The other night, there was a minor catastrophe at my house. It wasn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it still hurt my budget. I was making dinner for my family when we heard a strange grinding noise coming from my downstairs basement. I figured this could only mean one thing! My heating system was finally done for. I knew my heating system was on its last legs. I didn’t expect it to run much longer. The HVAC technician who handled the annual maintenance in the fall had warned me this would happen soon. He suggested I have the furnace replaced right then, but I hoped it would last another winter. I put down my cooking utensils, and headed downstairs to assess the extent of the problem. I brought a flashlight along with me to look at the heating system more closely. It is especially dark in the corner of the basement where my heating system is located. I directed my flashlight at the furnace, and nothing seemed wrong. The grinding sound, however, indicated a severe problem with the heating system. I called the HVAC contractor for repair and was relieved that it was a minor issue. However, I am now convinced that I need to invest in a new furnace for the sake of safety. I have gotten a free estimate and plan to have a new furnace installed in the spring. I just hope that my existing furnace will last that long. It needs to handle another month of winter.