STEPS TO TAKE WHEN YOUR BOILER STOPS WORKING

Boiler: radiators = Furnace: hot air system. If you don't get snow where you live, this list won't mean much.
  1. 1.
    Become aware that there is no active heat system in your house
    This can be done by noticing that your teeth have begun to chatter as you sit reading. Verification can be obtained by touching a nearby radiator and experiencing the cold nature of the metal.
  2. 2.
    Turn up the thermostat and observe results.
    Wait a few minutes and touch rad again. If still cold, proceed to step 3.
  3. 3.
    Descend to basement to observe boiler first hand.
    Is it making some sound? If so, get down on the floor and open the flap that reveals its innards. Do you see a flame? Didn't think so.
  4. 4.
    Adjust thermostat so that it doesn't call for heat from boiler.
    Since boiler isn't functioning, better not to ask it to get all worked up for no reason.
  5. 5.
    Recall the name of the company that debits your bank account monthly for some reason vaguely connected to the boiler.
  6. 6.
    Phone company from #4
    Our office is now closed (fair enough, it's Friday night after midnight. Your office won't be open for another 57 hours ). For emergency service, press 1. Done. For commercial property, press 1. Nope. For residential property, press 2. Done. To speak to the emergency supervisor, press 1. Definitely! Please wait. Beep beep beep....
  7. 7.
    Phone company from #4 (2)
    Our office is now closed (fair enough, it's even more after midnight). For emergency service, press 1. Done. For commercial property, press 1. OK, Try this. Maybe commercial properties get priority. To speak to the emergency supervisor, press 1. Definitely! Please wait. Beep beep beep....
  8. 8.
    Go to bed and stare at ceiling.
    Perhaps the next step will be revealed. If not, at least you will be warm and hopefully shortly unconscious.
  9. 9.
    Wake up and proceed to living room.
    Fortunately you have an airtight wood stove sitting in your fireplace cavity, and a couple of bush cords in the front yard. Normally, the first fire of the season would be a low key, relatively benign affair. But this isn't normal.
  10. 10.
    Stack stove full of kindling and paper. Light stove.
  11. 11.
    Turn on ceiling fan to spread heat around.
    Fortunately, ceiling fan was never adjusted to summer setting, so it is ready to push heat down from where it likes to hang out at ceiling level.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    Bring in more wood from woodpile so surface moisture can dry out for a day.
    Wood has been aged for at least a year, but it's been raining lately. Tarp doesn't cover wood completely.
  14. 14.
    Open doors throughout house so heat can spread around.
  15. 15.
    Pray to weather gods that tomorrow and next day will be no colder or windier than forecast.
    Feel free to pray also.
  16. 16.
    Prepare script for Monday morning call to boiler service company.