About twelve years ago, I was forced to replace the entire heating system in my home. At that time, the furnace was only a few years old, but because of a lack of maintenance, was unsafe to operate. The previous owners of the home had never bothered to schedule professional upkeep for the heating system. The buildup of dust caused the equipment to overheat and quit shortly after my husband and I bought the house. I expected the issue to be resolved with a quick and inexpensive repair. Instead, the technician informed me of a crack in the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger prevents combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide, from entering the breathing air. Because a heat exchanger costs as much as an entire furnace, I decided to upgrade the whole heating system. I worked closely with the contractor to choose a furnace which perfectly suited the square footage and heating load of the home. The cost of purchase and installation was super expensive and required a home improvement loan. Determined to take the best possible care of the new heating unit, I immediately enrolled in a comprehensive maintenance plan. Every September, a licensed contractor thoroughly cleans and adjusts all components. Any accumulation of debris is removed, promoting maximum airflow, efficiency and reliability. Any worn or broken parts are replaced to ensure peak performance and an extended service life. This regular service also fulfills the obligations of the manufacturer’s warranty. Although the furnace is now twelve years old, it continues to operate in like-new condition. I don’t worry about safety issues, energy waste, needlessly high costs or sudden malfunction in the middle of the winter.