I woke up this morning very cold- my furnace had gone off during the night. For reasons I'm still not sure why, I decided to call my best friend's nephew to do the work instead of my regular furnace guy. He arrived and announced the furnace motor was fried, and I was going to be out around $350 for the part. Frustrating, but part of life.
I was off doing some volunteer work when he called to say he had finished getting the motor in. The good news- my furnace was running and I'd have heat tonight. I assumed the bad news was that the motor was more than he had anticipated. Nope, the bad news was that I needed a new furnace. Apparently when the house was built, the furnace guy put in a furnace that was too large. That caused the furnace to go on and off all the time (since it heated up quickly and then had to shut down quickly), stressing the heat exchanger, causing it to crack prematurely (it's only 15 years old).
Here's where it became a good news/bad news scenario. He tested the carbon monoxide levels coming from the furnace; they should be somewhere around .3 to 3.5 ppm. If they measure more than 9 ppm he is required by law to disconnect the furnace and report that it has to be replaced.
My levels were over 30 and still rising when he turned off his meter! At 36 they advise you to seek medical attention. He didn't disconnect it because he knows me, but told me to plug my CO detector back in and turn the furnace off at night until he can replace it.
So Margie goes looking for info about chronic carbon monoxide exposure, and I discover that it's generally misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome- how ironic is that? In fact, every single symptom that I have is on the list, including fatigue, sleeplessness, memory loss, muscle and joint pain, as well as a lot of others. I still think I have chronic fatigue, since that started right when I first built this house and the furnace was probably fine then (although who knows?). I can't imagine that the other guy would check the furnace and not check the CO levels. But my friend said he's come across a number of people who had furnaces put in about 15 years ago that were too big, and they had the same problem.
Soooo although I don't think it's my only problem, it's certainly possible that it was a contributing factor to me getting worse. I always did feel better while on vacation (turns out this is common), but I figured it was just because I was somewhere new and having fun. Yet there have been a number of times I've suspected something in the house was making me sick. I tested the house for radon, etc. I also remember being in Florida several years ago cleaning out my friend's home, I was working like a dog- 14-16 hrs a day- yet I remember telling my brother that I felt better every day I was down there. I even bought a CO detector, but apparently the alarm doesn't sound until the levels are over 50- into the "get out of the house" range.
It also explains why I'm better in the summer, since the furnace is off and I'm outside more. Also explains why I got worse this fall, which surprised me since I had improved so much over the summer.
So it will be interesting to see what happens from here- certainly breathing good air can't hurt me!