I spent a great deal money on a brand new furnace a little over six years ago. I bought a top-of-the-line heating system in order to improve comfort and trim monthly expenses. I hoped that by investing more for a higher AFUE rating, I would eventually recover the cost and save money. The HVAC contractor who handled the project recommended that I enroll in a proactive service agreement. The service agreement included yearly inspection, cleaning and tuning performed every fall. Because the purchase and installation price of the furnace was so expensive, I was forced to take out a home improvement loan and make monthly payments. I was unwilling to invest even more money into a maintenance agreement. I was very happy with the heating capacity and energy efficiency of the new furnace. It maintained very even temperature throughout the house, operated quietly, and did a great job of filtering out airborne contaminants. Unfortunately, last January, the furnace suddenly quit. The outside temperature was down to twenty-three degrees, with a vicious windchill, and a blizzard predicted in the forecast. There was no way my family could go without heat until regular business hours. I called for emergency furnace repair and paid overtime charges. The HVAC technician who responded told me that my heating system was badly clogged with dust and had overheated. The cost of the repair was astronomical, and it wasn’t covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Because I had failed to schedule professional maintenance, the warranty was completely void. I spent way more on the repair than I would have on the service agreement.