Last December, I had a problem with my gas furnace. Right around Christmas, it started making more noise than usual. I then noticed that my house felt chilly. At first, I blamed the unusually cold weather, but after turning up the thermostat several times, I realized the furnace was no longer putting out as much heat. I tried calling a few local HVAC contractors, but the timing was bad. With the Christmas holiday, they were all closed and charging higher fees for after-hours service. Since the furnace was still operational, I decided to wait until the holidays were over. Unfortunately, the performance of the heater continued to deteriorate. The sound levels grew louder, and the amount of heated air decreased. Plus, the air smelled unpleasant and there was suddenly a great deal of dust blowing around. The furnace eventually quit altogether. Trying to get ahold of a service professional between Christmas and New Year’s is just about impossible. I finally managed to get an appointment, and the technician promised to show up between 10 AM and 4 PM. I can’t even imagine why the contractor couldn’t narrow his arrival time down a bit. I spent all day without heat and waiting for him to show up. I didn’t dare take a shower, get groceries or even run the vacuum cleaner, because I was worried about missing him. The HVAC contractor finally showed up at four o’clock. By that point, my house was freezing cold, and I was aggravated. He didn’t apologize and didn’t offer to remove his shoes. While I was thankful he was able to repair the furnace, he left a mess behind and cost me a fortune.