Surprise of the Day: Rental Furnace

The kids had a two-hour delay with temperatures in the single digits. We knew this last night, so I was surprised when Mer came to my room at 6:00 am.

My ringing phone had woken her. Our tenants had called and texted because they woke up freezing in the house around 2:00 am. They wanted to know who they could call to get the furnace working again.

I found a place online with and A+ Better Business Bureau rating and 5 star reviews. An HVAC man would be out to the house within a few hours.

His report came around 9:00 am. It was time to replace the induction motor. Cost: $900.00


I told him to go ahead and replace it. The furnace was fixed by 11:00 am, the tenants are happy, but the price seems high. Our residence needed a new furnace motor two months ago and it cost us $450.

I’m not sure how to account for that price difference. Josh thinks he could have installed one for $100 in parts.

With temperatures this cold, I’m just reminding myself that we don’t want the pipes to burst. Things get a lot more expensive when that happens. Four years and $20K ago, our pipes burst on the third floor of the rental, so I know what I just paid big bucks to prevent.

I’d like to console myself with the stories of similar surprises that have hit you as a homeowner or landlord in the middle of winter. Anybody else been blindsided when Old Man Winter comes calling?

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