I had an appointment scheduled for this morning to have our furnace cleaned. Yesterday afternoon, much to my surprise, they called to see if they could come over right away. Half an hour later, I showed the guy to the furnace room in the basement and went back to listening to my new Sirius satellite radio and assembling and putting away Liam's Christmas gifts. Until furnace guy came looking for me. He needed to show me something. It was not good news. The bottom of the chimney was COMPLETELY plugged with crud - much of which were pieces of the chimney tiles. He told us that we were lucky that we weren't sick from the carbon monoxide and that he could not turn the heat back on.
So, there we were at 4:30pm, with the help and support of my mother-in-law (thank god!) looking for some chimney people to come see what they could do with the mess. It only took a couple of calls, to find someone, but we would have to wait 2-4 hours as they were at another emergency call. So we scrounged up some space heaters and anxiously waited.
Finally chimney guys arrived. At first they were optimistic. "Yeah, we can get that cleaned out to turn the heat on tonight. But you do need a new liner." Wonderful, I thought as I went back to my living room filled with space heaters.
But soon the optimism was gone as the inside of the chimney collapsed on one of their cleaning brushes and they had to call in their boss for assistance. "You need a whole new chimney," they informed us. "And no heat tonight."
That's when the panic set in. Not so much about the lack of heat, we figured we would be fine with space heaters, but about the $3000 for a new chimney.
However, but 10:30pm when the chimney guys were finally ready to leave, things were looking a little better. We don't need a whole new chimney after all, just a liner, which will cost about $1600. Not something we were at all prepared for but we are all alive and you have no idea how thankful I am for that. Things could have been worse, so very much worse. I can't even imagine what might have happened if I hadn't scheduled that furnace cleaning . . .