Saturday, December 05, 2009

... and speaking of "hot."


It has been quite chilly lately, by Oakland standards. Our old house is, not surprisingly, rather drafty. Our historic heating system works quite well, given its age.

Which is to say that we have heat in the living room, and a couple of space heaters in the bedroom.

Heating systems that involve duct-work came into being after our house was built, and none of the previous owners ever upgraded. We have a single heating register in the living room, that sits on top of our furnace. When Robb was ripping out the dirty shag carpet in the hallway that runs outside the bedrooms and bathroom, he discovered a heating register grate that had been covered over for who-knows-how-many-years. He subsequently crawled under our house, and discovered that the furnace that would had heated that part of the house had been totally disabled. The gas line that once ran to the furnace has been removed.

Robb says that there's an eighty-five year old sticker on that furnace, from the company that did the installation. We imagine that the five-digit phone number on the label works about as well as the furnace.

Robb was sitting in the living room, just now and started started wondering if he was on fire. The place smelled like burning hair.

It turns out that one of the sticky felt pads that Robb had put on the bottom of our chair legs had fallen off, and dropped through the grating and fallen on top of the hot furnace plate thingamajigger. By the time Robb had fished it out, more than half of the wool felt pad had charred away to nothing.

Our house stinks.

Thank goodness for our drafty windows, right?


Anonymous said...

Mulled wine or cider would counter that smell....or drink it and you wouldn't care.

Grumpy Grinch

2007 said...

We grew up in that part of the Bay Area and both remember having 5 digit telephone numbers. BUT, they were preceded by a 2-letter exchange. Mine was YEllowstone 5-0248 and Old Blue's was CLifford 4-0642. My aunts was MIssion 4-0068 (Amazing what one remembers from childhood yet cannot recall what we did yesterday. . .) Does your 5 digit number have a "prefix" like this?

Anonymous said...

We both grew up in that part of the Bay Area and remember 5 digit telephone numbers BUT they were preceded by a 2-letter 'exchange'. Mine was YEllowstone 5-0248. Old Blue's was CLifford 4-0642 and my aunt's was MIssion 4-0068 (Amazing what one remembers from childhood yet can't remember what occurred yesterday. . .) Does that number on the sticker have 2 letters before it?

Gina said...

Struwwelpeter! yay!

Anonymous said...

Oh My goodness! A Max und Moritz cartoon. :-)


Anonymous said...

Hey there- get online and look up your local county weatherization program- I did for my area and discovered that the stimulous money for this year will help to pay for many services- but you have to call up and get on a list first. This used to be a program to help people with limited incomes, or the aged, or the 'handicapped' to weatherize their homes. In my neck of the woods it also exists to help people who have OLDER HOMES with inefficient heating. See where I am going with this? I got on the list and it will take awhile for them to get to me, cause I was an idiot and kept putting off calling them. Not everyone knows about this program. Basically with the Obama Administration, it is stimulous $ used to flesh out an already existing program- You get on the list and a guy comes out and does a heat loss reading of your house both in summer and winter to see where you are loosing heat (winter) or cool air (summer). This is not charity- your taxes pay for it. New home owners don't need it, people like you and me with older house need it. Primarily this helps little old ladies on limited incomes to save $ and not freeze to death. New windows? New furnace? crumbling chimneys? The group talked me thru insulating our attic this summer- they give advice and are happy to do so for do-it-yourselfers. They have a team of people who come out and help and advise, and in some cases, actually build and fix things needed beyond normal fix-it chores. AND it gives jobs to trained people who need work- so I love that!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Gary looked at your blog posting, and he suggests that you get some hardwirwe cloth screening, covered with a fine mesh metal screen (like for a screen door). Fit this underneath your heat register, and it will trap any debris that may fall into your furnace.

Good idea!


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

The felt didn't so much as fall into the furnace, as fall onto the top of the furnace.

We're going to be more careful about this in the future. Hopefully, nothing else will fall in.

(Good thing we don't have small children, huh?)

Gina said...

Oh, I dunno. In my experience, the smell of the small child is usually unbearable long before any REAL damage is done.....

Anonymous said...

Fried kitty cat also smells bad!

A and G

Anonymous said...

Imagine the smell of boiling crayon.... Small children and furnace vents are ALWAYS an adventure.


Karen Anne said...

This is sounding more and more like my bungalow.

There were two small gas floor heaters that I had removed, one that had venting problems and was immediately in front of the refrigerator and one in the narrow hallway that ran between the two bedrooms, right in front of a bedroom door. I only left the large one in the living room and used portable space heaters elsewhere.

I think the grate over them was too fine for most things to fall through. I used to worry about the cats potentially burning their feet on the grate, but they always avoided it.

I meant to take the two small no longer used grates with me when I moved, but in the moving commotion I forgot :-(


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