knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

I used to think I felt stupid

The house I bought last year has one of those split HVAC systems - gas furnace under the house and um...non-gas air conditioning thing outside. And they are both past warranty, and both programmed to die as soon as possible after their warranties expire. Awesome.

This summer, we bought a window AC unit for our bedroom. It was great. I was never at home except for sleeping anyway, and I kept that mutha cranked down at about 55° through July and August. And since the POS outside the house was about as efficient as the Hindenburg, my electric bill was cut in about half. Which was sweet.

But now it's getting cold, and the scary gas furnace under the house is refusing to work correctly. Aside from the freakiness inherent in having combustible fumes piped into my abode, it smells strange, and its efficiency makes the AC look like a Prius.

So I need a new system. I know nothing about these things. Computer? Sure, I can understand the specs. Digital camera? I'm good. Used cars? Not my strong suit, but I'm not an idiot. HVAC? How about I call someone? My local utility company wants to help me, they say. Financing. Something or other about low rates and no down payment. Blah-bliggity-blah-blah. Apparently I don't qualify because I have carried a balance on my account once in the last six months. You know, because I was tearing through a Rolls-Royce payment a month in utility bills and I might have had a little trouble keeping up that ONE TIME. ISN'T THIS WHY I NEED A FUCKING HEAT PUMP IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU HEARTLESS BASTARDS?

So I start calling local contractors. Do you install heat pumps? Do you offer financing for residential installations? No, I am not joking.

It's not that I need that financing, of course. I just like the way $5000 looks sitting in my savings account, and I'd hate to disturb it. Look how cute it is (I think it's asleep...shhh).

How does anyone else pay for these things? Seriously. Is there some secret bank that finances the random shit that happens when you own a house? What the hell am I going to do if something else dies (water heater...I'm calling it now. You heard it here first)?
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10/18/2005 10:45 PM Anonymous Christian

I feel your pain. As new homeshoppers, we bought our house last year with a 30 year old HVAC setup. No biggie, right? 'Been working for 30 years already, why can't it just keep it up.

Well, aside from high utility bills and somewhat moist, musty air, the AC carried us through the summer. When things began to cool down in the fall, I figured we should checkout the old beast of a furnace for real. I had Sarah turn the thermostat to cause the heat to kick on while I was down in the basement checking things out.

That meant that I got to witness the blue flames shooting out of the heat exchanger (I am just using terms that I heard, maybe it was shooting out of the doozle-swaffer). After an exchange of "Turn it off! - What?!?! - Turn it off! Turn it off!" we checked into the "home warranty" that had come with our house.

After haggling with them for a month and deciding we didn't want the white-box with black letters (you know what I'm talking about) HOME FURNACE furnace, they cut us a check for a thousand bucks and we dropped another $4000 or so (our "long term savings") on a high efficiency setup.

So that's how we did it. Oh yeah, having kids and being living in the "low income" bracket helps to get some money back at tax time. And all the sales tax on stuff that we bought to fix up the house helped at tax time too, now that you can deduct sales tax. So I suggest you try those :-)


10/20/2005 8:25 AM Blogger Benny

As for KUB, you are right when you say HEARTLESS BASTARDS! Just wanted to get my name on the KUB HEARTLESS BASTARDS petition.    

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