Sunday, December 08, 2013

Arctic Blast, Snow, and a Broken Furnace

Yes, it's beautiful, those raised garden beds blanketed in pristine snowfall. The shadows, the light, the hint of a moody sky... what's not to love? This: We woke Thursday morning to the sound of the furnace turning on and turning off, turning on and turning off. The temperature outside was a chilly 22F (-5C) and inside was 58F (14C). And there was a weather forecast of an even deeper cold and a foot of snow headed our way.
The furnace repair person came Thursday, spent an hour or so with the furnace, and declared it repaired. We were delighted with the news. We do have a very dependable wood stove, which we use everyday to heat the house, but we rely on the propane furnace to keep the house warm over night and into the morning. So, we were deeply unhappy Friday morning when the furnace did not come on again. The furnace repair person came back and spent two hours tinkering around and said that a part needed replacing, which he couldn't get until MONDAY. Uh-oh. Those deeper, colder temps were coming soon.
So, when we woke Saturday morning to find nearly seven inches of snow and our furnace actually working, we were elated. Not sure why it worked all day, but it did. We were able to let the fire burn out in the wood stove, clean all the ashes, and get it ready for a day of wood burning on Sunday. The predicted temp for Sunday morning was 8F (-13C).  Of course, the furnace stopped working again and didn't turn on Sunday morning. The temp was only 15F (-9C), but those few degrees were our only respite. Roger built the fire at 3:45 am, which we'll have to keep burning through the night until Monday.

So, yes, the snow is beautiful, especially on Sunday morning with the sun shining through the pine and cedars, and the glint of light that has sparked poetry forever. But, on a morning without a working furnace, it is more of a hassle than anything else. Bah humbug.

29 comments:

  1. Wow I thought you lived out near the desert where it was warm, not where the temp gets into the cryogenic properties of liquid nitrogen. Hope it gets sorted I hate being cold nowadays

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  2. Poetry is all very well but it doesn't heat a house. May Monday and the necessary part come soon.

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  3. That sunrise deck photo is nice! Our parallel saga in our rental house is a bit more fortunate - after the repair guy got the furnace going, it's kept operating while we wait for parts. I'm glad - I really didn't want to have to bring the tenants over to our house for the weekend ;-)

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  4. Bill-- We live in the Sierra foothills where winter and summer temps are extreme. We're not particularly fond of it, so we're planning on selling the house in spring and moving back to the coast.

    John-- The thing I neglected to mention is that this is a brand new furnace. We replaced the old oil furnace less than a year ago. It should NOT be breaking down. Yes, we're looking forward to Monday and resolution.

    Phil-- Glad you like that photo. It was a beautiful, sparkly clear sunrise this morning. Wish our furnace kept working while we wait for parts. I said to Roger the other morning, "we're getting too old for this sort of thing." LOL!

    kathy a-- Looking forward to milder temps mid week, until then, we're going to be camping in the living room in front of the wood stove.

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  5. Wish I was around to go chase parts for your furnace...there has to be someplace that has it! But I'm very glad you have to wood for back up! I have a couple of "gravity" gas wall heaters that don't need 110 and they've saved us several times through the years!

    Lovely views from your windows!

    alan

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  6. alan-- I wish there were parts close by to be picked up. Turns out the part we need is being shipped from Portland, Or. Supposed to be here Monday. We sure hope so. Glad you stopped by, alan. Always good to see you here.

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  7. That deer is beautiful! I love the black marking on his forehead. What species?
    Yeah, there's nothing quite like worrying about whether you are going to freeze to death to take the fun out of winter, huh?

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  8. CCorax-- That's a Black-tailed deer. There's some controversy about whether it's a sub-species of Mule Deer, or its own species. The researchers are still hammering out the genetic details on that. The Black-tailed deer is native to the northwest coast. This buck has been around for several years. It likes to look in the windows at us. We are particularly fond of him.
    We are not happy about this particular arctic blast. Not when it coincides with our malfunctioning furnace. We are looking forward to going back to the coast and living with at least the temperate influences of the radioactive seas.

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  9. Well, you're right - a sucky situation but it shor is purdy outside. Is Bonsai going out at all? (I'm guessing not.)

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  10. seems like someone in san fran would have had that part! i hope it arrives tomorrow, and this mess is over for you. thankfully our power outage was only 4.5 hours. i think we all may be in for a hard winter if this is only the beginning! your photos are so serene, so beautiful. i always love seeing your world. i'm concerned about those radioactive seas,too - our lives, the sealife... in every direction we turn we'll keep bumping into the dangers we've created. the temperate marine climate will at least be easier to handle as aging kicks our butts more and more.

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  11. Tara-- It is pretty, but hard to enjoy at the moment. Bonsai went out for two seconds yesterday. First time since Thursday. He's not a big fan of cold weather. I think it makes old injuries ache.

    Sky-- The part had to be shipped from Portland. Maybe that's where the Lennox factory is, I have no idea. We're planning the move back to the coast precisely for those moderating ocean affects. Yes, we'll have to deal with the radiation, but at least we won't be too hot or too cold. LOL!

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  12. I can't believe you're having so much trouble with a year-old furnace! You're lucky you have the stove. Single digits are really rare around here.

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  13. Well Robin, our house is that cold every morning in the winter and I never thought twice about it. BTW, our temps on Saturday morning were -36F (-37.7C) with wind chills -50 to -60F. You live in the banana belt

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  14. Mark-- Well, the part DID NOT arrive today, so we're buying an electric space heater for the bedroom. We had to keep stoking the fire every hour last night, and that is just too tiring. Supposedly the part will arrive tomorrow. Mmmm... What do you think? Will it? We'll keep you posted.

    def59485-- We set the thermostat on our furnace when it is working to 60 F. That's pretty much our comfort level, although, I guess we could let it get much colder and pile on more blankets. Ah, the banana belt. Well, I might agree if I didn't see snow outside and icicles hanging from the roof. Where do you live that it gets so cold? Have you ever lived where it is warmer?

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  15. How frustrating to have something "fixed' and find out it isn't. Glad you have been able to keep warm.

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  16. Hope you get your heat source back!
    I have memories of similar scenarios when we lived in snow country on the mainland... especially getting up all night to stoke the wood burner!

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  17. ncmountainwoman-- The worst part was having the furnace go out during the coldest temps we've had here. It was very challenging.

    Annie-- The repair guy came today with the part they'd been waiting for. The furnace has been working since then, but the real test will come tonight. It has to be able to click on when the temp falls below the programmed setting. Wish us luck!

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  18. Yikes, a subzero temperature with a broken furnace? I won't be able to stand that cold temperature. If anything, your experience serves as a reminder that no matter how simple a furnace may seem, we shouldn't take them for granted. You have lovely pictures of your house, by the way.

    Levi Eslinger @ CapitalPlumbing.ca

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  19. To me, you live in the arctic! Don't get me wrong, I like snow, but I want to decide if I'm in it or not. We can see it in the mountains, but it never snows here. I'm glad you finally got it fixed!

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  20. We can only imagine. Your mishap may simply be due to inadequate repair service. But this may be a sign that you should get a newer, more effective furnace for your purposes. Either may be the case, both suggest that you seek more furnace options.

    Christine @ Quality Heating

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  21. Nice pictures! You really captured the coldness of the surroundings. It reminds me of the cold days we experienced earlier this year. Yeah, those were the days you couldn’t afford to have a broken furnace. Glad you made it through that!

    Terry Williams

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  27. Found your blog. It is full of really good information. Thank you for sharing. If you ever need service on air conditioning repair please visit us at rheemteamcomfort.com. We would love it if you would have a look at some of our blogs and let us know your thoughts.

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  28. Always get an inspection on a furnace done at some point in the fall. I once experienced the horror of a furnace breaking down on a super-cold day. I have no one to blame but myself. For several weeks prior, I heard odd clicking noises and never had the furnace checked out. By the time the problem hit critical mass, the coldest day of the year arrived.

    Rosa Nelson @ HVAC Services Philadelphia

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