Last night was the first time since the end of February that it's been cool enough to turn on the heat. A little chill settled around my shoulders as I watched TV, so I got up and flipped the central-heat switch, then sat back down and snuggled under a chenille throw. The heater fan came on, and I could feel the air begin to move.
After a few minutes, when I expected to smell the burning-dust odor that usually accompanies the heater's first use of the season, I noticed that the smell was absent. Not only that, but the air coming out of the vents was as cold as the cool air I'd been paying high dollars for all summer long.
It was almost nine o'clock, so my options were limited. I flipped the switch off and on a few times, always with the same results. (It doesn't hurt to make sure.) Finally, I left it off.
Then I started thinking maybe the pilot light was out. Would that mean I'd been pumping gas into the house? I didn't smell gas, but I took the dogs and went outside for a few minutes, leaving the back door open to let any odor-free gas out and about a thousand mosquitos in.
Back inside, I piddled around for a while to make sure that the dogs and I weren't unusually lethargic, but at that time of night it was hard to tell. I decided to go to bed and read for an hour or so. My current book's a good one, sure to keep me awake long enough to notice if I was getting sleepy faster than usual. I piled Butch's favorite old bedspread on the floor next to his bed (which is next to my bed) so he could burrow into it if he got cold in the night. Kadi, I knew, would get in bed with me if she needed a warm spot. We lived for another hour, then I turned out the light. All of us slept great.
I'm thinking a lot of people must have turned their heaters on for the first time last night, because when I called the A/C people at 7:45 this morning, they were already booked up for the day. The soonest they can come out is Monday afternoon, when they'll "try to squeeze me in."
It isn't supposed to get colder than 38 degrees over the weekend, and the days are expected to be in the high 60s. That won't be too bad. After talking to a few people, I'm pretty sure the problem started way back here, on the first day I turned on the air conditioner.
I'm told that A/C repairmen are required to turn off the gas before they can change out an A/C unit that's connected to the heating system. I'm betting the people who installed the new A/C forgot to turn the gas back on. That would be good news in terms of repair costs.
It'll be a chilly weekend. If I'm lucky, the cooler temperature will motivate me to move around to stay warm. And if that happens, my house might finally get clean.