I stayed the night at Simon’s house last night. There’s a long overdue post waiting to be composed about that but today is not the day. Nope.
Today when I arrived home I was immediately aware of a situation that trumps most others. I did a nice slide all the way down to the bottom of the Maslow triangle. I walked in the door of my big beautiful house to find the temperature had dropped to a lovely 50 degrees.
If you are in Nebraska outside in January on a 50 degree day you might be wearing shorts and smiling as you shoot hoops or work on your car or do yard work. But 50 inside where you want to eat and sleep and write? No bueno.
I fed my cat.. filled my water bottle.. didn’t take off my coat.. and went upstairs to my bedroom to check the thermostat. Yup.. 50 degrees and words blinking on the display, “no wireless connection”. Wireless connection?!
I’ve been at my house 2 years now. It was move in ready. The most I’ve done with the place as far as maintenance on the inside goes was change batteries on the thermostat and smoke detectors and redo the caulking on my kids’ bathroom tub. Oh.. and I’ve been through a lot of grief with my internet, but all of that was Cox Communications and my equipment and not issues with the house or cable lines.
I had no idea my thermostat was wireless. I had never questioned the fact that I have two thermostats (and also lots of other EQ in my utility room in the basement which seems to serve no purpose). I know my thermostat in the dining room is not good for much. I can turn the house fan on and off but that’s about it. The thermostat in my bedroom controls the temp and whether it’s on heat or cool. So.. wireless? OK.
I go to the source and find two panels of interest (after checking the breaker panel). Sure enough there’s a panel for wiring which controls the HVAC stuff and next to it a smaller one with one button. It says “Honeywell Wireless Setup”. My first clue for the problem?.. the two LED lights have no light. “Power” is not lit and “connection” is not green or red or flashing the way the quick guide on the panel indicated they should be for different states of operation.
I press the one button to confirm nothing will happen and then I quickly dismiss that to look at the larger one with more buttons and lights and a display that has words. I messed with that for a while and at least confirmed I could test my furnace. Thankfully it turns on.. but just for like a 120 second test. Not long enough to budge the temp of the house even by 1 degree.
I kind of went into mini panic mode because I don’t know what to do. Even as my logical brain was cycling through things I can check, control, understand, and do, there was another voice in my head getting angry and upset and starting to worry about how much it’s going to cost to fix. That voice gets louder and starts saying things like “you shouldn’t have quit your job”.. “you shouldn’t be a homeowner if you can’t solve these kind of problems”.. and then the worst one. “You think you’re so smart, just fucking google it”.
All of that is not helpful and not going to put me in a position to solve the problem. I aways pat myself on the back for being able to focus and solve problems. It’s typically at work, but what makes this so different?!
After I pushed enough buttons and run up and down my stairs between the furnace room and my bedroom enough to call it a good workout, I had eliminated any possibility that I could “fix” anything just by normal system controls. Conveniently all the manuals for the devises were dusty and wrinkled still laying on the airflow intake part of the heater. And of course I had google at my fingertips.
Quite honestly every google search I tried pointed me back to the manuals which only had basic install and operating instructions and not really any troubleshooting help. So much for that voice that said “just fucking google it”.
Anyway. I had pinpointed my problem from the start of it, seeing that there was no power in the panel that operates the wireless. Oh, and I also spent an hour on the phone with Honeywell support (half of which was me on hold). They helped me confirm it was a physical problem and not a system problem.
Certain things led me to believe it was a power problem and not the board of the controller that was faulty, but that has yet to be confirmed. I don’t have anything to test electrical nor do I have a clue about that stuff. Hence the voice that says “You shouldn’t be a homeowner”.
I thought at the very least I would get a new panel and swap that out and see what happens, but that’s not the kind of thing you can just pop into Lowes and get. You have to order it or probably go through an HVAC place. I don’t want to have to pay for some company to come out and look at it. On my way home from Lowes I went to the gym to get steps and think and get some focus. That’s where I started typing this post (which I realize now has been one long run-on with no conclusion).
If nothing else, I got 20K steps and have formulated an OK plan of action. Right now though, I need to get some food.
Oh yeah.. I forgot why I started. It really floors me that my whole system is so weak. All this technology and there is no override so that I can run my heater without this wireless BS? That is such poor design, I can’t even begin to describe how I feel about it. Yes, I love technology, but do we have to be so dependent on it? I love technology but when it goes wrong, I just hate it. People want more wired (wireless) lives, and I just want to go back to a simple life sometimes. Perhaps I should also start a fire in my fireplace while I think some more and cook my dinner? 😉
Baby It’s Cold Inside,