Today’s cautionary tale brought to you by the letter F, for furnace. And failure. And f*ck.

So here’s my nickel’s worth of free advice for you.

When your 19 year old (but only two months old to you) furnace starts making odd squeaky noises when it starts up, you should not ignore it. You may wish to ignore it, especially if you are in the midst of a newly identified mould remediation project which will cost you in the neighbourhood of $2,000, and a sump pump replacement that will cost you $1975, and the laying of new carpets which will cost you $1,300, and electrical work that will cost you just shy of a grand, and the ripping out and replacement of the basement shower, to fix the cause of the mould problem, whose cost has not yet been addressed, all of which makes December an incredibly expensive month already. Not to mention the $975 for snow tires. You may try, as we did, to deceive yourself into thinking that “Well, maybe that’s just the noise that a nearly 20 year old furnace makes.”

That would be a mistake. Because when you come home from work on a Friday afternoon to find out that your furnace has died, the labour costs to replace the blower (not, as you were so desperately hoping, the heat exchanger, that was replaced 10 months ago and still under warranty) will be double the rates they would have been if it were not Friday night.

So. That’s water, electricity, air and heat. That just about covers it, don’t ya think? Wait, don’t answer that question. I’m afraid to ask what else there could possibly be.

The good news is, at least I don’t have to lie in bed at night, listening to the nauseating squeak of an obviously ailing furnace and fretting the worst, right?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

14 thoughts on “Today’s cautionary tale brought to you by the letter F, for furnace. And failure. And f*ck.”

  1. ooooof!

    well, it is only money…

    Hang in there, Dani!

    Does homeowner’s insurance cover the mold damage?

  2. We bought our house w/ a similarly aged furnace. The sale was conditional on their having the furnace inspected and deemed in good condition.

    Which it was.. until a month or so after we moved in and I smelled gas. There was a crack somewhere and the furnace was unsafe and needed to be replaced immediately. Did it suck? Yeah. But there was no recourse – we’d been living there already. The seller had met our condition and the inspection had deemed the furnace old but in running condition. Don’t even get me started on what we found behind the wood paneling in the third bedroom. :p Or how the house is plumbed. Older homes need a lot of upkeep and, in our case (as it was in the same family for about 100 yrs), A LOT of updating! 😉

    If it’s any consolation, IME expensive years are followed directly by much less expensive years. ;D

  3. Oh man that sucks huge. I hope this is the last of it! I remember when I was on mat leave with M (he is 5 now) and we innocently booked a routine service of our furnace. Just to get it checked out, you know. Well there was a crack in the heating thingamagiger and the service man red tagged it and shut it down. Told us we needed a new one. It was summer, but I was on mat leave with very limited income (my work does no top ups). It was horrible, I cried and swore. WHY did we get it serviced… I know it was for the best but dam it hurt to fork over all that money for a new furnace. It ended up being the straw that broke my mat leave back and I had to head back to work early. DH too the balance of the leave (without pay since he was an independent contractor at the time). It sucked.

  4. As Dean Dad said, its only money. Only he didn’t say it enough times. One has to say it over and over again for at least a hour before one starts to actually feel it.

    Home January doesn’t cost you a penny.

  5. Repeat until all the bills are paid, or until you win a lotter, whichever comes first.

    You love your home. You love your home. You love your home. You love your home….

  6. On the plus side, at least it didn’t wait until the dead of winter to break. Replacing a furnace when it’s -30 is even less fun. My in-laws had that amusement. It took them three weeks to get a new one. In the meantime they used many electrical baseboard heaters and prayed hard that the pipes didn’t freeze.

    My husband was so traumatized by the experience that we actually keep a few critical spare furnace parts on hand. Just in case!

  7. Yikes, that’s a lot of money! If only the kids would appreciate a new furnace as a Christmas gift, you’d be all set.

  8. I hate to say it, but it sounds like you’ve purchased a money pit. Since these are all infrastructure items/issues, however, you should be in the clear for many, many years after you get through this rough patch. Some things, like a great community, beautiful street, and healthy children, are priceless. I’m sure you’re continuing to keep all of this in mind at this frustrating and stressful time.

    My Dad has always said that problems that can easily be resolved with money aren’t really problems at all. Take a deep breath and know that you are now owed a huge boatload of good karma.

  9. Awwwww man 🙁 Ever since reading about your mold problem, I’ve been sending you super positive vibes.. apparently I need to step it up a bit more.

    Hang in there – it’s going to turn around.

  10. I am so feeling for you right now, Dani girl.

    …but the neighhood is worth it – but the neighbourhood is worth it – but the neighbourhood is worth it… That’s our mantra too, we live in old ottawa south, 90 year old house. I think in the 6 years we’ve been here, everything has been replaced, we basically live in a new house.

    …but, umm, how many k later?

    I know what you’re talking about. On the other hand, we were fortunate enough to make all those decisions ourselves, about when we wanted to change the furnace, electrical, drywall, flooring, insulation, plumbing, etc. And December? Could it please come at a worse time? Just awful.


  11. This once again proves that some of these home inspection that are ‘madatory’ for a house to be sold are a crock.
    I feel you pain…I had a water heater die and leak all over my main floor a month to the day of closing…what the inspector DIDN’T mention after telling me that the water heater was on its last legs was that the code on venting hot water tanks had recently changed…even if I was renting the hot water heater….I had to pay $700 for ‘special’ tubes and make trenches in my perfect walls and ceiling to have the proper pipes put in there + labour.

    The joys….yes, its only money, you can make more…but isnt it more fun to spend on fun things?

    You’ll get through this!

  12. I hear you girl. We’re trying to pretend that the floor of our bathroom isn’t rotting under the bathtub, So far, so good. Wish us luck because after the kitchen (see website), we need a little break.

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