Friday, January 12, 2007

Maybe 20 Years IS too old for a Furnace

FINALLY our landlord has been persuaded that we do need a new furnace!

If you've been keeping up, you know this has been an issue for about a month and a half now.

If you haven't, here's the summary: First we hired a guy to check it out. He added a part, charged us a bunch of money and left saying the furnace was kind of old. A couple of days later it wouldn't work so we called him back, and he said we should just call someone else. So, I talked to my mom and got a referral from her for another heating contractor. This guy tightened up a few things, cleaned a few things, charged us a bunch of money and said the furnace was old and that there was a good chance it would stop working again because of the age. Well, we got tired of paying for the guys on our own, and our rental agreement for leasing our store space wasn't 100% clear as to who was responsible for repairs, plus we sure weren't going to buy a new furnace for a building we don't own, so we called our landlord. He insisted that these contractors are con-artists and that 20 years was not that old for a furnace. He had done some work installing furnaces when he was younger, and he had a friend that knew some stuff about electricity and motors and the two of them went up to take a look. They worked up there for a day and a half, and the furnace worked for a while. Then it stopped again - so we called the landlord again and he went up, adjusted some stuff to get it working and left. It would work for a while and then stop working. Every time it stopped working we'd call, the landlord would futz around, the furnace would work for a couple of days, and then stop...

THANKFULLY it's been pretty mild during this time, so it hasn't been too bad. But, this week it's starting to cool down again, and of course our furnace wouldn't work. So, we once again called the landlord. He took a look and shrugged, finally admitting he didn't know what was going on. He called a contractor that he apparently didn't think was a con-artist and had them come out, and the landlord told us that if this guy also said we needed an new furnace he'd have to go along with that and get us one, especially since he was going to be leaving town for a few weeks and it is supposed to get pretty cold next week. The landlord dropped off a couple of electric space heaters for us and said that the furnace contractor would come by sometime today.

The contractor that came today said that we definitely need a new furnace. It has a bad heat exchanger and can't be fixed any longer. Today is Friday, so we'll have to live without our furnace over the weekend. And, the contractor said he'd try to get the furnace installed early next week, but that he couldn't promise. Thank goodness we've got the space heaters now, and that it isn't supposed to get below zero degrees next week. So, we should be able to survive... as long as the pipes don't burst in our bathroom. See, it is supposed to drop below ten degrees a few nights next week, and I don't feel comfortable leaving space heaters on without supervision. Since I'm not willing to sleep here, we will have to turn them off at night and hope that there is enough leftover heat and insulation to keep the pipes from bursting. I heard once that keeping the faucet running very slowly can keep the pipes from freezing - might have to try that.

But at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully our heating wowes will soon be over. I'm sure the gas company is excited too, since we haven't been using much of that with the furnace out.

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