Superstition holds that bad (or unlucky) things always come in threes.
First, my desk chair broke on the day our kitchen pipes froze. I had to order a new chair. Which, by the way, I love.
Then, my computer began exhibiting death throes, and I had to buy a new one. We were hit by a blizzard at the same time, but there was a lull late on Thursday afternoon so I could drive over to the big box store and pick up my new computer. The roads were icy, visibility was near zero due to blowing snow, and even my all-wheel-drive SUV did some sliding. I didn’t venture out again, but I did have my new computer.
Which is still sitting in the box today (Saturday) because there was a third event which took priority …
Our furnace died. Yesterday, hubby got up for work and I got up to go to my Remicade infusion, and realized the house was unusually cold. Sure it was below zero (Fahrenheit) outside, but still.
The thermostat read 61 F.
We had recently had the thermostat installed; thus, hubby figured it was a programming problem. But he couldn’t get the heat to kick on no matter what buttons he pushed. We called the company who installed the thermostat (and the furnace), and they couldn’t even give us an estimated time to come over. Nor, could they (or would they) put hubby on the phone with a tech who could walk him through the programming. The customer service rep merely said they would try to call us “sometime today.” Really? We had no heat, and the thermostat was now down to 60 F.
We assumed it wasn’t the furnace because that same company had come out in October, checked everything, and said the furnace was fine.
Frustrated, my husband called our favorite contractor, Roy’s Plumbing & Heating, which has done extensive plumbing for us. They said they would come between noon and 2. This, despite the high volume of calls they were receiving due to the blizzard and extreme cold. Of course, we are preferred customers due to the amount of business we’ve given them over the past few years – remember? – they even sent me gourmet cookies after our last humungous job!
I love Roy’s. The town building inspector loves Roy’s (because they do everything by the book). But there’s only so much that can be done late on a Friday afternoon after a blizzard and during extreme cold.
I went to my infusion, hubby stayed home and met with the Roy’s tech. Other patients in the infusion room were quite entertained by the stream of phone calls between hubby and me (what else can you find amusing after going through a 2-day blizzard and then having to undergo IV therapy?).
The furnace installed by the former owners was, in the opinion of the Roy’s tech (and in the opinion of a subsequent tech from a different company), an inferior model with design defects. Yes, it could be repaired, but parts would have to be ordered. The total cost for repairs would be around $2,000, and longevity could not be guaranteed. (This was borne out by the second contractor we called. We take no estimate at face value, even from contractors we’ve used before and trust.)
The guy in the chair next to me apparently knew everything about everything and jumped right in while I was on the phone with hubby. He knew someone who could put a new furnace in for $1500.
No, I don’t trust total strangers, even if they suffer from the same condition I do, and his contact was someone who works off the books. Thanks, but we need guarantees and licenses, and assurances that the proper building permits will be obtained.
Hubby asked the Roy’s tech to price a new furnace and was told the earliest they could get a salesperson out for an estimate would be Tuesday.
The house was now at 54 F and still dropping.
Hubby set up the appointment just to be safe in case we couldn’t reach anyone else late on a Friday afternoon. Did I mention it was a blizzard and extreme cold? HVAC contractors were all buried (pardon the pun).
To give Roy’s additional credit, the tech stayed and got the furnace working (more or less) and showed hubby how to keep it limping along until a new furnace could be installed. He charged us only for the service call, and said that fee would be applied against a new furnace should we decide to go with Roy’s.
Which we would have done, except that we couldn’t wait until Tuesday to get just an estimate, with the install to follow sometime after that.
Did I mention that we had a furnace which kept dying and having to be re-set and could die permanently at any time? It was zero degrees outside!
So, hubby called Emerald Heating, which had installed the furnace in our prior house. The representative came out within the hour, and they can install the new furnace on Monday. A good quality furnace at a price we can afford, and like Roy’s, they do everything by the book.
Additionally, it was mentioned that should our current furnace fail completely over the weekend, Emerald will bring heaters to us so we can stay in the house. Which is good. We really don’t want to take Puppy Cody to a motel. She hates motels – and this is Superbowl Weekend (party time at motels).
We’re set up for 8:30 Monday morning. I can hardly wait. There will be no heat that day, but we can deal with that.
Of course, now there will be that extra expense to pay, but that’s life. Welcome to working-class America, where the fun never ends!
(BTW, I am now going to disconnect this computer and set up my new one. Leave comments if you wish, but don’t be concerned if I don’t respond immediately.)
Too cold to shovel any more. Let’s head back in.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom