Monday, November 7, 2011

Conquering the Cold

It has not exactly been snowing in LA but we did get a share of rain storms in the past few days. Some people may not believe it but it does get rather cold in California. It is almost winter, after all. Last night I was quite terrified to see the bright lightening flashes and to hear the thunder roars hitting so close around us. The temperature went down to low 40-s last night and it was barely in the 50-s this morning.

Our northern neighbors got their snow already. So did most of the east coast. Last weekend my friend from Connecticut called with a strange request... She asked me to look up a phone number for her car insurance company. Turned out that they got over 15 inches of snow over one weekend, electricity was cut off in the whole neighborhood, so they had no heat, water or internet for that matter. Then to top it off a tree fell over onto one of their cars. How is that for a disaster? They got their electricity and heat back on only four days later. Poor things had to stay at their friends house those few days.

Speaking of disasters, we have been having our own challenges. The heating system in the house we are renting broke down. Again. This time for good. Last year an electrician came out an fixed it even though he wasn't quite supposed to. Thing is that the actual heater unit has been recalled 15 years ago and the company that made those went bankrupt a long time ago too. The problem with those heaters was that there was some manufacturing defect that made them break often and there was some kind of ignition issue that posed serious fire hazard so that is why all of those units were recalled. Since the one in this house seemed to operate no one bothered to replace it. Well, now that the winter is approaching promptly, as luck would have it, the heater broke. Same thing happened last year with the only difference that the kind electrician mentioned above gave it one last chance. And it seemed to have worked... Until a year later, almost exactly to the date!

Our landlord is going through some decision making times and there are a few issues about this property that have been unresolved and up in the air indefinitely. Because of this situation he is unwilling to invest a solid chunk of funds to replace the heating system. And so we are the ones to suffer the consequences. Another option would be to find another house but it is not that easy to find a suitable place for our needs in a short period of time. Besides, moving right before holidays does not necessarily sound appealing either. So we are sort of stuck. At least for the next few months.

We did come up with a temporary solution - portable electric heaters, well, in each room. They seem to do the job quite well. The only problem is... electrical. It is rather an old house and the wiring is not made for a number of powerful appliances all working at the same time. So, if we have the heater on, no tea kettle or dryer or washer can be used, otherwise it blows the fuse. When I need blow-dry my hair, I must make sure the heater is off, otherwise it blows the fuse. If I crank up the heater in the baby's room,  yes, you guessed it - it BLOWS the stinking FUSE!

So it looks like this would be a fun challenge for the winter. I just pray that the weather takes it easy this year. If anyone has any creative ideas as to how we could conquer the cold in our home this year let's hear them! Given the situation I am open to pretty much anything :)

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