Lack of maintenance can be an issue
I invested in a brand new furnace a little over seven years ago. I was a bit tight on funds at the time, and I purchased a very standard unit. I was unwilling to spend more for extra features, and settled for the most basic equipment. The contractor who handled the installation project recommended I enroll in a proactive maintenance plan. I saw no reason to pay for service for a heating system that was brand new and running perfectly. Plus, the furnace only runs for about six months out of the year. I am good about replacing the air filters every month, and figured that would be sufficient. Last winter, I noticed the heating unit running for much longer cycles. It didn’t seem to be producing as much air, and the house was rather chilly on especially cold days. I kept turning the thermostat higher, which led to higher monthly energy bills. The air blowing from the vents carried quite a bit of dust, and I was forced to clean and vacuum more often than usual. I definitely should have called for professional repair. Instead, I simply ignored the problems with the furnace. Because I bought such a cheap model, it didn’t include advanced safety features. Apparently, during the summer months, when the furnace sits idle, dust builds up within the inner workings. The dust restricts airflow and causes excessive wear and tear on moving parts. Eventually, the furnace overheated, and resulted in a crack in the heat exchanger. The cost of a new heat exchanger is equivalent to the price of a whole new furnace. I ended up taking out a loan and replacing the furnace. I have now enrolled in a professional maintenance plan to ensure the equipment continues to run safely and reliably.