When I installed our new gas furnace six years ago, the Heating and Air Conditioning company who handled the project proposed that I enroll in a maintenance plan with his supplier. Since I’d taken out a loan to cover the cost of the furnace, I was reluctant to spend more currency, and the heating plan was already covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, and I assumed it would operate reliably for at least a few years. I declined the maintenance agreement and planned to have the furnace professionally maintained in a couple of years, and although I was diligent about replacing the air filter every few months, I totally forgot about scheduling professional upkeep. The furnace seemed to operate just fine. It consistently started up in the fall and kept the lake house moderate throughout the winter. I failed to notice the longer running times and didn’t pay enough attention to the rising cost of our heating bills. The furnace eventually quit in the middle of December, when the outside temperature was sixteen degrees. Since it was a weekend, I was forced to pay for overtime emergency repair, however had I enrolled in the maintenance plan, there would have been no extra fee. If I’d have kept up with professional service, our manufacturer’s warranty would still have been in effect. Instead, I was responsible for the full cost of parts and labor. The accumulation of dust inside the furnace had plugged airflow and restricted the operation of moving parts. I’m severely lucky the heat exchanger reMained in tact or I’d have needed to replace the whole furnace. I have, however, l received our lesson. I instantaneously invested in the maintenance agreement with the local Heating and Air Conditioning company.