Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Getting to know your furnace

Owning a house is sooooo hard. 

James went upstate after wrap on friday, I worked saturday and was planning on bussin up when I was done. We have made a habit of turning our thermostats down to 50˚ when we leave but when he showed up around 2 am the temperature was down to 46˚ in the whole house. Our friendly soon to be beer slinging neighbor Dirk suggested we get digital thermostats because they are much more precise and they can also be programmed so the heat goes down at night when we are sleeping etc... Our heating system has proven to be quite rock solid and it has been a cold winter so far. You turn up the heat and the furnace kicks right in and within minutes the radiators are hot. 

Until now... 

We are so used to hearing the beast in the basement roar the moment you turn the dial - or now - push the button. But this time - quiet. I sympathize with James and I can see his furrowed brow as he stands face to face with Furnace von Frankenstein just trying to extract some sense out of the situation. Why won't you work you stupid machine?!? 

Our fuel delivery service has an emegency line so James called them and they had someone over by 10 am. This guy apparently looked into the furnace and said: "Oh no wonder! You have a 70˚ valve where you SHOULD have an 80˚ valve and that has a casued carbon buildup which is blocking the fuel from going in to the furnace." He unclogged it and we had heat once again. I guess that was $150 well spent. Although I would  have figured it out myself eventually. Kids' stuff!

The irony of the situation is that I came home to the apartment Monday morning after dropping James off on set up in Riverdale finding NO HEAT and NO HOT WATER. But here you are up against a different beast. There's no furnace to plead to, just a landlord and a super who could. Not. Care. Less. So you wait. And wait. Eventually the pipes will start clanging and soon the apartment will be a sauna once again. And we'll start to complain that it's too hot.


  1. Lemme know if you still have furnace problems. They aren't as difficult as they look, and as we know from Young Frankenstein, Frankenstein isn't actually that scary, and has a warm side.