A couple of weeks ago I wrote about us having furnace issues. During that time, the nighttime temperatures were cold, in the 30’s. Daytime temps were slightly better but still cold. Luckily, we have a gas fireplace that worked well enough to keep the whole house about 68 degrees, even if it is in the lower part of our home. My husband, thought we had it fixed when the gas company came to address a broken gas main that occurred when a housing developer was landscaping on a new lot that backs up to our yard.
But, the other day, I woke to find a note on the kitchen counter from my husband that the furnace was out again and did not want to ignite. After trying the work around the gas company tech employed to trigger the pressure switch on the furnace, we were still without heat. In other words, the fix no longer fixed it! So, my husband spent a morning on the phone trying to buy the switch from one of our local heating and cooling companies. This created another problem, none of these companies would sell to him! They said he needed to be a “bonded tradesman” in order for them to sell the switch to him. After looking online for the part, he was able to order it. The switch was delivered yesterday.
In the late afternoon, before dinner, my husband went down to install the switch on the furnace. He took his shop vac down to “clean” up the pipes and vents before switching the switches. But, after installing the new switch, the furnace again failed to fire! UGH! My husband was stumped. He started looking around the inside of the compartment which held the intake pipe and the pressure switch. Finally, he looked up! And, there he saw the cause! But, before fixing it (and it could be easily fixed), he came up to the kitchen where I was working on dinner.
“You won’t believe the reason the furnace is not turning on! Come with me, I want to show you,” he said.
“Okay, but is it gross?” I replied.
“No, but it’s an environmental cause that will interest you,” he smiled, with his reply.
So, pausing dinner prep for a minute, I followed hime down the stairs into our utility area. There, he told me to look into the switch box and look upwards into the intake pipe, as he held a flashlight.
I looked and couldn’t believe what I saw!
“Is that a hornet’s nest in there? ” I asked.
“Yup! The furnace switch won’t fire because it’s detecting a blockage. The blockage is the hornet’s nest!”
I was stunned! “I wonder how far it goes up the pipe?” I asked him what he thought. I don’t know. We’ll have to see how big it is when we take it out.”
A few minutes later, we had our answer!
Luckily, it wasn’t too big and didn’t extend up the pipe too far.
Our furnace is now working! Our problem wasn’t the switch after all!