An interesting issue arose at one of my duplexes last week. Brian, my tenant on the north side, called and said he had no heat. It was freezing in his side of the house. I texted Courtney, who lives on the other side, and asked if the heat was working. She was at work, but texted back, “Yes.”
The heat isn’t metered separately there and the thermostat is on Courtney’s side. There’s no dial, just an On/Off switch. When the temperature dips below 72 (very kind of me, I must say!) the furnace kicks on automatically.
So I was perplexed about this issue and had my handyman Craig stop by to check and see what was going on. First, he went into Brian’s half of the house and yes, it was cold in there. So he let himself into Courtney’s side and it was toasty warm in there. One short look around told him why:
1) She had a space heater running in the living room.
2) She had ALL FOUR burners of her stove turned on high, in the kitchen.
The thermostat was in the dining room, which was in between the living room and kitchen, so with all that heat radiating from those extra sources, it was HOT in there! Of course, the furnace wasn’t kicking on at all. Courtney’s side of the house was very warm and Brian was freezing. Horrible!
I had Craig turn off the stove and space heater — talk about fire hazards! — and immediately texted Courtney and had her call me. Needless to say, I had a corrective interview with her. I’d told my tenants not to use their stoves as heat sources. And yes, space heaters today are greatly improved, but should never be used when no one is home. I told her as much, and said she could only use it upstairs in the bedrooms, so that it wouldn’t screw up the thermostat.
Hopefully, she understood, and none of this will happen again. I may have to pop in and check on that … she could’ve burned the house down! Sheesh!
Onward and upward …