After getting stranded at home in the middle of a winter season blizzard with a malfunctioning gas furnace, I learned the importance of keeping a clean air filter. Because I failed to update the air filter, the gas furnace became clogged with dust & contaminants. This greatly restricted airflow, put additional strain on the equipment, & caused it to overheat. A crack in the heat exchanger left me with no option but to invest in a whole brand new gas furnace. During this process, our old victorian home was became very cold as it was only 10 degrees outside. We were forced to run electric space heaters to try to keep warm. We also wore our coats in the house, shivered non stop. We were also very concerned about the pipes freezing. I’ve since done some research & discovered that I should have been replacing the air filter in the gas furnace at least once a month. Purchasing an air filter is a cheap & easy way to lengthen the life of our gas furnace. Plus, this minor job will save me a good deal of money each month. A dirty air filter forces the gas furnace to have to work harder & for longer cycles, therefore requiring more energy. According to the Department of Energy, changing the air filter can trim up to fifteen percent off our utility costs. Dirty air filters also reduces air quality in the home, spreading pollutants throughout the household & aggravating flu like symptoms. I now keep a supply of air filters on hand, & have enrolled in a service plan with our local Heating & Air Conditioning business. A licensed Heating & Air Conditioning business inspects the gas furnace prior to the start of the winter season, making sure the heating and AC units are in good shape & ready for the upcoming workloads.