there's a blog entry in this somewhere...
well we are beginning to realize the perils of owning your own home...in the yukon. We've been in our new place for about 4 months now. We have managed to spruce it up a bit, mowed the lawn, chopped a hole in the wall and so on.
When we got the place inspected before we purchased, we were informed that the furnace was the original (~30yrs) so we were anticipating that over the next couple years, we would have to replace it. What we weren't anticipating was that we would have to replace it this year.
Now, as with living in any region of the country, there are times when you love it and times when you curse it. And indeed, living in a city 2500km from the nearest large canadian city has perks and it's drawbacks. one of the drawbacks is that getting someone to look at your furnace isn't as easy as selecting at random from the several dozen "furnace/heating" listings in the yellow pages. In whitehorse, there are a grand total of about 4 furnace/heating places in the yellow pages.
Now, this all goes back about 2 months when we called one of the smaller outfits to come by and clean our ducts (the ducts in the house that is). He kindly informed us that he was quite busy and that it would be about 3 weeks or so until he got to us. 5 weeks later, we haven't heard from him so we decided to call him to see where we are on the list. Sure enough, we're the "next" house on the list...but oops, mr. furnace cleaner has to go to Pelly Crossing for "work" for a week and won't be back in whitehorse until next tuesday. Now, if you look at Pelly Crossing on the map you'll see that it's not really a place you go unless...well, it's not really a place you go. The only reason one would go to Pelly in early September is to stock their freezer full of fresh moose meat.
We decided that we would let Mr. furnace cleaner go on his hunting trip and we'd just call someone else. 0 for 1. When we called that someone else we found that they couldn't get out to clean the ducts and service the furnace until the beginning of November. hmmm. 0 for 2.
Now, all this time, we hadn't had the furnace running because the ducts are really dirty. so we decide just to do some impromptu cleaning and turn the old beast on and hope for the best. temperatures had already been dipping below 0. So, we turned the furnace on and voila, hot air. It was about 13 or 14 degrees in the house prior to turning the furnace on so it was nice to be warm.
Two weeks later, i am in vancouver and sarah and claire are at home and kaput, the furnace stops working. nothing will get it going again. sarah call us the emergency line for the third furnace/heating place and leaves a message. the "emergency line" guy doesn't call back for 4 days. 0 for 3. all this time we are wondering if it would classified an emergency if it was minus 40 degrees and the furnace stopped working at night while we were sleeping. was the furnace place thinking " ahhh, no worries, it's only -1 degree, still balmy, call them back on monday??
We decide to call back the second outlet and tell them we need to get someone to come out to have a look as we can now see our breath inside and the indoor temp is down around 5 degrees C. They tell us that they have some "emergency time' that they can book us in for in 10 days. and why is it that you have an "emergency line" again? If you move to the yukon and have a furnace emergency, make sure to pre-book it with your local furnace guy.
once we tell the guy we are willing to drop some coin on a new oil guzzling heat machine, he relents and "discovers" a cancellation in the schedule. one quote for a $4000 furnace later and we're booked in to have the install completed in 3 days. just wave around a few g-notes and you'll get your way with the furnace guys. $4000 is for the low end model, mid efficiency unit.
we had one other quote from another place for $5000. They faxed this quote to us 4 days after doing the on site estimate and me telling the guy that we would appreciate a quote promptly as we are willing to make the purchase asap. it's nice to know that as a potential paying customer, your business is valued...
so for those of you taking notes:
1) pre-book your emergencies in the yukon
2) if you're in the yukon in september, go moose hunting in pelly crossing
3) be prepared to spend a ton of money on a furnace if your's dies!