This isn't a normal Random Thoughts & Tidbits post. It's a really long story, and a lot to read, but I wanted to share.
Funny thing happened yesterday. Funny in the, are-you-friggin'-kidding-me, kind of way.
So we've had the new oven hooked up for a couple weeks now, but every time I used the stove, there was a major gas smell coming from it. I tried not to use it if I didn't have to, and when I did, I opened all the doors and windows. Not safe, I'm sure. So we finally had the gas company come out yesterday morning to check it out. He confirmed that we did indeed have a gas leak and he spent about 30 minutes fixing the problem and double checking everything. While he was here I had mentioned that we have a gas furnace, water heater, and dryer, as well. He was getting ready to leave and then turned and asked if I wanted him to have a look at the other things while he was here. Sure, why not. Since you're here.
All three of the other appliances are in the "laundry room." It's more of a utility room/pantry/storage/animal food station/recycling/etc., right off the kitchen. It's also where we're washing dishes at this point. And it's a MESS. Like, total embarrassing nightmare, mess. I told him not to judge me before I opened the door.
So he goes in and the first thing he sees is a duct coming off the furnace that isn't connected. Apparently extremely dangerous, but just needed a few screws to fix it. Okay, easy enough. Then he points out everything that's sitting way too close (like on top of and right next to) the water heater, dryer, and furnace. Bad, bad he tells me. Major fire hazards. Okay, I'll clean the room when you leave. (I did for real, I swear). Then he starts examining the duct work closer and finds all the joints are rusting out. Greeeeat. Also, the incline coming from the water heater duct isn't to code. Greaaaat.
So then it's time for him to open up the furnace panel. He gets it off and says, er, when's the last time this was serviced? Um, never? We had someone come out several years ago when it wasn't working, but other than that......So he's pokin' around in there, gets down on his knees with his flashlight and says, Oh God. Not exactly the phrase you want to hear from someone who works for the gas company.
So, apparently, the heat exchanger is cracked. Yeah, I had no idea what that meant either. But then he proceeds to tell me that it's a miracle my kids are still alive. Um, excuse me? So carbon monoxide has been pouring into our house through the vents for God only knows how long. He immediately went out to his truck to get stuff to cap and disable the furnace. He then tied red tags on the outside of it, deeming it a major health and safety hazard, and inoperable.
If that wasn't enough, the room is also lacking something called combustion air and needs venting put in through the roof and crawlspace.
Sooooooo, in total, we need a brand new furnace, all new duct work, and combustion air vents put in. We're having two companies come out and give us some bids, one tomorrow night and then Friday morning. A conservative guess is somewhere between four and five THOUSAND dollars. And that's where the funny, are-you-friggin'-kidding-me?????, comes in.
I was talking to my sister about it and she brought up the regular headaches that The Kid gets. It's quite possible that we've been causing them by slowly poisoning him with carbon monoxide. Jesus.
So financially, with a kitchen remodel that isn't even finished yet, this is not the greatest time to be getting this kind of news. Like, we have zero pennies for a new furnace. BUT, I keep thinking, thank God The Dad hooked up the stove wrong. And thank God, the gas guy turned back around and suggested checking on our other stuff. I don't even want to think about what could have happened, now that the weather is cooling off enough to have the heat on every day. I have to wonder if the stove malfunction was just a fluke or a coincidence. Or was someone lookin' out for us? So scary.
If anything happened to our kids because of our negligence, how could we ever live with ourselves?
The moral of the story is, pay the service fee to have someone come out and check your furnace. We will be promptly installing carbon monoxide detectors in the house, as well.