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.