Heater Saga: when the heat fails

It was October 27th, 2017. We were all snuggled up on the living room couch having a Stranger Things season 2 marathon with our Eggos and Coke, when we all started to get headaches and nausea. Then we noticed an odd smell. Initially I thought it was coming from outside, but, after a few minutes of disorientation, it dawned on me.

That Is Gas. A Gas Leak.

Queue a call to 911, us grabbing our bug out bags, evacuating into the front yard, the firefighters coming, the gas company coming, my dog losing her shit at the strangers, and all the mess leading to the eventual discovery that we have a crack in the heat exchanger of our gas fireplace.

For most people a gas fireplace is a somewhat decorative appliance that cuts out the need for wood and still feels cozy. For our home though, with it’s placement near the stairs in the lower level of our split level, it was how we heated quite efficiently. At least, up until that moment.

Backup heat you say? Not really. We have a grand total of 3 functional baseboard heaters in our otherwise. One in the bathroom, one in my daughter’s bedroom, and one in the master bedroom. None downstairs. None in the living spaces that function. It hadn’t been on my radar to get them fixed because they are so damn inefficient and expensive anyways.

So. Just before Halloween. In Eastern Washington. With snow already showing in the forecast. Two kids under ten. Under $500 in the bank.

There is a rush to do a lot of things right away. Some I now regret. Some that was immediately beneficial. A lot that I wish I knew right off the bat. I want to spend the next few Monday posts talking about what went wrong for us, and what went right, what we did in the two months it took to get a new system put in, and of course, how we are doing now.


If you want to read the rest in this series, this was Part 1.
Part 2: what to do immediately
Part 3:more ways to stay warm
Part 4: what we bought

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