Recently, my husband, Patrick, and I planned to throw a huge Independence Day party. We’d moved into our house just six months before, and had never had the opportunity to invite all of our friends and family over to check out the new place. We took the precaution of renting a huge tent, and set up tables and chairs within the backyard. We spent several weeks planning for this party, focusing on everything from the lawn and garden to the swimming pool area. On the morning of the big party, it started to rain. This wasn’t just a light sprinkle, but a heavy downpour, made worse by large gusts of wind. It blew the chairs and tables over the lawn, and turned the tent covering inside out. I knew that our party would need to be moved inside. Since I had in the kitchen baking non stop for several days, the house was fairly overheated. Once there was a group of people crowded inside, it would probably become downright unbearable. With that rain and wind, it ended up being impossible to open the home windows. I turned the thermostat down a couple degrees and hoped the air conditioning could handle the challenge. The central conditioning system was rather outdated, and Patrick and I had been avoiding using it. Sadly, we had not yet gotten around to having the air conditioner professionally serviced by an HVAC contractor, and we were suspicious that it must need to be replaced altogether. I was so relieved that the air conditioning system started right up and cooled down the house. It made a couple strange sounds, but managed to maintain comfort despite the quantity of people crammed inside.