no extra charge for diagnostic calls at any time; day, night or holiday. He said they don't have to charge extra because they have enough technicians, that they can always be working. He was friendly and personable and efficient. Pilchard even came out to say, "Hello". Mija disappeared completely.

I have heat again. I was doing okay with a space heater and the oven but having uniform heat in the house is wonderful. Now, if only Iowa had played like they were on fire. (sigh)

Beverage:  Edinburgh's Finest tea.


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