This morning I woke up and it was really cold. And not just the outside temperature. I’m talking about the inside temperature. I rolled my butt out of bed and quickly threw on my green and pink polka-dotted pajama pants (I was sleeping in shorts) and black sweatshirt. I went down to crank the thermostat up and start the coffee.
When the husband's away, the wife will play with the thermostat.
— Amy Flory (@FunnyIsFamily) December 5, 2015
When I looked at the thermostat it read 59F. No wonder I was so cold. I pushed the UP button to get the thing going, but the heat didn’t come on. I pushed the button again like I was in an elevator trying to get the door to close and I kept pushing the button over and over even though I only needed to push it once. No heat.
I texted Steve at work and he told me to consult the manual online. I pulled it up and stared blankly at it before deciding to call the support line listed on the inside of the thermostat. I explained to the man that my heat wasn’t coming on and since we moved in we’ve never really known how to work our thermostat. The previous owners had it hooked up to their iPad and I’m still convinced they have access to it and move the heat up and down at will just to toy with us.
Thermostat man asked me to remove the entire thermostat from the wall by pushing a little button. I removed it but instead of the entire thermostat, just the front panel came off exposing the circuit board inside with the back still attached to the wall. Oh crap, what did I do? Did I just break it? Is this what he meant? Apparently it is what he meant. After his patronizing response and me getting short with him I learned that apparently when he said, “take the entire thermostat off the wall” he actually meant “just the front panel.” But what do I know? I’m just a stay-at-home-mom. Jerk.
He had me reset the thermostat and walked me through resetting the date and time (which were already set, but I didn’t feel like dealing with telling him it was already set). It still didn’t work. Then he told me to unscrew and remove the white and red wires and touch them together to make a spark and see if that would kick the furnace on.
In spite of his trying to convince me that it was perfectly safe, all I could picture was touching those two wires together and turning into that fiery character, Te Kā from Moana. Fortunately, I needed a really tiny screwdriver to get the wires out. I told him I didn’t know if I had a screwdriver that small. I lied. I just didn’t feel like looking for it or dying from electrocution. So I told him I would just call the furnace guy and I hung up.
In the meantime I reheated my coffee and put on my coat and boots and considered putting on gloves and a hat.
I searched for the contact information from the furnace company from when we had it installed less than two years ago. Steve told me to check the file cabinet which prompted me to go through every single installation guide and manual and throw out the ones we no longer had the appliances for. Do we really need all these Ikea building instruction guides? Then I began to revamp our entire filing system. Papers were all over the floor. I never found the information from the furnace company and I couldn’t see a name on the furnace itself. Finally, Steve sent me the website for the furnace company. I called and they said they would send someone over today. Yay!
While we waited, we homeschooled and ate lunch and the kids fought and Josiah put on his snow pants.
The furnace guy came just after 1pm and I quickly ushered him to the thermostat first. He looked it over and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So he went downstairs to the furnace. He immediately called me back down and pointed to a light switch on the furnace.
He said, “It looks like the furnace was turned off. This switch is for the furnace and needs to be in the ON position.”
What the…? Who would have turned it off?
He said, “Maybe the kids…playing hide and seek?”
Gasp! They were playing hide-and-seek the night before! How did he know? I went upstairs and looked at each of the kids and said, “There’s a light switch on the furnace, did anybody touch it?”
Autumn said, “Oh yeah, that was me.” Like all she had done was thrown away a piece of trash from the floor.
“Oh. That was you?” That’s the moment when I typically would have blown my stack right through the roof, but the furnace guy was still there and I had already blown my stack pretty much to the moon the previous night over the kids’ fighting. I just looked at them with my shoulders slumped, eyes half-closed, kind of like a Muppet. Then I very clearly explained that the furnace switch must stay on and you must not ever touch a switch unless you know what it’s for. And then we all took our coats off and celebrated.
Although I mostly celebrated that I didn’t get that screwdriver and touch those red and white wires together.