He's a nice guy, the Chess Air man, and he knew right away what the problem was. Apparently, our spider population was productive enough that their webs completely blocked the pilot light from the heater's sensor. Now, I knew we had a lot of spiders in our house. They can be found in nearly every corner of every room. And once every month, I'll go around and suck them up with the vacuum hose. But I'll always leave one or two to get the bugs that eventually get inside. I guess that was a bad strategy. I guess I didn't have to worry about killing all the spiders, because there were plenty doing their spidery best right beneath our feet.
So Mr. Chess Air cleaned out the cobwebs, berated me a little for having such a bad "spider problem," and suggested I use bug spray to keep the heater working. Now, we're toasty warm, able to toast and type at the same time. But do we still have spiders in the house? The answer's yes, and I'll tell you why: the winter rains have begun in earnest, and I need my eight-legged soldiers to battle the coming onslaught of ants.