All through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for me and my silly old four o’clock worries. It has been cold. How cold is it? It is so cold that the furnace cannot reach what I set the thermostat up to. Yesterday, I tried turning the temperature up to 73 °F, but it maxed out at 72 °F and would not go higher. Last night, I jacked up the thermostat to 70 °F. It normally, automatically goes down to 62 °F, but since Dan is visiting, I figure that the extra heat would be appreciated upstairs where he sleeps. Except, he did not come home last night and ended up couch surfing at a friend’s house. Anyway, all through the night, the furnace would run for about half-an-hour, before kicking off for five minutes and then the cycle would repeat. Two of these cycles passed and then it was five.
We have a relatively new 95% efficient furnace. Its high efficiency precluded the use of the old furnace’s flue, which ran up the chimney. During installation, a hole was cut in the brick wall and a bit of PVC was run to the outside. The new vent has a plastic cover that I noticed yesterday was covered in ice and this was the root of my silly old worries. I imagined that the ice was building up to the point where this vent would be iced over. Then the exhaust would be trapped and then either the carbon-monoxide alarm would sound (like it did when the old furnace died) or not at all and, in that event, we would be found lifeless when Dan eventually came home. Merry Christmas! This morning, Anne and I shoveled the walk and while passing this vexing vent, I noticed more clearly that while the cover had a thick coat of ice, the actual vent hole was completely unobstructed. Moral of the story—don’t worry be happy. Happy Holidays!