9:13 a.m. - Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004
Dec. 9 — Owner noticed cold air coming out of vents in house. Brief examination of furnace revealed that liquid propane was not igniting, although all electrical functions appeared to be normal.
Dec. 10 — Owner attempted to re-light the pilot light, following instructions in the user's manual. Attempt failed.
Dec. 11 — Furnace repairman summoned. Furnace pronounced dead approximately 2:17 P.M.
Post-mortem examination revealed the following: Burners heavily filled with soot and particulated metal from interior of heat exchanger. Heat exchanger cracked vertically in third cell, creating danger of asphyxiation to occupants of house. Badly decomposed mouse found with jaw locked around the wire that had electrocuted it; mouse had to be removed with pliers; mouse's biting of the wire unrelated to the death of the furnace, but the girls back at the furnace-place office would probably get a kick out of hearing about it.
I'm writing this way because I've been reading medical reports from the Civil War. I used to be a "Civil War buff" back in high school. My sister still is, I think. I should give her these reports to read. They might cure her. If I read any more about "healthy pus," I think I'm going to puke.
So, anyway, next Saturday I'm going to have a new furnace installed. My goodness, what advances have been made in furnaces in the last ten years! Nowadays, I gather, the exhaust is just a PVC pipe, because the furnace is so efficient in collecting heat that its exhaust is only about 120 degrees. They've also made advances in prices, of course. I paid something like $1711 ten years ago; this time it's going to be about $3500.