It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
With deference to Charles Dickens, this is not the tale of two cities. It is instead the tale of two households. One is a member of the Mast Heating & Cooling Comfort Club. One is not. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
It’s a beautiful start to Thanksgiving Day. Sharon is up early to get the dinner preparations underway. It feels a bit chilly in the house, but she doesn’t give it a second thought and slips on a sweater and heads for the kitchen. She wants to get a head start to make sure the big dinner stays on schedule.
As she starts chopping vegetables, Sharon can hear the household coming to life. Faucets and showers are running upstairs. But soon there are more sounds, different sounds, like loud voices. Now Sharon can hear random words floating down the stairs, “cold…what happened…hot water…what do you mean there’s no hot water?”
As Sharon puts the chopping knife down to investigate, she suddenly realizes, it’s not getting any warmer in the house. In fact, it’s getting colder. As the first rush of panic hits, she tries to stay calm. That’s when her husband Bob comes downstairs. He tries to reassure Sharon, after all, there have been no furnace or hot water heater problems since the house was built 15 years ago. Sharon and Bob look at each other, both remembering their smug sense of self confidence whenever an HVAC provider tried to sell them on the benefits of regular furnace maintenance in Grand Rapids. Now reality hits like a ton of bricks. It’s Thanksgiving Day, and their furnace and hot water heater have both stopped working.
It takes a half-dozen phone calls, looking for water heater and furnace repair in Zeeland, MI. Finally, Bob finds a company providing emergency service over the holiday weekend. He quickly learns his family is not alone in having problems. The person on the phone politely tells Bob there are several people ahead of him on the service list. They don’t know when they can get to Sharon and Bob’s house. When they do arrive, it will cost X number of dollars for an emergency call and there will be overtime charges for all the work the technician does.
Now in a daze, Sharon puts all the food back in the fridge and starts making another series of phone calls. The search is on for a reputable restaurant able to serve Thanksgiving dinner for a party of 15. Yeah, good luck with that. Bob starts checking for available hotel rooms as well. All of a sudden Bob and Sharon realize the maintenance plan the HVAC folks were trying to sell sounds pretty inexpensive.
The weather forecast is for a lovely Thanksgiving Day. Bright sunshine and a high in the low 30’s. Karen is the first one up in the house and decides to start the day with a shower before heading to the kitchen. Near the end of the shower, she notices the water isn’t quite as hot as normal. For a moment, Karen finds that strange since no one else is up yet, but she shrugs her shoulders and heads to the kitchen.
While Karen is busy chopping vegetables, her in-laws Chuck and Diane come downstairs for a cup of coffee and to say good morning. They mention that it feels a little chilly in the house. Karen tells them she’s sure it’s just because the programmable thermostat was turned down overnight and it will warm up shortly. Karen declines an offer of help, so Chuck and Diane head off to take their showers and get dressed.
Before Karen picks up the chopping knife, she realizes it is chilly and grabs a sweater. She smiles as she hears the kids now up and about and feels really thankful the family is together for the holiday. But moments later her husband Carl comes down the steps with a worried look on his face and says, “Honey, I think we have a problem. No one is getting any hot water and it’s really cold in the house.”
Carl heads for the basement to check things out and returns with the bad news. He can’t see anything obviously wrong, but for whatever reason the furnace and hot water heater have broken down at the same time. Karen and Carl now have a new reason to be thankful on this holiday. They have been members of the Mast Heating & Cooling Comfort Club for years.
They make the call to Mast Heating & Cooling in Grand Rapids for furnace repair just before 9:00 a.m. The person who answers says “Yes, the offices are closed but we have emergency service available.” When Karen tells them they are Comfort Club members, their call is moved to the top of the list for priority service. Mast Heating & Cooling reassures Karen and Carl a technician will be there shortly, and as club members they will not be charged any after-hours fees and they will receive a 15% discount on any needed parts.
The Mast Heating & Cooling technician arrives by 10:30 a.m. and quickly finds the problem with the furnace. There was a broken wire in the thermostat. The hot water heater problem took a bit longer but was finally diagnosed as faulty heating element. Thankfully, there was a replacement part on the Mast Heating & Cooling fully-stocked truck. The technician assured Carl and Karen it was nothing but a holiday coincidence that both systems stopped working at the same time, wished them a happy Thanksgiving, and was on his way by noon.
The house was still a bit chilly as the family gathered to watch the Lions take on the Vikings in the traditional Thanksgiving game in Detroit. The dinner got pushed back a couple hours, but by the time all 15 people sat down at the table, the house was filled with the warmth of love and the warmth of a working furnace.
Call on Mast Heating & Cooling for all of your heating and cooling service, repair, or replacement needs. Happy Thanksgiving!