Furnace Failure

November in my house brings with it an annual guarantee; furnace failure. 

One of our first Thanksgiving days in the home, snow on the ground and temperatures reaching maybe into the teens the furnace just stopped. Not with a bang, but a most elaborate whimper. There are quite a few furnace issues that can be resolved on your own, but the furnace opted to lose its burner assembly and the controlling mother board on that cold Thanksgiving morning. 

My wife and I thought, “meh, blankets for a day we can call a repairman tomorrow.” My father in law felt the repairman would enjoy holiday pay. We spent that whole day with a very nice HVAC pro and his daughter. I am never calling on a holiday again. 

Last year, as November hit and brought on cold evenings, the induction fan just kept cycling and cycling. The pilot light would kick on and then turn right back off. Turns out there’s a little rod that measures system heat and when it gets covered in dust or grime, or whatever collects in a furnace burner area, it tells the system everything is hot enough. For days we thought the system was just loosing efficiency and we started planning for the replacement. 

But thank goodness for the Internet. That little rod can be wiped down with a paper towel and everything works just fine. 

Yesterday afternoon, Sunday of course, the furnace fan just starts spinning again. 

No heat. 


I head into the unit do the wipe down thing and check connections, hit it with some compressed air to clear dust. 



The pilot light was not clicking. It’s electronic, so there’s no steady flame and therefor no hope of an easy repair. 

“To the hardware store!” I say. My buddy and I head over to the big chain store with the broken piece in hand. 

“I don’t have anything like that,” the red vested helper says, “like, in the entire store.”


“You can try this specialty parts place. They’re closed today though,” he continues. 


So on this day of my vacation I am fixing a furnace. Again. Kids are back at daycare at least, enjoying the warmth. I get to be a grown up and fix stuff instead of playing video games. 

Adulting  This is the worst. 


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