Tricky furnace system

There is genuinely nothing worse – seriously, nothing worse than a boiler that refuses to run, and for a dumb reason! I’ve been told several times by my wifey that my logic is often “lower level.” When she first said this, I thought it was an insult to my intelligence. Really, she meant that I was focusing on details without considering the bigger picture first. This was legitimately the case for myself and my wifey the other afternoon, when our beach home’s boiler shut off without warning in the middle of the afternoon… It was in the low 20’s outside, so none of us were going to hold up without a fire going in the fireplace if the boiler wasn’t going to come back online! While my wifey tested starting a fire in the fireplace, I began opening up parts of the boiler – while it was powered off, of course – to see where the potential problem might lie. I was looking at the firebox to make sure burners were clean, I was checking water lines to see if there was a blockage, and overall being drastically thorough in my search for the cause for our shut-down. After an hour and a half of searching, I couldn’t seem to find the problem and felt disheartened. That’s when my wifey came downstairs to the basement, and saw the oil boiler opened up like an armoire with our tools beside me. Then she said one self-explanatory sentence that made myself and others know foolish: “Did you check the air filter?” As soon as she said it, I knew that was the cause. Sure enough as soon as I removed the boiler filter she was proven right! The air filter was completely caked in dust and dirt. By some miracle the central heater just shut down instead of running for longer and swallowing a bunch of dust. It took half an hour to piece the boiler back together, too – but oh well. At least one of us is smart enough to figure out the cause!

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