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Saturday, February 21, 2015
Shake and shiver
The repairman was shaking his head.
All around him were parts of our furnace, purchased and installed just eight years ago for a mighty sum.
For some reason it had stopped doing its thing, maybe because it's been so warm this winter it doesn't feel needed.
I noticed something off on Thursday night when we came in the house and it wasn't annoying me.
The last few weeks it seemed the furnace was running all the time, ever since we had it fixed the end of December.
I was actually glad not to have it working away during the night.
But I also noticed a funny, burning smell like a candle or a match had been lit.
I checked around and didn't find anything so I didn't worry unduly.
However, the next morning I noticed the temperature was down even though we keep our thermostat at a constant number.
I went upstairs to check the upper thermostat. Low.
I came back downstairs to check the lower one. Low also.
Marc said we'd get free service checks now that we'd signed up for yearly maintenance so I called the heating and cooling folks.
"$75 to come out and do a diagnostic," said the girl on the phone cheerfully. "Your plan only discounts the labor by 15 percent."
I agreed to a time.
The man came out.
I walked him in and said, kind of bashfully, "It doesn't seem to be coming on like it should. And it smells a little funny."
He shook his head and walked into the furnace room. I was pretty sure I was making this up.
He lifted off the panel and took a peek.
"Well, the blower is not working. That's a problem," he said.
"And, you're right, it's not giving you any heat."
He pulled out a little cradle thing and showed me a burnt area like when a light bulb burns out.
"Here's your problem..."
He explained that a module has burnt out. No reason it should. Nothing to be done to prevent it.
It would cost $450 plus labor.
"I don't suppose you have proof of warranty?" he said, dialing up the office at the same time.
I went to my files. I started searching.
Just as I returned, the office verified that indeed we had a warranty.
I had sent in the funny little paper that often comes with these things, the funny little paper that often seems like a waste of a stamp.
"Ah, ha!" We save the $450.
That's the good news. The bad news is we're without a working furnace until Monday afternoon.
What do you think the odds are that Utah will come out of this warm spell today or tomorrow?