I didn’t used to be conscientious about keeping up with furnace maintenance.
I’d forget to replace air filters and go several years without scheduling professional service.
For the most part, the heating system was very reliable. As long as it continued to operate, I didn’t pay it much attention. The furnace was about eight years old when it quit during the middle of the night. It happened toward the end of February, during a particularly nasty blizzard. Because the outside temperature was down to negative twenty-five degrees, we couldn’t go without heat until morning. I had concerns about the water pipes freezing, bursting and causing extensive damage. I had no option but to call for emergency overtime repairs. The extra fees involved were significant. When the technician accessed the inner workings of the furnace, he found a considerable accumulation of dust and other debris on the components. He said that this buildup had diminished airflow and forced the heating system to run more often and for longer cycles. He explained that it was much harder for the furnace to meet the demands of the thermostat, and that it definitely was required to use more energy. My heating bills were far higher than necessary for months or even years. I can only imagine what that cost me. Plus, my neglect of the furnace had caused enough damage to the various parts, it wasn’t worth fixing. I should have been able to get another five or ten years out of the system. Instead, I ended up paying to have a brand new furnace installed. I have been diligent about seasonal maintenance and filter changes for the new heating unit.