Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's -9 degrees out there, with a high of 2 predicted. I am living my nightmare. If I wanted to look on the bright side, I could be happy that my heating issues out here on the farm have been solved or at least are being managed. It took some time but I was able to get my landlord to understand that the farmhouse was not a comfortable place to live for the first couple of weeks. He's a nice old guy and I believe him when he said he wasn't aware of all the issues, and he and the handyman are getting each problem fixed. It took writing a letter then an angry phone call one cold Saturday morning when I couldn't stand it any longer.
The corn-burning stove works great but effectively heats only the living room. The wood stove is also great but messy and labor-intensive. Maybe I'm soft but when I get home from work, I generally don't feel like immediately dealing with ashes and making a fire. My main issue was that the home's heating system wasn't working properly. No heat was coming out of the vents. Handyman Lyle worked on it and even called in a heating guy. Between dealing with the two of them scheduling time together out here, getting parts and Lyle having other jobs, 2-3 weeks had passed and temps were dropping. After hearing Lyle say again that the heat was working fine down in the basement and they couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting heat upstairs, I was ready to kill somebody. Luckily, instead, I called a few heating companies and found out how much it would cost to have them diagnose the problem on that cold Saturday. Armed with these numbers, I called the landlord and proposed getting the problem fixed that day and the cost would be subtracted from next month's rent. I was expecting an argument from him but he said fine and the heating company had someone out a couple hours later. It took the man a little while to understand the tangled mess of pipes and valves that had evolved over the years (house is about 100 years old) but he explained it to Lyle for potential future problems and I had warmth in the house! It's not perfect by any means but I could relax for the first time. It was an incredibly stressful time for me and I'm glad it's over.