In Chicago, Illinois, we wait a long time for warm weather.
The winter season often seems endless.
Last year, I had no choice but to start up the furnace in the first week of October. We were already experiencing temperatures in the low forties. By Halloween, there was six inches of snow on the ground and below-freezing conditions. We still had winter weather for Mother’s Day. The poor daffodils, tulips and hyacinths were covered in snow. When spring finally arrived, it felt like summer. The temperature immediately climbed into the mid eighties with ungodly humidity. I really wanted to open the windows, air out the house and enjoy a fresh breeze. After a couple of days, my family started complaining about the heat and begging to start up the air conditioner. When I finally lowered the thermostat setting, nothing but warm air poured from the vents. I tried changing the air filter and messing with the thermostat but nothing fixed the problem. It was difficult scheduling a repair service because all of the local HVAC contractors were extremely busy. I assumed that lots of homeowners were facing similar difficulties with their air conditioners. The technician removed the outer cabinet of the cooling system and found a significant buildup of dust and grime covering all of the components. There was mold growing on the coil, algae in the condensate drain and a small refrigerant leak. The replacement parts and labor added up quickly. The AC repair was a considerable expense. The technician told me that I could have avoided the concerns with the cooling system if I’d scheduled a tune-up during the spring.