This winter has brought new meaning to the term "heat n' serve" for us. No, I am not going to talk to you about the merits of prepared food, simply reheated at home for a quick dinner. No, this is a story about uncharacteristically cold weather and a mysterious air handler.
Things have been going along very well this year. We've had a long stretch of nice, cold weather, which many of us Floridians appreciate. It is a nice reprieve from the long, hot weather we have much of the year. And it makes it feel more like Christmas! Well, this past Monday morning I was up getting ready to start work when I heard this odd sound of stuff "raining down" out in the living room. I went out and switched on a light, only to see fragments of black debris blowing down out of the air vents. I'd never seen such a thing before and could only wonder what the heck was going on. As the day went along, this subsided. That evening, while I was happily doing some Christmas baking, all of the sudden I noticed a burning smell coming from the vents! And this was not the usual burning smell you might get when the heat kicks on, this was rather ominous, at least to me. As the evening went along, I kept noticing this burning smell every time the heat kicked on. So before I went to bed, I made the difficult decision to shut the heat off entirely. On the coldest night since I can remember. It was supposed to be in the teens here, even in Florida. I knew my husband would balk, but the decision was final, without a vote. I told him we would survive, after all, we'd gone without heat the first 4 years we lived in our home, till we could afford to have it fixed. If we could do it then, by all means we could do it now, however inconvenient it seemed. Though I did have to admit I could not recall it ever getting below the 20s here before now.
The next morning when I awoke, it was quite cold getting up for work, but I noticed the thermostat read "60", which was not bad at all. I think my long night of Christmas baking helped out a lot! And I remembered how we survived those 4, heat-free winters: We baked our dinner in the oven every night and wore pajamas and heavy socks, and we got along quite well! So I figured this would have to be the same approach now, until we could afford to have our heat looked at again. So when I got home that night, I baked chicken and scalloped-gratin potatoes for dinner. Not only did it smell delicious roasting away in the oven, but it helped heat the house even more!
Since then, I am happy to report that we have tenatively been using our heat (only while we are at home to keep an eye out), and so far the debris is no longer falling and that burning smell has gone away. My husband thinks it was just something on the coils that finally "burned off". I'm not sure about all that and I still am keeping an eye on it. But at least at this moment, we are able to use our heat again, and so far, so good!
Nevertheless, this blog is dedicated to those times when all of us have to "make do" somehow! Here's to the REAL "heat n' serve" meals! The kind where you heat your house and serve your family dinner at the same time. And it all turns out alright. On that note, Merry Christmas to All! May you enjoy many toasty, delicious dinners in your home!
*This meal was served with Smoking Loon Chardonnay. I love the funny stories they have sometimes put on their labels and their funny corks with the words all over them. Oh, and their wine is delicious, too!