This past summer has been such a disappointment. Most days were chilly and rainy, and I ran the air conditioner for a couple of days here and there. For the majority of the summer, it was enough to simply open the windows during the day. At night, it was so cold, that I’d need to shut all of the windows. The air conditioner was pointless, and I resent that I still need to schedule professional maintenance for it. I know that even if the air conditioner sits idle, it’s collecting dust and other pollutants. The buildup of dust hinders airflow, causes friction, and could quickly lead to malfunction. Plus, I’ll end up paying higher electric bills. So even though the cooling system was basically worthless this past year, I’ll spend the money to have it professionally cleaned and inspected. I’m further annoyed because it’s only the end of August, and I’m tempted to start up the furnace. The outside temperature has dropped into the low fifties, and the rain is constant. The house is chilly, and my family is bundled up in sweatpants and sweaters. I am reluctant to turn up the thermostat and rely on the furnace so early in the season. Once I start up the heating system, it will probably operate continually until sometime in April. Not only is that a lot of wear and tear on the components, but it’s going to cost me a fortune. I have not even had the opportunity to have the furnace serviced yet. I called for an appointment with my local HVAC contractor, but they are booked solid until next month.