Winter comes every year. I know that statement elicits a "duh" and an eye roll. But there's one group of homo-sapiens who annually have short term memory loss when it comes to this: apartment hunters. I have no idea why, but if I advertise a great apartment with heat between March and August, it languishes. O, the denial. In September the phone rings off the hook. Of course, phones don't have hooks any more, but that's another story...
On the other hand, furnaces, being alive, know full well when it's winter. That's the only time they fail. Not spring, not fall, just winter. (One time I went to hunt for a furnace's serial number and found a union sticker on the back side. I'm pretty sure a bunch of them rolled off the assembly line, congregated, and formed the United Furnaces union. But I digress...)
So, it turned out that we did have a furnace in that first rental. But it was so old it only gave enough heat in July and August. The Man brought in another Man, and together they determined that there was nothing that could save the old behemoth. I would have to drive the ratty pickup an hour away to Albany during a snowstorm, and pick up a new furnace. So I did. And brought it back. And they told me that, while they were waiting for me to bring back the new furnace, they "messed around" some more with the old furnace, and, Good News! We didn't need a new one after all. We could baby this one along for at least this heating season. But in those days before cell phones, the bad news was I had to turn around and immediately return the new one, if I wanted to get our money back.
So I drove four hours in the snow that day, but that old furnace lasted another 10 years.