My house emailed me to tell me it was too cold…

Last night, fresh off a good evening of silliness, I quickly checked my phone before returning home to find that my house had emailed me

Your heating system failed to heat your home,” said the email. Which came from Google by way of the Nest thermostat that controls one of the three zones our oil-fired boiler has:

Based on your local weather and recent heating system performance, your home should’ve become warmer while the heat was on between 10:09 AM and 6:04 PM on February 24, 2022. Instead, the temperature decreased by 4°C.

I didn’t know my thermostat was paying attention to this degree!

While I was on my way home anyway–where I found the temperature, was, indeed, a chilly 13.5ºC–I take comfort from knowing that my thermostat will by watching out for me when and if I travel farther afield.

Screen shot of an email message from my Nest thermostat.

The extent of my knowledge of my HVAC system is “when something goes wrong, try pressing the reset button on the burner.” So when I got home, I tried that. The furnace sprang to life. The water temperature gauge started to slowly creep from 100ºC to 200ºC, and eventually the radiators started to receive hot water, and the house slowly warmed up.

The house was still warm in the morning, but when I came home around lunch time it was down to 18ºC, despite the thermostat being set to 20ºC.

I called Kenmac Energy and talked to Mike. Mike said he’d despatch someone, and 10 minutes later there was a knock on the door, and two enterprising technicians went down to the basement to see what was up.

”The nozzle and the oil filter were plugged up,” was the report, once they emerged. 

Heat is back to normal. I am chastened: I should have booked a cleaning last summer, but I didn’t. I’ve got a reminder to book one come July.


vbj's picture
vbj on February 25, 2022 - 21:08 Permalink

Glad it was your HVAC; HAVOC takes longer to resolve.

Paul Capewell's picture
Paul Capewell on February 26, 2022 - 03:46 Permalink

Useful notification! Our boiler (and thermostat) is not so smart. So I've had to do a lot of trial and error learning how it likes to work best. Next step will be balancing the radiators (thanks to an entire genre of YouTube videos I previously didn't know existed!) We had the boiler serviced recently which was reassuring, see all the bits and pieces being checked and cleaned, and knowing it should be working well according to a professional. Before this we were flying blind.