Kids are kids and sometimes they play hard. We were in the middle of a cold snap and I didn’t expect them to play outside in subzero temperatures. I also didn’t expect them to play ball in the house and to break the thermostat. Both boys were in their bedrooms cowering because my wife told them I was going to kill them when I got home. My youngest told me he was too young to die. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing as I went out to look at the thermostat. Sure enough, it was broken and I needed to get it replaced. Without the thermostat, the furnace was not going to work. I called the HVAC company and I asked them if they could come over and replace the thermostat for me. In the meantime, I went upstairs to talk to my sons. I told them I wasn’t going to injure them, but I was going to dock their allowance for the next month, or until the thermostat was paid for. They weren’t happy about losing their allowance, but they were happy to be able to say they survived. When the HVAC tech arrived, he told me about the new thermostats that were available. I was okay with getting a programmable like the one we already had. He told me they had a Smart Thermostat that would monitor my energy usage and save me some money on my energy bills. It sounded like a good idea, but I was just interested in having a good programmable thermostat installed so we could get the heating working again.