When my fiance, Mark, and I relocated north because of his work, the two of us spent the first year living in a cramped apartment. We dealt with little space, aged appliances, never enough hot water, and insufficient parking. We wanted to buy our own house but didn’t want to rush into anything. We hoped to find a good deal on a house with quite a bit of property, located near our works. Since the two of us had always lived in the South, the change in weather was a big adjustment for us. Never before had we experienced temperatures below freezing, brutal wind chill, or drifts of snow. Mark and I realized that the heating furnace in our new house would be a top priority. In the apartment the two of us rented, the heating component was old and inefficient. It seemed to run all the time, yet struggled to keep up with the temperature outside. It also spread quite a bit of dust, made a lot of noise, and cost a fortune to run. A big part of the concern was the old windows in the apartment, which leaked a tremendous amount of air. I was also suspicious that there was insufficient insulation in the walls and ceilings. Because of our experience in this horrible little apartment, Mark and I were absolutely adamant about condition when touring houses. We made sure to inspect the age and condition of the windows, weatherstripping, insulation and air duct. When the two of us liked a house, we us hired a Heating and A/C company to inspect the entire heating idea and give us an opinion on its condition and life expectancy.