Some dreadful things can be attributed to “bad luck.” Furnace failure is usually not one of them, because most can be attributed to poor maintenance.
It’s not too late to get a system checkup and preventive maintenance before the worst cold weather sets in. The service tech will check and clean burners and the heat exchanger, calibrate the thermostat, inspect the pilot light and check the blower motor, belt tension, and alignment. A heating professional knows what to repair before trouble begins.
Homes with heat pumps and electrical heating systems need the heating elements checked along with the all-important defrost cycle control that keeps the external unit from becoming iced over.