This furnace is very old

My furnace is nearly twenty years old, and I know it’s close to failing completely.  I really don’t want to invest the money into a whole new heating system. While my furnace is outdated, oversized, and doesn’t really keep my house comfortable, it still works.  I admit that it costs me a great deal in energy bills every month. Over the last few years, the monthly heating bills have steadily gotten higher. I am sure that my furnace is not operating at peak efficiency anymore.  It doesn’t put out as much heat as it once did. There are now cold spots all over the house, and most of my heat is trapped up by the ceiling. I’ve noticed that the furnace runs for longer and longer cycles, and it is gradually growing louder.  When it kicks on, the lights in the house dim and there’s a terrible grinding noise. Every time, I cross my fingers and hope that it doesn’t malfunction. As soon as I smell burning hair, I know that it’s working. I make sure to change the air filter every month, and keep the furnace as clean as possible.  I schedule professional HVAC maintenance for the furnace every September. Every year, my HVAC contractor warns me that my furnace is about to die, but I keep managing to get one more year out of it. According to my HVAC technician I could save a whole bunch of money by purchasing a super expensive furnace. He says my heating bills would be significantly lower, and I wouldn’t be stuck paying for a bunch of repairs.

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