The Heat Pump Saga - The Final Chapter (at least, for now)
The last thing I want to see is this month's power bill. That's because we were forced to spend about two weeks in January keeping the house warm by running the more expensive emergency heat.
If you've read the first two installments in The Heat Pump Saga, you know why. Ours crapped out. You can find those posts here and here.
The short version goes something like this - our ancient and infirm heat pump apparently suffered a life-threatening blow due to an ice storm back in November. It limped its way through December only to break down completely in early January.
Our fixit guy installed a new motor to spin the fan.
That was the easy part.
Here's the rub: our heat pump also needed a new circuit board.
The repairman brought a shiny, new one with him when he replaced the motor, but marrying new tech with old tech doesn't always work out. In the new circuit board's case, it didn't work out at all. And we remained on emergency heat for another week while he looked for a board that he said he could "make work."
Frankly, I didn't have a lot of confidence. I've known for years now that our broken-down old heat pump was on borrowed time, that it's one step away from being swept up by the Grim Reaper and taken wherever it is heat pumps are cursed to spend eternity when they stop being useful.
But just as I was coming to terms with the prospect of having to fork over the dough for a new one, our fixit guy came through for me. And he worked his magic just in time for the "Polar Vortex" that sent temperatures plunging this week and made my Facebook feed feel kind of creepy. Friends from the Midwest to the Northeast posted pictures of themselves wearing face masks to keep their noses and lips from freezing off. I felt like Jason from the "Friday the 13th" movies was stalking me.
Anyway, when our fixit guy turned up for the second time, he said, "I had to go back ten years from modern." In other words, he found a circuit board that was current a decade ago that he thought would work in our even older heat pump. That thing was here when we moved in 15 years ago. It's anyone's guess how long it was in service before that.
The upshot is our heat pump is back in business. I can hear it happily cycling through its routine as I write this from the comfort of my favorite chair.
Yes, I know that eventually it's going to give up for good.
But not now.
Today, I am thankful that I only ended up on the hook for a few hundred dollars in repair costs rather than the thousands it would take to replace it.
I can't get cocky, though.
Mostly because I've got a couple of dentist appointments to get through.