Our furnace just broke and it's already down to 61* in here :(

I’m huddled in my office with a little ceramic heater and the temperature keeps plummeting and while I wait for help (coming tomorrow) I’m wondering how we can pay for this and the simple matter is if our furnace needs to be replaced, we can’t. We don’t even have room on our credit cards. Is it possible to have house payments deferred?

Our pipes won’t freeze overnight will they?

It’s dropped to 57* F in the last hour. Getting very cold. 10* F outside and it literally feels like a cold wind is blowing right through the walls. They are frigid to the touch.

They certainly could, depending on how bad your insulation is. You may want to run your faucets a bit to keep relatively warm water running through them until you can get your heat on again. Having had rain showers in the living room because of a frozen pipe in the upstairs bathroom I can tell you that is not a problem you want to have.

Do I run cold, lukewarm, or hot water? It’s down to 59* now. I’m really getting worried. We already had a flood from a fish tank rupture in spring that destroyed the flooring both upstairs and downstairs and we haven’'t recovered from that (and that’s part of the reason our credit cards are maxed out).

I think you just want to keep the water running through them so the water doesn’t stay in them long enough to freeze. You’ll want to do this to both the hot and cold lines, the hot ones will take longer to reach freezing temperatures but they will still get there eventually.

What corkeh said. Run both (or run it in the middle if you have a single control). You don’t have to have it on full blast or anything; just a small stream will do the trick.

how cold is it supposed to be anyway?

I’m in Michigan. It’s 20* F outside and we have a foot of snow. As I set up my bed and sleeping bag I had a feeling of thick irony. My sleeping bag is a Taun Taun.

stock photo, not mine

Of course, I have been known to make mistakes.

From time to time.

Gah, this sucks jpinard. It always seem to pour when it rains, right? :(

Story to share the pain: last winter–my first full one here in NC–some 2-bit thief tried to saw the copper pipes off of the AC units outside my condo complex. He didn’t actually manage to saw any of them off completely, but he gouged one deeply enough that all the coolant leaked out.

Which I might not have known till summertime if we hadn’t had a 75-80F heatwave for a week straight in late November/early December that left my apartment roasting in the low 80s (we’re top floor and directly in the sun’s path like 75% of the day).

Thankfully, our awesome landlady managed to get it fixed about a week later, just as the heatwave ended. . . . .

Some quick advice for you. First off find out if you have any insurance coverage for these types of things, you just might. Also call your gas company, they often have programs and rebates to help in situations like this. Depending on your mortgage company it is possible to defer house payments, especially in emergency situations like this, remember, they are co-owners as well and dont want more serious damage to occur due to freezing. If youre using space heaters, be very careful, especially if you have pets. Good luck, I live in Michigan as well and I know its pretty flippin cold right now. Take care and keep warm.

edited, see below

Gaaaaah, good luck Jeff.

US Bank has revenues in the billions, so I’m assuming they are probably evil corporate overlords.

If I could I’d magic you a big pile of cash to help out.

Edit: As far as staying warm an oven can work, just be VERY careful you don’t suffocate yourself or whatever if you have gas. I wouldn’t recommend sleeping while it’s running, but it can probably keep your pipes and self from freezing if you’re out of options. I had a place a few years back that was an apartment converted from a house. One problem: I had no thermostat in my place. So my only hope to not freeze my ass off was that it got cold. Upstairs. Hint: It never gets cold upstairs. So I often had to run the stove to keep warm. Baking and the like helps since you’re actually doing something, but there were times I just had to open the door and run the thing.

Again, I DO NOT recommend it unless you’re very desperate, but it’s better than frozen pipes and the like.

100.4 F here right now, with four more days of the same forecast.

Now you can think warm thoughts while I think cool thoughts.

I keep coming back even though I know he’s sitting in his living room like Jack at the end of the Shining.

Seriously though, if things get super ugly, I may try to work some magic. Please note my magic is shit, so any other alternative is probably better than relying on my dumb ass.

Did you make it, Jeff?

Do you have a gas stove? During the big ice storm of 2008 (I think) we lost power for several days, but we had a gas stove. So we would boil water. It worked ok. Couldn’t do it overnight, of course. But when it was going we were able to get the house up to about 60.

Jeff, this may be obvious, but if the furnace is going to be out for a few days, get out of the house and go somewhere warm (friends, family, whatever). Staying in a cold house is a bad idea, esp. if there are any complicating health conditions.

Be safe, brother, and thinking warm thoughts for you and your wife.

If without heat for a while, winterize your pipes by turning off the water at the main and then draining the lines.

If your on disability the state may have a program to help you pay for heating repairs. Just a possibility.

Damn, there is a reason I will never live anyplace where it snows.