Taking Heat For Granted

It happened last year. For about two and a half days, our furnace was out. Of course, it was the middle of January and temperatures were in the 20s. Our house got down to a frosty 56 degrees, and it was NOT pleasant. My poor fish Wolverine was swimming in one place and eyeballing me as if to say, “Heat Dude!” Our hound dog Skittles spent those days curled in a ball with her nose buried in her fur. It was nice to know my wife and I weren’t the only miserable ones.

As it turned out, the controller board on our furnace had gone belly up. Since it was the dead of winter, it took repairmen the aforementioned two and a half days to get our heat up and running again. In order to facilitate some warmth in the living room, I picked up two space heaters with built-in fans that, when properly positioned, actually brought the temperature up to a livable 62 degrees. Once I heard that wonderful click and whoosh of the heat coming back on, I thanked God, and whoever had invented forced-air heating. After that misadventure, I had hoped we were out of the woods for good. Nope.

On Wednesday, January 30th there was a fire at a natural gas pumping station in Armada, MI. That station distributes gas to about half of suburban Detroit. Not good, especially since we were in the middle of a record subzero cold snap. An emergency request popped up on social media, from the CEO of Consumers Energy. She asked everyone to dial down their thermostats to 65 degrees or less for a couple of days. Here we go again! Ironically, after two and a half days, we received the all clear to crank it back up. What I have learned from these two episodes is to NEVER take heat for granted. Keep that in mind, if your power goes out during a sweltering summer. Take it from me, it could always be a LOT worse!

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