My central air conditioning quit during the middle of a dinner party last summer. It was toward the end of July, and we’d had an especially hot season. The outdoor temperature was in the low nineties with high humidity and not a hint of a breeze. My husband and I invited a few of our neighbors over for the evening. To make sure everyone would feel cool and comfortable, I’d lowered the thermostat by several degrees. When the air conditioner failed, the house heated up really quickly. I checked the thermostat and tried changing the batteries. My husband checked the breaker and replaced the air filter. Other than that, neither one of us had a clue how to fix it. We aren’t handy people. We figured it was worth paying extra and calling for emergency service from a professional HVAC contractor. We didn’t want our guests to be uncomfortable or live without air conditioning for the whole weekend. My one neighbor then offered to go get his tools and take a look inside the cooling unit. He seemed really confident that he could handle the repairs. Hoping to save ourselves some time, money and aggravation, my husband and I agreed. Our neighbor spent the next two hours taking apart the cooling unit. He removed a bunch of parts and made a lot of noise. It eventually became obvious that he had no idea what he was doing. When he put the air conditioner back together again, there were left over parts. The cooling system wouldn’t start up. We finally called for emergency repairs and ended up paying a much bigger bill due to all of my neighbor’s assistance. He’d managed to bend fan blades, break belts and cause all sorts of issues that needed to be fixed.