It’s an odd fact of the human condition that we take extraordinary things for granted. As soon as a good thing becomes commonplace, we assume that its presence is just the ordinary state of affairs, and we forget to be grateful for it. On the other hand, the loss of a good thing often causes us to appreciate it anew. This may never be more true than when your air conditioner goes out right before summer hits in Texas.
Recently, my central AC unit stopped blowing cold air. Being springtime in Houston, this was a big deal that was going to get bigger very rapidly as summer began to swelter. I did some preliminary tests, and determined that the compressor was dead. I could have replaced the compressor and extended the life of the rest of the unit, but since the whole system was pushing 20 years old I decided it would be a better investment to chuck it all out and start from scratch.