Smoking gas furnace.

Winter has finally made its way to our part of the country, and boy has it ever! The first night in which we experienced snowfall, we were hit with almost ten feet of the white stuff. As a northern-born kid, I’m all too familiar with the key characteristics of this time of the year. However, every once in a while, even I’ll be surprised when something like that happens. Given the unexpected, extreme weather, my parents decided that it’d be best to counter the severe temperatures with a little more of a kick this year around via our new and improved furnace. Unlike the wood-based furnace we used to have, there wasn’t a whole lot of extra things my folks could do to ensure our heat remained steady and that its source stayed in full supply. When their minds were set to do something, they sure were gonna try, though. The way they envisioned maintaining the desired temperature was to leave the furnace running every day at a little higher level than usual for most of if not the entire day. The obvious benefit of this approach was that the house would be toasty the entire time, whether we were at home or away. After just a couple weeks of solid warmth, however, that seemingly sound decision backfired–and nearly literally. One afternoon when I made it home from school before my parents had gotten in from work, I noticed that the house seemed a little smoky. Obviously concerned, I made my way into the den (family room) to check on the furnace. Once I did, I realized that therein lied the problem; smoke was bellowing from its side. Just then, my Mom and Dad pulled into the driveway. Man, were they in for a surprise…

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