My furnace recently quit entirely, part way through the night. Of course, it malfunctioned on the holiday weekend, when the temperatures completely dropped to twenty-three degrees. I understand that the reason behind the sudden failure of the furnace was because it was extremely old, neglected, and struggling to take care of a heavy workload. I definitely should have invested in regular maintenance through a professional contractor. I should have scheduled service every fall to ensure that the heating system was running safely and efficiently. I probably should have investigated a new furnace in the past. I had noticed that the furnace wasn’t able to keep the home entirely cozy on really cold nights any longer. It often made strange screeching noises and sometimes ran for especially long cycles. Instead of taking steps to do things right, I got stuck with a dead furnace and a very high bill from my HVAC contractor. Since the furnace was not necessarily worth repairing, I needed to locate a whole new heating and cooling unit. There was no time to go looking for the perfect model or even a great deal, because I couldn’t go without heat during such cold temperatures. I was forced to pay a great deal extra for emergency service together with an expedited installation. Plus, I had to deal with all this craziness during the holiday season. I had family staying inside my house while there were HVAC contractors crawling in all places and it was a giant mess. After the new furnace was set and running, I decided to sign up for a maintenance agreement with the HVAC professional. I don’t anticipate ever being so unprepared like this again.