The Heat is On

This post by Jennifer Flaten

Our furnace died on Sunday, not with a whimper but a bang, a huge, terrifying bang that had an accompanying scent of natural gas. So, we evacuated our house on a cold, very cold, Sunday morning. Most of us in a state of dishabille, but the dog thrilled at the impromptu ride in the car.

We called the gas company from the driveway. Since we didn’t want to go back into the house and needed to stay warm while we waited for the gas company to come we drove around our neighborhood. Endless circles of the same 10 block area.

The kids kept commenting that the couldn’t believe our neighbors didn’t call the police as they saw the same little red car pass the house for the 100th time. I reminded them most everyone else was most likely sleeping!

The gas company inspection deemed the house safe to enter, but he turned off the gas and declared the furnace “unsafe”.

So began the calling around for an HVAC guy. We found a local guy who could come out immediately. When he arrived, he only confirmed what we already knew, the furnace needed to be replaced. In an interesting twist, the technician was the same technician who put the furnace in the house 24 years ago.

We have three cats and the dog, finding alternate housing would’ve been next to impossible, so we opted to stay in the house until the install on Tuesday.

It was fun, in a “we know this will end soon” kind of way. We huddle around the space heater, wore a huge amount of layers and slept in beds piled with covers (and chilly animals).

The only thing that froze was the jar of Nutella in the cabinet on the kitchen’s outside wall. It is seized up, you can scoop it out and eat it like a little truffle…not that I’ve done that.

On Tuesday, the install went smooth and surprisingly quick. When the new furnace whooshed on, I’ve never been happier. After school, the kids came home and immediately sprawled across the vents pumping out the sweet, hot air.

I am hoping for a less adventure-filled weekend this week.

Browse my jewelry on Etsy


12 thoughts on “The Heat is On

  1. Kind of reminds me of the adventure of a category 1 or 2 hurricane. First, the actual storm… the high winds and the pounding rain and the sounds of pine trees snapping and falling. Second, the cleanup… the sawing of fallen trees, trips to ER because of wasp stings, the racket of generators blaring away, days and days without showers. Yes, a grand adventure.


  2. I don’t think Mike could have said it better, Jennifer, but it’s always the unexpected that creates the most memories. Glad you were all ok, it could have been a real disaster. It sounds like your family had fun and turned a disaster into a good memory. Enjoy the new furnace!


  3. I was told last fall my furnace should be replaced, but because it was too expensive, I opted for a new part instead. After reading this, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Now that I have money from the sale of my deceased father’s house, I’m probably in a position to afford a new furnace so if I can just hang on until spring…


  4. What an adventure and I bet a story the kids will tell when they are much older! Family bonding. My husband tells of waking up to frost inside the bedroom as a kid, so you had a time-travel sort of adventure. Your positive atitude shines through.


  5. When these things happen the only thing to do is to look on the bright side and pretend that ‘camping in’ in freezing weather is THE thing to do. I’m glad your furnace got replaced. you’ll be toasty now. 😉


  6. Hey Jennifer,

    As bad as that sounds (and an unfortunate hit to the pocketbook too), it will probably a story you’re family will have for several generations. So glad you got your heat back.



  7. I’m glad you’ve got heat again and I know what you mean about being able to enjoy the novelty of the situation since you know it will end soon. 🙂 Great post and love the new picture of you.


  8. Great post, Jennifer! An entertaining story about your adventure. Those things can be fun when you know they won’t last long. A couple years ago in a winter power outage of a few days, I found I could cook using an iron skillet in the gas fireplace–which was my only source of heat. Blankets, candles, flashlights, and burgers cooked in the fireplace. It was kind of fun.


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