It was a Sunday night and the house felt cold. The only way for the Doloski family to keep their Illinois house warm and cozy in December is with a working furnace. One look at the thermostat told them that clearly, theirs was not.
Within minutes of arriving, the service technician diagnosed the problem. They needed a new igniter. At least the problem was one they could not have resolved themselves.
Then the technician opened the side panel of the furnace. Filthy. Neglected. He said the igniter failed because the furnace filter hadn’t been cleaned. What would have taken five minutes to vacuum or replace, cost hundreds in “after hours” fees, parts, and labor. They know the furnace filter needs to be changed regularly, and usually, they do. But this year they simply forgot.
When it comes to forgetting about routine maintenance issues, the Doloski’s are not alone. Take automobiles, for example. A National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) survey showed that while 48 percent of its certified technicians always tell customers about the importance of routine vehicle maintenance, only 2 percent routinely follow that advice.
If you own a home, a car, or simply a human body, the words routine maintenance should be part of your vocabulary. Safety and good health are, of course, the most important reasons to keep what we’ve got in good working order. But the financial benefits are significant, too.