Last summer, the weather was uncommonly cool and rainy. There was absolutely no need to run the air conditioner all that often. I was thrilled to steer clear of the higher electric bills. We were satisfied with opening the windows and using fans. I figured that since the air conditioner experienced no depreciation, there was no need for scheduled maintenance this year. I not only saved money on operating my air conditioner, but also on upkeep of it. This summer, however, the weather warmed up. Temperatures climbed up into that eighties, and the humidity has been unbearable. There was no choice but to utilize the central cooling system and run it without stopping. Unfortunately, my air conditioner wasn’t running optimally. It struggled to cool the home and handle the humidity. I noticed an excessive amount of airborne dust, and the house smelled a bit musty. The air conditioner was definitely running much more than usual, and seemed to be louder than I remember it. It finally quit working altogether at the end of June. When I called my HVAC contractor for repair assistance, he mentioned that there was a substantial amount of dust and contaminants found inside the system. He said that even though the air conditioner has not been started up at all, it still should have received professional cleaning. Apparently, despite the fact that HVAC equipment sits idle, dust and other pollutants penetrate the inner functions. The gradually build up causing big complications. Blocked airflow, friction, longer sprinting times, and excessive energy use are many of the consequences. The repair was far more expensive than I expected. I have learned a valuable lesson. I will never again neglect the annual protection of my HVAC equipment.