I invested a great deal of money into a brand new furnace for my home. When the HVAC contractor suggested that I enroll in a maintenance plan, I wasn’t interested. I was not willing to spend even more money on the furnace. Since the system was brand new, I expected it to operate reliably for years to come. I made sure to replace the air filter every four to six weeks. In my local area, the furnace runs for about six months and then sits idle for the next six months. I assumed that this rest period would help to extend the service life. It never occurred to me that when the furnace isn’t operating, there’s still dust and other debris getting inside the cabinet. These contaminants gradually built up on the inner workings. The accumulation restricted airflow through the system, causing the furnace to run for longer cycles. The added wear and tear took a toll on the components. Plus, the moving parts of the motor were impacted by the dust. Eventually, the furnace malfunctioned and quit. I was forced to call for professional repair. The technician showed me the dust clogging the furnace and explained that a safety feature resulted in the shutdown. He said I was lucky that the heat exchanger hadn’t cracked or I’d need a whole new furnace. Because I had failed to keep up with professional maintenance, my warranty didn’t cover the cost of the repair. I’ve now signed for the maintenance program and schedule upkeep for the furnace every fall.