Last October, I had planned a family party at our house. The afternoon of the celebration, I still had a ton of grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning to do. I was not excited when I woke up to see blizzard conditions. We had gotten seven inches of snow overnight, and it was still falling steadily. The outside temperature had plummeted to thirty degrees. Since I wanted a comfortable apartment for our guests, I turned up the heating control component a bit before heading to the store. Because I had to shovel the driveway, brush snow off the car, and scrape the ice from the windshield, it took much longer than expected to get groceries. Plus, the roads were a mess and traffic was moving easily slowly. By the time I made it back home, I was low on time. I was concerned that I wouldn’t get everything done before the guests showed up. When I stepped inside my house, I knew I had bigger things to worry about. Although I had raised the setting on the control unit, the house was cold. The gas furnace was absolutely not running. Since my knowledge of heating system maintenance is limited to cleaning the filter and changing the batteries on the control unit, I called a local heating contractor for help. I explained my big desperation, and they promised to send a contractor right over. While I waited, I did some of the food preparation and started up the oven, hoping it would warm up the apartment a bit. I was relieved when the contractor showed up, took care of the gas furnace and told me the problem was a straight-forward buildup of dust. It took him about an hour to wash the several components, and then the gas furnace started right up.
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