We've live in our cute little house for more than five years and today is the first day I made a fire in the fireplace. The desire for a fire is what happens when the temp dips to -5. Okay, that's an exaggeration. The weather page online said it "felt like" -5. I can verify that it did, indeed, feel like -5. COLD!
So, I rounded up a little wood, vacuumed about an inch of dust (no joke) out of the firebox and built a toasty little fire. So far so good. I even remembered to open the flue so we don't fill the house with smoke.
Then I switched on the blower. Talk about ROAR. What noisy fan! I guess we'll be doing without the blower for now.
Now it remains to be seen if this actually reduces the amount of time the furnace is on.