I replaced the natural gas furnace in my home a little over seven years ago. I was forced to buy a new heating system when the old one suddenly malfunctioned in the middle of a blizzard. The cause of the failure was an excessive buildup of dust and debris within the inner workings. The accumulation of contaminants had blocked airflow, leading to longer running times and added wear and tear. The furnace ultimately overheated which caused a crack in the heat exchanger. Because a new heat exchanger costs as much as a whole new heating system, I opted for the installation of a modern furnace. I spent extra for a higher AFUE rating, better safety features and extended manufacturer’s warranty. I also made sure to enroll in a maintenance contract with the HVAC company that handled the installation. The maintenance program includes annual cleaning and troubleshooting of the furnace every year. This service fulfills the obligations of the manufacturer’s warranty and ensures continued coverage. Plus, the maintenance contract provides priority scheduling, discount on parts and labor, and no added charges for overtime service. I can call on the HVAC company at anytime, day or night or weekends, and get a licensed technician to the house within the hour. They guarantee their work, and offer flat rate pricing. The technician wears foot coverings to keep from tracking dirt through the house, and picks up any discarded parts or debris. Through the maintenance plan, I also benefit from a discount when I eventually purchase a new furnace. The proactive annual service keeps my heating equipment operating at peak efficiency, capacity and reliability.