I did a bad thing. Las fall I neglected our gas furnace. It needed service and I let it slide. The weather cooled off quite swiftly, and I was swamped at work. Between rushing to cover the pool and store the patio furniture and grass mower, I forgot all about having the gas furnace serviced, so when I started up the heater in early September, it smelled like something was burning. By Halloween, we had several feet of snow on the ground and I had to raised the thermostat setting. The forced, hot air was so full of dust that the entire family sneezed and coughed. Unfortunately, this Winter so far, has been unusually chilly. The weatherman forecasts it will be a long winter, too. Like last year, we’ve been forced to run the gas furnace constantly at maximum capacity since the cold weather started and there seems to be no end to the cold. It’s almost Easter weekend and the snow is still falling. We can hear the gas furnace struggling to keep us warm. It wants to comply everytime I raise the setting on the thermostat, yet the house still feels cold. The other burden is that the cost of running the gas furnace is killing our finances. I worry that our loyal furnace is going to die, leaving us without heat. I can tell it’s on its last leg because it’s making an odd screeching sound from time-to-time. In an effort to save her from a horrible death, I called around to local HVAC service technicians hoping to schedule an appointment, but every one of the contractors are booked for weeks to come. I’m not sure our gas furnace system can take more cold weather. Neither can we.