Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Death of a Furnace

We have no heat. Literally. In the house. None. Cold. Brrr.

Outside, winter has arrived (naturally...) The lows are in the teens - and the winds kicked in tonight. Wind chills will drop it into the single digits.

Here's the short story: Furnace makes clicking noise. Home warranty company sends Repair Guy #1 to the house. Furance is rusted and starting to crack. It's OK to run for now but it needs replacing. Warranty company says they'll replace the unit, but we have to pay for several non-covered charges, including mandatory upgrades to the flue that aren't really part of standard installation, even though they're mandatory. That's like making you pay extra for the seatbelts.

But that's not the point. The non-covered charges total $1200. OUCH. But when you're the dad and the mom, you gotta do what you gotta do. The warranty company assures me that Repair Guy #1 can't charge more than that. Then we call him and now he suddenly needs $1750. What to do? What to do? Should I complain?

You're damn right I'm gonna complain. There's me and warranty company on the phone. They call the Repair Guy #1 and he tells the warranty people that they didn't write down everything he would have to do for this job. By the way Warranty Guy told me this, I know he was rolling his eyes at Repair Guy #1.

Enter Repair Guy #2 - aka The Second Opinion. Repair Guy #2 comes to the house yesterday. Yup. Furnace is bad. Furnace gotta go. And then comes the bombshell: Furnace must be shut off. That crack is dangerous, Repair Guy #2 says it's dangerous and, by law, he must shut it down. Carbon monoxide could seep out. Repair Guy #2 says Repair Guy #1 should have shut it off.

That brings us back to cold... Brrr shivering cold. So now there's big down comforters and layers of blankets and portable space heaters. The night isn't unbearable under the covers but that tile floor in the bathroom in the morning is - WOW! COLD!

Warranty Company Guy says they'll approve the replacement. Repair Guy #2 will do the job and says it won't nearly cost that much out of my pocket - probably closer to $1000. Not great - but not $1800 or even $1200.

I'm shooting for Wednesday but Thursday could be more likely. Friday at the latest. Very latest. They say there's a pretty good snow storm headed this way Thursday night.

So this is the life of an east coast homeowner in the winter? I don't ever remember dealing with anything like this in Morgan Hill...


Liz said...

get out the colchas.

Liz said...

i am ready for the BIRTH of a furnace now!