January 29, 2021

Luckily, we had our furnace serviced earlier this month to make sure it was ready for the winter.  When we got up it seemed colder than usual in the house, but I thought nothing of it.  We have been keeping the thermostat at 65F for Melissa’s succulents and I am usually cold when I first get up.  I usually put on a sweatshirt and start moving around and the cold goes away.  This time it did not happen.  I thought that was curious and checked the thermostat and saw that it was cold.  The temperature was set for 65F, but the gauge read 63F and the fan had been turned off.  Melissa had been up for a while, so I asked her about the temperature.  She explained the vents were only blowing cold air, and the heater was making the house colder.  She had turned it off. 

I continued to mess with the thermostat and the furnace for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon.   I finally decided this was above my paygrade (I know, hard for a male to do), and called the heating company who had serviced the unit earlier.  They apologized and said they could not get a repair person out until after four.  I agreed because basically, I had no choice.  When the person arrived, he checked the blower and the ignition unit.  After about 30 minutes he said he knew what the problem was.  The blower motor had gone out and that set off the safety switch that turned off the unit every time he tried to start it up.  It was no wonder the fan blew cold.

We were told the company could send out an estimator on Friday to let us know how much it would be to replace the furnace.  When they had checked our A/C last summer they had let us know we needed to replace that as well (17 years old and freon based).  We were preparing for the A/C, but the furnace was a surprise.  The one good thing was they were having a winter sale.  If you replaced your A/C they would throw in the furnace for free.  Even though it was not planned, I suppose this turned out to be a good thing.  Like so many things over that last year, “good” has been relative.

Thoughts:  After the tech left the temperature started to drop outside.  That meant without a furnace the temperature dropped inside as well.  I was happy the house is well insulated, as the temps dropped into the low 20’s but the house only fell into the high 50’s.  Still, I was surprised what a difference 5F degrees of cold make.  I was told I should be happy the unit died in the winter rather than the summer.  As Melissa said, you can always bundle up but there is only so far you can take things off (not to mention the sale!).  Just like the insulation in our house protects us from the cold, our country has insulated itself from the systemic racism that was part of our founding.  Our furnace worked, but it only blew cold air because something was not right.  Our society worked, but it only masked the underlying flaw that led to the Civil War and the unrest of the last half century.  While good may be relative, the flaw needs to be fixed.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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