I take very good care of the furnace and air conditioner installed into my home. I have set a reminder on my phone so that I don’t neglect to replace the air filters every four to six weeks. I’ve enrolled in a maintenance agreement with a local HVAC contractor. They call to set up service for the furnace in the fall and for the air conditioner in the spring. Before the start of the severe weather, a licensed technician comes to the house and completes a thorough troubleshooting, cleaning and tuning of the equipment. He checks for any minor problems that could graduate into a breakdown during the season and replaces any parts that are showing wear and tear. He removes the buildup of contaminants, tightens electrical connections, lubricates moving parts and verifies safe and proper operation. Because of this, I expect the furnace and air conditioner to perform dependably throughout the season. Last summer, I noticed some concerns with the cooling system. There were major temperature inconsistencies from one room to another. Not only was less air coming from the vents of certain rooms, but there was a lot more dust and an unpleasant, musty smell. The air conditioner seemed to be running more often than usual, and there was a definite increase in my monthly electric bill. When I called for repair, the technician told me that the cause of the issues was the ductwork. I had never even considered having the ductwork professionally serviced. Over the years, contaminants such as dust, dander, pollen, mold growth and even dead rodents had accumulated inside. The debris was restricting airflow through the system and polluting our indoor air quality. Fortunately, professional duct cleaning solved all of my complaints.