minor house disasters and other fun adventures
So last week I woke up to it being cold as fuck on the first floor of the house. Granted, that’s kind of normal because the basement is particularly terribly insulated, but this was accompanied by an ominous message from the Ecobee along the lines of: “the thermostat has been calling for heat for the past 3 hours, but the temperature has dropped by 3F, check that the equipment is functioning properly”
Oh boy. this has happened before and usually just means maybe I waited too long to change a filter, the pump tripped the gfci, or the air intake got blocked somehow. So I go down there and start pulling shit out and resetting it. That’s all fine and good, but when I cycle the furnace on and off it just starts flashing a diagnostic LED. helpfully, that’s on the door: open limit switch. Open limit switch? The hell does that mean? Google doesn’t enlighten me much. Could mean any number of things, but it might just be a bad switch. That doesn’t sound terrible, time to call an HVAC person because I have exhausted my furnace knowledge.
So I’m going to go back for a second to explain, when I bought the house it was pretty clear whoever installed the furnace was a hack, it was sitting on some bricks in a dirt pit and the duct work was a total fucking disaster left over from the octopus furnace days of olde. And none of it was insulated. My ex roommate did wrap the ducts up which helped but they were full of holes and in some places just totally blowing up into the floor, with no duct boot or anything.
Anyway I called the HVAC person and he spends a good like, 30 minutes trying shit before he gets out a camera and starts poking around the insides and oops, the heat exchanger cracked, which he was kind enough to show me on camera and then offer to take apart the furnace and show me to be 100% sure if they did replace the furnace. He thought maybe the blower motor was struggling because of poor air flow if I hadn’t changed the filter often enough but it had been running for a week on a brand new filter... so..
Now I’ve got to get a new furnace, and I’m talking with their sales guy and he’s like “you know this is a 100,000 BTU furnace?” which I kind of laughed and was like “what the fuck?” because the first thing I did was dive headfirst into reading about new furnace shit, and my house is like... 1400sq feet. That’s like, a 60,000 BTU furnace or so. So the working theory is that the overkill furnace cycled on and off so much it just self destructed, along with the undersized duct work.
While they’re in there, I’m like, you know what? Just do the duct work too. This whole thing sucks and there’s no point in getting a nice new furnace if the duct work is a steaming pile of shit.
So they ripped out fucking everything in the basement and replaced it: new intake/exhaust, new furnace, new ducts. It's more comfortable already, and way quieter than what was there before. Also it looks actually professionally done instead of just heaped into a pit like the old one.
I ended up taking financing but I'm just going to use it to boost my credit score by paying it off with the HELOC I have.