Five months ago I looked at that boiler in my basement with trepidation. I had never been responsible for something potentially capable of blowing up my house before. I had no idea at all how the thing worked. It sat down in the basement like some evil, hulking monster, pipes going everywhere, a big tank hanging off the side, and that gauge. That pressure gauge scared me the most. When I finally got a heating guy to come over and he off handedly said, "Hmm... pressure's too high." I wasn't happy.
"Is it going to blow up? Should you be tapping on that thing like that?"
But I needn't have worried. My new heating guy, Tony, is the best. In fact he has taught me so much about the beast in the basement, that I now look upon it with some affection. It turns out that I have hot water heat, not steam heat. Hot water heat is very efficient and very inexpensive. Temperatures have been dropping down into the forties at night and all I have to do is turn on the heat for thirty minutes to keep the house warm for the whole day. One evening I decided to clean the thermostat, I couldn't read it through the dirt on the glass, and I accidently turned on the boiler. About forty five minutes later Dennis, my tenant, called to ask me to please turn it off. His apartment was, "Hotter than a fresh fucked fox in a forest fire." His words, not mine. So now I know how to turn it on and off. I know the three points that I have to lubricate at the beginning of the season. I'm aware of just what the proper pressure should be. Tony, the heating guy, also showed me how to adjust the inflow valve for the water and how to bleed the system. So, if there is anybody out there with a heating/air-conditioning company who needs some part time help bleeding, lubricating, and adjusting hot water systems, give me a call. However, I don't do air-conditioning. I have no idea how that shit works and I lived in Florida for twenty seven years.