Last week was pure bliss. There was just so much happy going on in every facet of my life. Things changed a bit come Monday morning.
Sunday night: After a relaxing evening of Netflix, crocheting and reading I went to bed around 9 PM. Temperature in my house= 62F. 62F is actually four degrees above my normal temperature, but I had gotten an email recently from my plumber warning us about pipes freezing in these subzero temperatures. I didn’t want to have any of that, so I treated myself (and my house) to a slightly warmer temperature. When it’s 62F in the house, my upstairs is like a sauna. Heat rises, of course, but the insulation that I installed prior to my first winter is proving to be very effective. In fact, the only way I’m able to sleep is when I wear shorts, a t-shirt, and if I stick one leg out and at least one arm out above the covers. I was exhausted from the day’s activities, so I fell asleep instantly.
Monday morning, 4 AM: I woke up before my alarm clock, and I was bundled under the covers. And my face was sooooo cold. This never happens.
I was debating on whether or not to look at the time on my phone because I always get so angry when I wake up just before my alarm clock, which was due to go off at 5:09. I had a busy day planned at work, so I wanted to get an early start. It’s always risky to sneak a peek, but I did anyways. When I removed my arm from under the covers, I knew something was very wrong. Brrrrrr! I jumped out of bed and walked downstairs, and the temperature was even colder. I used my flashlight function on my phone to see the thermostat and it was a lowly 41F. OMG. MY PIPES WERE GOING TO FREEZE.
I put on loads of layers then my winter jacket, hat and mittens and then went downstairs to investigate. My furnace actually failed a couple of years ago (my first winter in the house), but miraculously I kept staring at it, doing absolutely nothing, and it started up again. I was trying to use this tactic because I most certainly wasn’t going to mess with anything. Unfortunately, this didn’t work.
I googled 24/7 heating companies and just started making calls. First of all, if you are going to call yourself a 24/7 company, you better be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, just sayin’. Everyone out there lies. I can’t tell you how many frantic messages I left, or how many companies had someone answering the phone but telling me that their technicians didn’t start until after 7 AM or later. I spoke to someone and explained that my house was at 41F and the furnace was dead. She then proceeded to ask me if this was an emergency. I almost burst out laughing/crying/yelling. After I left about a dozen messages, I decided to head back upstairs to try and get a little more sleep and make the time go by faster. No such luck for me even with extra blankets and my winter jacket, but Fredy settled right in and dozed off for a while.
|Curled into a ball. He ain’t going to let the cold ruin his beauty sleep.|
With no luck sleeping and growing antsy waiting for someone to call me back, I headed back downstairs to have coffee and sit on the couch with a heating pad on my lap. And Fredy nearby.
|One of many cracks in the heat exchanger.|
|Evidence of corrosion.|
|Hole in the flume.|
Let me tell you, I think the sobbing helped in one way. He probably thought I was a frail lady who would never make it until Wednesday, so he offered me a Tuesday 8 AM install. Since nobody else was calling me back, and this had to be fixed, I agreed. At that point he gave me estimates, and I ended up going with an 80% efficiency furnace which is loads better than what I had but certainly not top of the line. After talking with others, I’m really hoping that he didn’t take advantage of my stupidity and price gouge me. Everyone else that I’ve talked to has replaced their furnace at a fraction of the price I paid… In the meantime, he requested that a courier deliver 5 space heaters. He was supposedly on his way.
|The flume broke free.|
10:45 AM: The technician confirmed that the courier was on his way with the space heaters, and left me on my own. Temperature of the house= 38F, approaching freezing. At that time I canceled all my meetings for the day and rearranged all activities during the week.
|I have never longed for anything more in my life.|
12:02 PM: Started plugging space heaters in to the outlets, hoping to get four on the main floor and one upstairs. Upon plugging in my third space heater, all power went out. Nooooooooo. I went downstairs to look at the fuse box that I didn’t know how to use/how it worked. Since everything was labeled horribly (e.g. lights, lights, west wall), I just started flipping switches. I flipped almost all of them in the opposite direction and then back again. Little did I know at the time, that’s not how you’re supposed to do it (another reason why I shouldn’t be a homeowner). At one point, I heard a very high pitched beep when I was flipping the switch, but thought nothing of it. Since this obviously did not solve my problems, I called my mom to vent. While I was talking to her, I heard the most obnoxious high pitched beeping sound, which I soon discovered was my carbon monoxide detector. With the earlier revelation that I was likely already exposed to carbon monoxide, my mom started panicking and telling me that there was no way that I was going to sleep in my house that night. I had other plans though. I felt like the captain of the Titanic who went down with his sinking ship. If by golly my house was going to freeze, I was going to freeze with it! After talking with my mom, I decided to call my aunt and uncle who lived nearby. It turned out that since it was Martin Luther King Day, my uncle was off of work and was able to come help figure things out and get the space heaters working. My aunt was also planning on coming over to pick up Fredy and rescue him from the cold.