If I would have known the consequences, I would have never neglected the service of my HVAC system. It was just last month, in the middle of January, when my furnace completely failed on me. I didn’t think that the repair was going to be expensive, but I was wrong. It was a whole lot more intensive than just a repair, because I ended up having to update my entire furnace. The furnace was only 5 years old. Unfortunately, I never had it adjusted, inspected or cleaned by a professional over the years. Sure, I changed the air filter every couple months, but that wasn’t nearly enough. The ducts were super dirty and obstructed. When the HVAC professional inspected the air filter, it was dirty. The inner workings were overrun with contaminants. The contractor also found what he first suspected, which was a hairline crack in the heat exchanger. He told me that because my HVAC system was so incredibly dirty, it lacked necessary airflow. This caused the system to work harder and longer to keep up with the demand of the thermostat. After going without proper maintenance and cleaning of the system, it overheated, which led to the crack in the heat exchanger. I expected it would be a minor repair to get the heat exchanger and swap it out, but then the contractor explained that the cost of a new part is more than a new heater. The worst thing is that I could have easily prevented this problem. With proper maintenance once per year, my furnace would have never overheated. I have now enrolled in a maintenance contract with a local HVAC contractor. I signed up to protect the new furnace.