I slept through my alarm this morning. More like I hit the snooze over and over again until it gave up trying. No biggie. I busted my butt yesterday on four hours of sleep (and no naps at all), so getting some extra sleep was a good thing. I was pretty tired.
But when my “You really should get up now, you lazy bum” secondary alarm went off, I was all snuggly warm in bed and all the cats were laying on me. There's nothing at all unusual about all the cats being on the bed when I'm snoozing, but it is unusual for all three of them to be lounging on top of me. They don't really like each other well enough to be in such close proximity unless there's a very good reason. It felt nice and cozy though, so I hit the snooze a couple of times just to continue enjoying it.
Finally, I sat up, cats and covers pushed aside, and that was when I noticed the room was cold enough to store meat in. What the hell? It's cold outside, but not so cold yet that the furnace doesn't do a reasonable job of keeping it somewhat comfy inside the house! I put on the closest clothing and my warmest slippers and went to check the thermostat. Hello, it was set the way it always is for a winter night, but it wasn't on and the thermostat said it was under 50°F in the hall.
Now the hall lacks vents, so it's always the coldest and hottest room depending on the season. This is actually great, because it means the heat and AC always come on before the rest of the house has gotten too cold or too hot, since the thermostat is in the hall. But it was pretty obvious to me that the furnace hadn't been on in a while. A long while. I stood there and had a panic attack for a minute, because the furnace has been iffy for a couple years.
I tapped the thermostat. It's one of the ancient ones with a spring, magnet, and mercury switch in it. Maybe it got stuck? Nope. No response. I then slid the setting switch all the way down, noting it clicked at 45°, then slid it back to it's usual winter setting, noting it click again on its way back up. Then I stood there holding my breath waiting for the heat jets to spring to life. It seemed to take forever, but YES, THE FURNACE WAS PRODUCING FIRE! Then there was the equally long wait for the blower to kick in, and thankfully it also decided to work. The furnace was once again alive! Phew!
I don't know why the thermostat decided at some point last night that it didn't need to inform the furnace it was getting frosty in the house. Oh, I imagine it's because that thermostat is about as old as I am, but it hasn't been quite that cranky before. I guess replacing the thermostat just got moved up on the priority list of things we need to fix around here. Like into the top spot.
The cats and I are now huddled in front of the emergency space heater in the living room surrounded by a nice bubble of warmth. It's not a big bubble though, because it's not just the air inside that is cold. Everything in the house feels like it was sitting on the porch all night. Brrrrr. It's going to take hours to get this place warm again!
I'm going to spend some of that time looking at thermostats on the Home Depot website, because that needs to be fixed pronto. Like maybe it can't even wait for the weekend. I may have to learn to do it myself. I never want to wake up in a 45°F house again! And considering one of the ways the thermostat is usually cranky is in misreading the interior temperature, it's possible it was even older than that in here. No matter exactly how cold it was, it was too damn cold for humans and cats while inside a house!