My parents used to tell me all about how important it was for me to practice self-reliance. What that really meant was simple: They weren’t going to bail me out if I made mistakes! It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, you know – their refusal to be my safety net taught me how to plan for the future, and carefully tend to my affairs. It was simple enough, as I simply needed to be sure that I had a plan B in every situation! Most recently, I found myself in a situation where I put my planning and improvisational skills to use. It started when my home’s A/C system began to push warm, odor-ridden air into my home. My first thought was to check the air filter, but it was still clean – after all, I’d changed it out only a week earlier, but I worried I may have bought the wrong size. After verifying that the air filter was in good shape, I checked the thermostat to see what setting it was showing. That was my clue, as the system was set to 72 degrees but registering that the indoor temperature was almost 80! There was definitely something wrong with the refrigerant line, but I couldn’t tell what it was. I did some research on the web, and found that there was a chance my refrigerant had simply run out and needed to be recharged. I’m no HVAC mechanic, so I called a licensed professional in the heating and air conditioning industry to come by the house and diagnose my air conditioning system. I dealt with the warm air in my home for a few days, until the day the technician arrived. After opening the outdoor condenser unit, he quickly found that the coils that circulate refrigerant were damaged, as a blockage had built up that caused the coils to warp and crack. Well that was unfortunate, but I was glad to figure out the problem and have it fixed in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, imagine if I didn’t think to check all the other possible causes! That would’ve been a huge waste of time and money if it truly was just an issue with the A/C.