A little over a week ago, my heat was acting up, not coming on for long stretches of time unless I reset it at the furnace. ("Did you try turning it off and back on?" sometimes works for non-electronics items.) I was a little nervous about having a houseguest that weekend, and the repair folks I talked to either don't do after-hours calls for new customers, or charge through the nose for after-hours calls. The latter guy was really friendly, though, and told me he would hate to charge me $125 to come out and discover he didn't have the needed parts for my Carrier, which he doesn't stock.
He referred me to another local place, the one I'd tried first whose voicemail made it clear they only do after-hours emergencies for existing customers. I eventually reached them during business hours, and they said no, they don't stock Carrier stuff, either. So, I called back the guy who'd been so nice, and made an appointment with him. Luckily, the heat as worked as needed in the meantime, but I didn't want to leave it until it failed completely to get someone here for a look. You could be sure that would be the winter's coldest week.
The tech just left, after doing a thorough cleaning of my furnace, which had probably been all it needed. He also replaced the condensate pump, which had failed -- and which is why I'd had unexplained puddles and wet carpet downstairs the last few weeks. It was clearly not the previous flooding problem, but I hadn't been able to figure out where the water was coming from. Next time, I'll know.
He also cleaned the blower, and cleaned large amounts of crud out of the humidifier, which he said was old and will probably need replacing one of these days. For now, it all works.
Out of curiosity, I asked what adding air conditioning would likely cost, and he said it would probably be in the $3-4,000 range. Since it's a Carrier unit, it's of course designed with adding a compressor in mind, so doing so wouldn't be too much of a big deal. Obviously, I'm not going to get around to that anytime soon, but it's good to know I can. For the handful of days a summer when it's really unbearable, I'm not sure it's worth the investment, considering using the AC can also get quite expensive.
Anyway, it's sunny and 55 degrees outside. I think I'm going to walk down to East Hill Plaza and get some lunch.