07 December, 2008

Carrier Furnace Repair, or Landlord Woes

A few days after the boiler went out for the tenants' unit upstairs, the furnace went out at the condo. Only, the tenants over there didn't bother calling us until today. Saturday. They were without heat for two whole days. Did I mention it's only 15 degrees in Chicago? Me? I would have called the landlord immediately! As the landlord, I'm thankful the pipes didn't burst from the cold.

When we got over to the condo this afternoon, the floors were like ice. I had kicked off my shoes so I wouldn't track snow into the unit, and then I said the heck with that, because my feet quickly became so numb I couldn't stand it. And I have a very high tolerance for cold. How could they have lasted for two days???

The furnace is a Carrier, although I can't remember the model number offhand. We read the error code and narrowed down what the problem was, but, unlike the boiler, we didn't think we could fix it ourselves. So we called in the pros. Our usual go-to HVAC guy said he would have to order parts, as he didn't have anything on hand, and so we--shudder--picked someone from the phone book, because I was without an internet connection and couldn't check Angie's List for recommendations. So AAA Heating and Cooling of Chicago came out, and fairly quickly, too.

Well, the repair guy examined it for only a minute or so (I'm not kidding) and diagnosed it as something with the inducer. Of course, he didn't have a new one on the truck, but said he could get one Monday. Then he told us it would cost $685. Yup, for a spare part. He did get the thing working again, but told us it would be a temporary fix, that it would probably blow out again, and we really needed a new part. We were still reeling from the knowledge of how much this would cost, and said we'd like to think about it. He said unless we made a decision to go with the work now, this very minute, he'd have to charge us a second service call on Monday. Ted stood firm, despite the pressure, and said we'd let them know then, but would go with the temporary fix for the weekend. The service guy finally relented and said if we call Monday, he'll make sure we didn't get charged for a second call.

When we got home, Ted did a cursory search on Google and found the part for less than a hundred bucks--don't know if that's brand new or reconditioned. It looks fairly easy to install, just a few screws and hooking up some wire. I think we can do it. As long as the temporary fix is holding, we'll check with a few local stores on Monday and see if we can just pick up the part and pick their brains regarding installation. At the moment, however, I'm thinking that AAA Heating and Cooling has a tremendously large profit margin built into their pricing. I'm not sure we'll call them back either way.

My personal theory as to why the furnace shut down is this: When we got to the condo, we found that 85% of the floor registers were covered over with furniture or closed completely. That had to be wreaking havoc with the motor, I should think. So I left the tenants a note that they'll have to rearrange their furniture to uncover those.

*Sigh* I wish we could just sell the place and be done with it.

But enough of that. Now, it's Kitten Time!!!

See how sweet they are? Sleepy little babies. But don't let their calm demeanor fool you. These guys are little terrors, getting into absolutely everything. I forgot what it's like to have such young kittens! Trouble, trouble, trouble. But there is nothing sweeter than little kitten kisses and tiny little mews, so I'll forgive them just about anything.


Jayne said...

Wow, that's a big difference in price. Good thing you checked. And those kittens are sooo cute!

Anonymous said...

Awww! Such sweet faces, and I love how they're so snuggled up together that you can't tell where Seamus ends and Bella begins.

My grown-up cats conspired to bring a living bird in through the cat flap yesterday. Shrieks and hysteria ensued ... and that was just me.

The cats were ultimately frustrated when a friend and I managed to get the bird to fly out. I'm still shuddering. Still picking up feathers. Still imbibing.

Topic? Oh, yes. I've been using All-Temp heating and a/c for a few years. Not the cheapest in town, but reasonable. They're good folks, family-owned, in business for 50 or so years. If you join their comfort club, they come out twice a year to check the heating and a/c units, and you get a discount on any parts/service above that. They're on the Northwest Side.

Karen Anne said...

The kittehs are so cute :-)

My rule of thumb is, any time a repairperson says commit now or it will cost you even more money, they're crooks.

Lady Quilter said...

Joanne didn't mention that those two cute, little, sweet faced furballs are sitting on my desk chair. One or both seem to be there all the time! If I do manage to find it empty, thinking I can sit comfortably, get some computer time in I'm soon joined by a persistent kitty. Either trying to get "their chair" back or blatantly walk across the keyboard or desk. But you gotta love them!

Anonymous said...

Amazing how we are so often at the mercy of HVAC people. Happened to us a couple weeks ago too. Glad you found a more cost effective solution.

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Unknown said...

Furnace repairs aren't fun! I am sorry about that. Our just broke too and it's the middle of winter.


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