Yes I told you about the snowstorm last week, yes I told you about how cold it was, but what I didn't tell you was that in the middle of the snowstorm our heater went out. To be more precise, the fan on the heater went out and we didn't know if it was safe to run it without it. Luckily our house has 2 heaters, one upstairs and one downstairs, it was the downstairs, the main one that went out, so we started running the upstairs one. And even though hot air rises, eventually it does warm the house. We also have 2 propane fireplaces, we were running the one in the family room when this happened so Mac fired up the even bigger one in the living room.
I knew I wouldn't be able to get anyone out here in the snowstorm, but first thing Thursday morning I called a local company who'd done work for us before and they managed to get someone out here that afternoon. He said it was too dangerous to really check the unit which is elevated about 6 feet off the ground (this is the outside part, fan and compressor), but looking at it through the computer room window he said he thought it was frozen, it was covered in ice. He said they'd send someone back out at soon as it was safe to give it a going over. In the meantime we could run it without the fan using emergency heat. The heater itself, and the air conditioner, are both located in the attic, I don't envy anyone having to go up there to work.
Saturday the ice was gone and the fan began working again, looked like the guy might be right. But then it stopped again. Monday they had a technician back out here and he gave us the bad news. Our compressor had gone out and though it could be replaced for about $3,000 the rest of our heater was old enough that this wasn't really practical. Our house was built in 2000, so the heater was going on 18 years old.
They promised to send someone out later in the week to go over it all and give us an estimate of what it would cost to replace the heater.
He came yesterday, really went over everything, measured the square footage of the house, we're near 3,000 sq, ft, and gave us an estimate on replacing both units (up and down) and giving us zone coverage for the house so we only ran it where we needed it. That was the Rolls Royce option: $17,000. We told him that was not what we wanted as the other unit is in great shape, we've used it very little. So then he showed us all the options available and we picked one that will give us the same kind of unit we currently have. They'll use the ducting that's already in place, won't replace the upstairs unit and get it done in one day, plus a 6% discount if we paid cash. It was a price we could live with.
Not how we wanted to start the New Year, but I'm grateful we have the money to get the work done, I know others aren't so lucky. So fingers crossed they should be here next Friday right after our next round of subfreezing nights.