Friday, November 03, 2006

Just chillin'

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.


  1. Okay now I'm feeling really good about our repair free woodstove! I'll send you warm thoughts of a cheery fire to keep you and the pups toasty this weekend. Carmon

  2. We heated with a wood stove when we liven in an OLD farm house in Sarcoxie MO. The only one that stayed warm was my husband cutting all of the wood to try to keep me and the girls from freezing!

  3. Velvet, it's been a long time since I lived down there but out here in Cali, the gas company will come check your gas 24 / 7.

    As a plumber - HVAC guy's daughter, it sounds to me like it is the gas or the thermostat. Funny, I had to replace my Mom's thermostat last time I was in B.R.... It's a pretty easy fix if you're handy with tools...

    Wishing you and the doggies warm nights til you can get it fixed.


  4. Stay warm, Velvet! Although if you start turning blue I'm sure Kim would take her dear mom in for a couple of days.

    I like it toasty, my husband acts like a mean old NYC landlord and refuses to put the heat on before October 15th (that's the law in NYC.) Guess who wins that one, every year ;-)

    You're doing great! Run, Velvet, run!

  5. Carmon, your woodstove gives you heat AND ambience. It just occurred to me that I do have a fireplace, but it hasn't been used in so long I'd be afraid to try it without having it checked out first. It'd be a toss-up as to which repairman would get here first.

    4th Sister, that's funny. If your farmhouse was old, it may have been draftier than Carmon's yurt.

    Holly, thanks for the tips. My water heater is gas and functioning just fine, so I know the gas line to the house is OK. I think the thermostat's OK, too, because it was controlling the A/C last week with no problems. I'm told there's a separate gas valve at the heater unit itself (does that sound right?). Kim offered to go up into the attic and check it out for me, but it's cramped quarters up there. I'd prefer someone to do it who has a clue what they're looking for.

    Sunflower, it's great to have Kim and her sister nearby for emergencies, but I sure do like sleeping in my own bed. I'm just guessing, but my money's on you having the final say about when the heat goes on.

    Okay, it's 9:30 on most of my clocks and 10:30 on the one I still haven't changed. I'm gonna go by that one and crawl back in bed with my book. G'night all.

  6. Trying this AGAIN!! Blogger is against me today but I see my comment is now voided by the curent post...your heating is fixed. lol

    Was just going to say I've had the heating on for the last couple of weeks on and off as the temperature has dropped considerably at night, but must admit when you switch it on for the first time after summer you almost expect it not to work.

  7. Sandy, I'm having trouble with Blogger, too. In fact, the post you mentioned--where I stated that my heater is working--has totally disappeared.

    Hmmmm. Maybe my son-in-law needs to work for Blogger.

    Here I go to try to post it again. Don't be surprised if it shows up twice later today.


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