Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Furnace on the Fritz

Ok, it's not really broken. It was working rather well, although at the expense of over $220 per month. It's just that a weird thing happened to me on Tuesday evening. Eric was working, and I was home, just watching the Olympics. There was a knock at my door. Salesman? I hope not. Ward member? Please, no!

It turned out it was a guy from the local gas company, who was in our neighborhood because a smell of gas had been reported. Through the official nose-test, he concluded it was coming from our house. But then he said something that keeps seeming stranger and stranger to me. He said that the smell he smelled outside our house was carbon monoxide. K, wait a second. I asked him if CO wasn't odorless. He said, yes it is, but it does have an odor when it's mixed with other chemicals. Not once did he say that there was a natural gas leak, which is weird, because he then turned off my natural gas (with my permission). I was freaked out that there could be CO in our house, slowly killing us. I packed up the kids, and went straight to my mom's house, where we spent the night. Painfully. (It's mom's house; 'nuff said)

So now we're replacing our old furnace. It needed to be done anyway, as it's the same age as the house. But tonight we're sleeping here, albeit a little coldly. The nice heating/air guy gave us a couple of portable heaters which are doing well at keeping us fairly comfortable. We are predicting many years of satisfaction with our new furnace. It will save us money on the gas bill, and will be much less noisy than the old one.

Has anyone heard of CO having an odor? Has this gas-company guy inhaled too much poison himself? I'd appreciate any input.


Sideon said...

Better safe than sorry on that one! I'm glad you guys packed up and spent the night elsewhere. Freaky story, though. Maybe the guy was your natural gas angel?

We installed a new furnace and A/C unit last summer and the difference has been amazing: less fuel consumption and much quieter!

Get one of those carbon monoxide detectors. I think they're under $20 at Home Depot.

RLP said...

Good idea about the detector, even with a new furnace. Just to be on the safe side. Make sure your smoke detector is in working order too!

Never heard of it having an odor, even if mixed with chemicals. What chemicals? Where did the other chemicals come from. I know they mix chemicals with some gases to make smell, like propane. Guess the natural gases might not smell, until they add some stuff.

They have sensors as well, that can sniff for them if need be. Sometimes things happen for a reason and at least now you should reap some benefits. I hope he showed all the proper ID before you let him in, though.

Will check it out when we get there sometime this year.

J. said...

Scary stuff La. I agree with both posters. Did this guy show all the proper ID?

I hope that everything works out with the new furnace. You have been surely going through alot lately.

Let us know if there is anything we can do.



Eric said...

They came back with definitive results on our carbon monoxide problem. Beans & chili.