I never used to be all that conscientious about changing the air filter in the furnace.
When the weather cooled off, I turned up the thermostat.
I never considered scheduling professional maintenance for the heating system. I would usually install a fresh filter at the start of the season and then ignore the furnace all winter long. As long as the heater continued to supply a sufficient amount of warm air, I didn’t worry about it. A couple of years ago, the winter season was especially long and cold. We saw temperatures down to 26 below zero for weeks at a time. During a blizzard in the middle of February, my furnace quit. I should have seen it coming. I had noticed more dust blowing around in the air. I’d needed to turn up the thermostat setting for the sake of comfort and realized that the heater was running for longer cycles. The technician took the system apart and showed me the buildup of dust and debris on the components. He explained that these contaminants were hindering the operation of moving parts, restricting airflow and probably creating a health risk. The furnace overheated and the cost of repair was considerable. It could have been prevented if I’d changed the filter and arranged for proactive maintenance in the fall. A clean filter traps particles and prevents them from getting inside the furnace. Professional upkeep in the fall includes a thorough cleaning of the various parts, troubleshooting and tuning. The technician makes sure the heater is in tip top shape and prepared for the winter workload. Since taking better care of my furnace, I’ve benefited from lower monthly energy bills, a cleaner home and superior comfort. I haven’t had any complaints with the furnace.