While growing up in the midwest, I did not have a need for air conditioning. However, I did rely on heat for at least 3 months out of the year! The outdoor temperatures held within the cooler ranges, and for most of my childhood, my family I did not even own a central cooling system. We did have a forced air heating system, which was necessary because the winter temperatures could get down below freezing! During the year, my parents made sure to have the heating system service to keep things running properly. They set up appointments to have the heating equipment checked every fall. Then when outdoor temperatures began to get chilly, they could be sure the furnace was ready to keep the home nice and warm. If mom and dad had waited until worst weather, the costs of heating could have doubled or even tripled.One month, during the Christmas holidays, the heating system abruptly quit working. My my father looked over the furnace plus did everything he could think of to get it started again. He was unable to repair it on his own. With bad weather on the way and temperatures dropping even further, he called a licensed HVAC repairman. After waiting an hour for him to arrive, the HVAC technician had the heating unit working again within half an hour. The heating system did not require much effort, and the repairman knew exactly what was required. The price of the repair was minimal because my father always took the time to schedule professional furnace maintenance every year. Things could have become way worse. We couldn’t have gone without heat. It taught me that maintenance is necessary on any type of heating or cooling equipment, and helps to keep costs down.