Thursday, February 06, 2014

What's With This Whole "Need For Warmth And Shelter" Thing, Anyway?

Despite my last post, it is definitely not spring yet. We actually got snow last night. It's mostly gone already, though, which I understand puts us well ahead of much of the rest of the country.

But it is, indeed, still winter. Which means I still need to heat my house. Which turns out to be slightly problematic, because the ancient wall furnace that functions as my primary heat source apparently decided it would be a fun and nifty thing to start pumping gas into my living room. Fortunately, I managed not to blow up or asphyxiate or anything, and the nice young man from the plumbing and heating company came and adjusted it so that it is not at the moment actively trying to kill me. But he thinks the problem is that the gas valve is starting to wear out. And given that they probably no longer make parts for vintage 1960s "Custom Aire" wall heaters, the whole thing is probably going to need to be replaced.

Ah, well. I think I'm starting to get used to the idea that I will just never be able to keep any money in the bank ever again. Really.


  1. Oh, dear. Is there any chance you can get central air and a furnace put in? I know that sounds expensive and would involve demolition (I'm guessing they'd have to run the ducts through the ceilings), but it would make you happier in the long run.

    By the way, this is a good reason you should have a CO detector, if you don't already have one.

    1. I've vaguely thought about that since I moved in, but, yeah, that would be way expensive and involve lots and lots of work. I'm not even sure where I would put it, either. Not happening any time in the near future, I'm afraid. Especially as the wall heater mostly does OK.

      The scariest thing about this whole situation is that I do have a CO detector... and a few days ago, at 4 AM, it went off. I thought the beeping was it complaining the batteries were bad, so, half asleep, I got up and changed them. Then, an hour and a half later, it did it again, and, still half asleep, I thought, "Geez, is it complaining it needs to be replaced already?," yanked the batteries out, threw the thing in the trash, and went back to bed.

      And, then, of course, when I realized there was actually an issue with the heater, I started to wonder whether it had been trying to warn me of a real problem. But surely, I thought, an actual alarm would be much louder and more sustained than those little beeps it was making? I actually fished the thing out of the trash and looked at the instructions printed on it, and, I swear, they basically amounted to: "Three beeps in a row: change batteries. Four beeps in a row: OMG GET OUT YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. Five beeps in a row: system fault, get a new detector." And I had no freaking idea how many times it had been beeping.

      I now have a new detector, which is supposed to last for ten years with no battery changes, and which has different lights to indicate"problem with the machine" vs "Look out, invisible death gas!"

    2. When you get rich and we build your Librarium, it will be efficiently heated and insulated!

    3. Of course, books on all the walls make for pretty good insulation, too. :)