Monday, November 15, 2010

The House Without Heat

Yes. You read that correct. We have been living in a house that doesn't have heat. But we knew this before buying the house. The existing furnace is... WAS.... about 60 years old. During our home inspection the inspector got it to turn on, but it wasn't circulating any hot water. He left the furnace on for about a hour and a half, but not one radiator felt warm. So we had a mechanical engineer come in and take a look at it, and then give us a quote to replace it. Turns out that the circulator was broken and therefore not circulating the hot water. Makes sense, right? Apparently this was something that could be fixed for approximately $500, but the furnace is 60 years old. And didn't appear to be in good shape. It needed to be replaced. So we asked for money off of the asking price for it, and were given it.

Fast forward to October. We are now living in the house full time. It's cold, but not unbearable yet. In September a neighbor of my parents emailed me to tell me about an interest free loan offered by the state for emergency repairs/replacements of heating systems. And we qualify for it. So R began the long process of applying (it was basically like applying for a mortgage again, only this time we kept having to go get stuff notarized). Meanwhile we're wearing 3 sweatshirts and a couple pairs of socks to bed, sleeping underneath 6 thick blankets. It was actually kind of fun... if you ignore the fact that most nights I couldn't feel my fingers. I was worried about Madison being in the house all day... but she also had about 6 blankets in her crate, plus 2 very thick blankets covering the crate, insulating her. And every day when I got home from work I'd check her to make sure she wasn't cold. At least once or twice a week my parents would call to make sure we weren't too cold (though I think they just wanted Madison! :) ). Clients of mine would also call frequently asking if we were too cold. I felt very loved.

Finally the first week of November we were approved for the loan ($6,000) plus an extra $1,200 to replace three radiators (the large one in the Kitchen, the smaller one we removed in the Kitchen to put in cabinets, and the one in my Office that didn't work and just leaked all over the floor even though it was disconnected). All in all $7,200 isn't that much money, but with this interest free loan it's only going to be $30 a month. I like that! 

The oil company reserves Mondays for emergency cases.. which we were. They scheduled us for Monday November 15th and Tuesday November 16th.  They worked very fast and efficiently... arriving at about 7:30 am on the 15th and were completely done with everything by 5 pm that night. Very impressive! Especially seeing as the big radiator in the Kitchen weighed over 500 pounds!

Pictures to come tomorrow! Right now we're just enjoying our heat!!


  1. Wow!! I feel your pain. When we first bought this house it only had space heaters - which I was pretty cautious of using. We're in Texas so it was terribly cold - but a couple of nights sleeping without heat in a house below freezing and I figured out how to live with my space heaters pretty quick. We put in central heat about 15 years ago - it's awesome :-)

  2. We had someone offer us a space heater, and my husband found one in the shed, but like you, I was very cautious about using them. So we didn't. I have a feeling if for some reason it got to be December or January and we still didn't have heat I would have learned to accept them, but lucky for us it was a relatively "warm" fall (and by warm I mean warm for a New England fall.. the coldest it got in the house was low 40's, maybe high 30's).