We lived through a scorching summer this year. Things heated up early as temperatures rose into the high nineties. The humidity was unforgiving, so we had to turn on the air conditioning system. We don’t usually have to worry about sizzling summers. In a normal year, we start the cooling system for a few months which means the machine doesn’t work harder than normal. Were we surprised this year when we realized the A/C worked at high speeds for more than five months straight using maximum output. We hoped for an end to the blaze, but saw none. I hoped for cooler weather, however the heat never waned. I spent a mint on electric bills and sleepless nights worrying about an A/C breakdown. I called several heating and A/C service companies to schedule a system check-up, but they were swamped. I changed filters in an attempt to perform my own preventive maintenance because if the A/C quit, our family wouldn’t sleep at night. Moisture would build-up, mold would grow; these cause health problems. Our poor unit struggled to combat the excess humidity. I almost bought a whole-apartment dehumidifier, but didn’t want to spend my moolah on something that’s rarely needed. My main concern was overly dry air produced by a gas furnace as well as the cost of natural gas. I’d get more use from a humidifier. Because of the heat, I couldn’t wait for the weather to cool off. I’m happy when it’s time to shut off the A/C, open windows, and breathe fresh air. Waiting for winter made me nervous that there’d be constant high electric bills between using the air conditioning and starting up the furnace. That would be financially devastating to go from paying big electric bills to enormous natural gas bills.