I live in an area that is well-known for our severe winter weather. It’s not unusual for the temperature to drop well below zero. The wind chill often makes the temperature feel even colder. We average seven feet of snow per year, and spend a fortune on our heating bills. The summer season is typically short, hot and humid, and the fall is chilly and rainy. I always hope for a very long fall season, with mild weather, and I dread the winter. Once the outside temperature cools off, and we start up the furnace, there’s no hope for relief for at least six straight months. This past year, the winter weather arrived especially early. By Halloween, we’d already been running the furnace for three weeks, and there was several inches of snow on the ground. My kids were unhappy about wearing their winter coats and boots for trick-or-treating. My husband and I were super unhappy about paying excessive heating costs. Not only would the furnace most likely be in constant use until Easter, we were repeatedly opening the door for trick-or-treaters. Every time the front door opened, a blast of cold air swept into the house and our heated air escaped out. This forced the heating system to work harder, use more energy, and cost us more. The added wear and tear on the furnace could lead to malfunction and expensive repair. With such long and brutal winter weather, the reliability and longevity of the furnace are very important. We certainly don’t want to be left without heat and stuck paying for overtime HVAC service in the middle of a blizzard.