Tuesday, November 9, 2010

heat vs warmth

All is well tonight. The house is warm. The dogs are fed. The night is cold, but the house remains a warm nest of paws, fur, blankets, and a favorite program on DVD. Last night wasn't as grand. The furnace stopped working, leaving me without heat or hot water as temperatures dropped into the low 30's. I was a bit scared, to be honest. I always had a landlord to save the day before, but no one was going to fix this but me. So I called the emergancy line at Miles Fuels and the same guy who was here a few months earlier installing the new vent pcked up. After a promise to help in the morning, I was feeling much calmer. Then I got a call from the Daughtons (whom I contacted in a panic earlier when I couldn't get the furnace to start) and was invited to stay with them if it got too cold. But I stayed. I roared up the woodstove and realized the genius of the little farmhouse. The laundry, bathroom, kitchen, and sinks all shared the company of the fire box. If I lost power the flame heat would prevent the pipes from freezing. Content with a 60 degree home (which is what the woodstove alone brought the house to) I slept warmly under the quilts. I knew the house would take care of me, and tomorrow I would take care of the house.

The Heat is back on. Turns out an air pipe was blocked and it shut the whole thing down. Imagine that.

22 Comments:

Blogger twistie said...

aren't furnaces fun?!

November 9, 2010 at 8:49 PM  
OpenID thatsthelife said...

I adore woodstoves.

In our rented flat we're dependent upon electric rad heating.

When the power goes out, as it often does in winter, we just get cold. It's kind of stupid. A house should be able to function on it's own for a few days at least.

I don't like being dependent upon electricity.

November 9, 2010 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

Jenna - YOU DID IT! Great job! You should be proud of yourself for handling such a big mess all on your own.

November 9, 2010 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Keep that furnace guy's number safe. It is blessing to have a reliable repair person. The fear in home ownership should be the bills. Get the names of reliable repair people in your area from co-workers and neighbors. Keep them in a file so you will have them handy when needed. In addition to the furnace guy, get the names of electicians and plumbers. Being prepared takes the fear out of these situations. Just cheecking, but do you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?

November 9, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

Thank goodness for the wood stove huh? I remember sleeping in front of one with my dog and staying nice and cozy on an electricity free night. I don't have that kind of back up now!

November 9, 2010 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Duck said...

I'm glad it was something simple and hopefully not very costly. But... I mean, I don't do this for a living (my dad does) but it seems to me that the air intake (I'm assuming) should have been cleaned well the last time your furnace was serviced. Fuel nozzle changed (and the correct size too!), soot vacuumed out... The works.

Sooo many people have dirty furnaces! Some have been so clogged that it's a wonder the family didn't die in their sleep. I just hope you have a good furnace guy that's honest, certified, and knows what he's doing.

But I can see how good it must feel to get something done of your own initiative. :)
Glad it all worked out!

November 9, 2010 at 9:57 PM  
OpenID urbanadaptation said...

Glad to hear things worked out, and that the house is well-designed - I love when things are designed in ways that just work well.

November 9, 2010 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

It makes me smile to read that "the house took care of you and you took care of the house." Sounds like it's a home now.

November 10, 2010 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I love wood heat. It's so...permeating. My attic apartment when I lived in the mountains had a little box wood stove, and that is where I learned to love a wood stove. I am really glad that your house came with one! And that is really smart putting all the stuff with plumbing near the room with the stove. Somebody was thinking.

November 10, 2010 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 10, 2010 at 1:05 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

um, with a wood stove, you are set. when (not if. definitely not if) the hydro goes out for a week or two, you are not only worm, but fed and clean. you can heat the house, cook on it, and boil water for cleaning yourself (bird baths).

if you can, try to heat with wood on the weekends; you will see your oil bill plummet (and your biceps grow; you have to split all that extra wood ;-). my parents (age 65) got so fed up with paying hydro they started heating their century old 9 room house exclusively with wood. they buy 18 cords of wood in the off season at 75$ a cord and now pay 85$ per month in hydro... and dad has never been healthier; he has to split all that wood...

November 10, 2010 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

sleep tight....

November 10, 2010 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger sheepkelpie said...

Air pipe blocked??? You are so extremely lucky that it did shut down. Is it a new or old furnace? It needs a full inspection....

November 10, 2010 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

You're so awesome, Jenna. I would have been really freaking out if I had to figure out what to do with a broken furnace all by myself. Congrats, another notch to add to your belt. :)

November 10, 2010 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

The first few times (yes, more emergencies await you) things like this happen, I freaked out. After awhile though, you remember that you coped and lived to tell the tale and you just take it in stride. Of course it sucks that those things always seem to happen on the weekend or a holiday (our well pump blew on Easter one year)when few repair people are available or when it's freezing and almost always when your checkbook is anemic.

November 10, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Zoe Tilley Poster said...

There is something sort of primally comforting about having access to wood fire and its heat... Warms the heart as well as the fingers! Really enjoying your blog, animals and adventures.

November 10, 2010 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Clare said...

I hope you tagged along, Jenna, to know where to go next fall to clean out that duct yourself, thereby saving yourself some fees. It pays to be pro-active that way. Glad you have steady warmth once again.

November 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Corey Jace Scott said...

Some advice from one new home owner to another, Get a home warranty. There cheap and all you have to do is pay the 50 dollar service fee. My house is from 1910 and everything that could go wrong has. The warranty has been a life saver.

November 10, 2010 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger delpasored said...

A trick we used to use when only heating with wood (on really cold nights -20) is to leave the cupboard doors under the sinks open, otherwise the pipes would freeze. You can also use heat tape on your pipes, but if the power goes off you need to remember to open the cupboard doors!

November 10, 2010 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger DebH said...

funny on the air vent..I had the same thing this year and Last year!! Seems birds like my air vent! I will fix it this time and put a screen over it for diversion and solve that anyway! Glad your all better!

November 10, 2010 at 2:02 PM  
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November 11, 2010 at 11:36 PM  
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