This past year, the weather changed very quickly. It seemed that one day it was snowing and cold, and the next day was hot and humid. With the arrival of sunshine and blue skies, I was in a big hurry to open up the pool, set up the barbecue grill, and get the lawn mowed. I had patio furniture to haul out from the basement, snow shovels to put away, and pool chemicals to purchase. Plus, my kids are involved in spring sports, and life was extremely hectic. I completely forgot to schedule professional maintenance for the central cooling system. When the outside temperature climbed into the high seventies, with excessive humidity, I turned the thermostat down, started up the air conditioner, and knew I had a problem. The air conditioner made a very strange sound and the air from the vents carried an unpleasant, musty odor. I made sure to replace the air filter, and carefully cleaned the vents. I simply didn’t have time to schedule a repair and spend a day babysitting the HVAC technician. I hoped that after running for awhile the cooling equipment would work out the issues. Unfortunately, the concerns only worsened. The weather continued to heat up, and the air conditioner was running non stop at maximum capacity. I ended up lowering the thermostat setting several times, placing even greater strain on the cooling components. Even though it was making alarming sounds, putting out less air, and dripping water, I never got around to calling for professional service until it failed completely. When the HVAC contractor took apart the cooling system, he showed me a tremendous buildup of mold, mildew, dust and all sorts of disgusting stuff.