Friday, January 09, 2009

Ahhh....Getting Warm Again

Yessss...the heater's working again. This morning, or last night, was one of those rare occasions where our forced air gas heater stopped working.

I thought I noticed it when I was laying in bed for the hour or so before I got up. The heater's blower just kept blowing and blowing. It never seemed to stop. Usually you can hear it while the heater is on and warming the house but it stops when it reaches the designated temperature. This morning it just kept going.

So I get up and the house doesn't seem all that cold, but not all that warm either. I'm thinking it's just me, but I put on my three layers of morning clothes and, while not cold, I don't feel warm either. I'm hoping it might just take some time for me to warm up but that's usually not the case.

I take a look at and it's supposed to be 32 degrees outside. It certainly doesn't feel that cold in the house. I get up and check the barometer/ thermometer on the wall under the thermostat. It says it's around 55 degrees in here. It should be closer to 60 with the thermostat set at that temperature. Is that heater actually heating?

Of course, I could go into the bathroom and put my hand over the heater vent and see if there's warm air coming from it. I hold off on that mostly because, if there isn't any warm air, the heater isn't working and I'll have to deal with it. I really don't want to deal with it.

I check the room temperature maybe 45 minutes later. It's down closer to 52 degrees. Nope. Unless it's really, really cold outside, the heater doesn't seem to be working. I check the heating vent in the bathroom. No warm air coming out of it.

Damn. Now I have to interrupt my morning internet activities to see if I can get the heater going. I'm worried it might be like that one time where the heater valve was plugged and I had to pay $100 to get a guy to come fix it.

It wasn't all that bad, though, except for all the junk I had in the garage in front of the door to the heater closet. Once I made it in to the closet my first fear is that I can't smell natural gas and wonder if the heater is defective and gas might have built up. I had a gas oven explode in my face years ago and don't want a repeat of that. I realize that gas valves, or whatever they're called, are designed to turn of if the pilot light is out but I've never trusted them, paranoid guy that I am.

But not to worry and, when I think of it, I realize the electric fan that runs the heater would likely have ignited any built up gas. Still, I turn my head away from the heater when I light the long wooden match we have on hand for lighting the pilot light.

Next worry was that the match wouldn't stay lit. Seems the match stick is damp, or something, as the flame starts to flicker out but I roll the stick and finally get what seems to be a lasting flame. I stick it in toward the pilot light and it pops into a blue flame right away. That's what you want, a blue flame. If the line is plugged up it burns yellow.

I go inside half expecting the pilot light to go out again by the time I can turn the thermostat back up. That's happened before. Nope. It takes a while for the heater to go on but warm air is once again coming into the house. Problem fixed for now.

Life is good for the next few hours, or until something else happens.


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