My current heating system is nearly twenty years old. When my husband and I first purchased the house, the furnace was already installed and obviously not brand new. Since there was no paperwork or record of service, we could only guess at the installation date. I have been conscientious about scheduling professional maintenance every year. I’ve made sure to replace the air filter every month. Despite my efforts, the heater is beginning to show the wear and tear. We should have replaced the furnace at least ten years ago. It no longer provides maximum heating capacity and struggles to keep up with demand. Living in the northern part of the country, we face temperatures down to twenty-five below zero and rely on the furnace for six to eight straight months. During the most severe weather, it doesn’t matter how high we adjust the thermostat. The furnace can’t maintain ideal comfort and certain rooms are especially chilly. When the heating unit cycles on, it makes a grinding sound and continues to rattle the whole time it operates. Since it runs nearly non stop all winter long, the furnace is costing a fortune in utility bills. I know that a new furnace would provide superior energy efficiency, reduce our heating costs and recover the investment very quickly. Our home would certainly be more comfortable, stay cleaner and we’d benefit from healthier indoor air quality. Modern furnaces feature better safety features and air filtration. We could upgrade to zone control and a wifi thermostat for greater convenience, comfort and cost savings. However, I’m reluctant to deal with the disruption and mess of tearing out the hold heating unit and installing new.