I have always lived in a warm, humid climate and cold, harsh winters are rare in this part of the country. It’s not unusual for people around here to wear shorts and have to run their air conditioners on Christmas. Other parts of the country might experience a White Christmas and sit by their cozy fireplaces with hot cups of cocoa, but where I’m from the closest thing we get to snow is the white sugar sand on the beaches. While kids up north are building snowmen and parents are worrying about their furnaces, kids here are building sandcastles and their parents are wondering when it’s going to be cool enough outside to turn off their air conditioner and open the windows. This past Christmas was another warm one for me, so it was a huge surprise on New Year’s Day just a week later to wake up to near-freezing temperatures. This was one of those rare times when I would need to turn on the heater. But when I turned on the heater, it did nothing but blow cold air at me. I might as well have been running the air conditioner. My heater isn’t usually important to my comfort, so I hadn’t had any maintenance performed on the unit in years. I called a local HVAC company to see if they could send a technician out for a quick repair, but was told that it would be 3 days before anyone could service the heater. I had to wear a coat inside and buy a space heater for my bedroom to survive until the HVAC technician could come repair my heater. From now on, you can bet I will schedule regular maintenance.