When you live in the southern part of the country like my family and I do, you just aren’t used to running the furnace very much. It’s kind of a joke down here. HVAC businesses will even joke about it, using slogans in their ads that say things like “for all your heating and air conditioning needs! Well, maybe just air conditioning!” It’s kind of funny for most of the year, because the temperatures down here start heating up really early in the season and they don’t ever start cooling off until late October. I guess it’s good in a way, because you don’t really have to buy a high dollar heating system for your house because you don’t use it very much at all. But when the weather shifts and we get a cold snap once in a while, like the one we got last year, it can really wreak havoc in our southern town! Last winter, the temperatures dropped all of a sudden and I went to turn on the oil furnace. I had barely moved the thermostat a couple of degrees when I heard a weird banging sound coming from down in the basement. I recognized the sound immediately, because it was the very same sound that the furnace made the year before when I turned it on! I shook my head and picked up the phone to call the heating and air conditioning company. Of course, they said that they were swamped, because everyone in town was trying to turn on their furnaces that day and no one ever keeps their furnaces maintained properly around here.