Home Maintenance

Ants In Air Conditioner

We have two HVAC systems.  One controls the temperature downstairs, while the other controls the temperature upstairs. Less than two months ago, I had both HVAC systems cleaned and inspected, so I was shocked when one of them started acting up.  I would turn on the upstairs system, air would circulate, but instead cooling, the room remained warm.  Upon inspection, I noticed that the fan, inside the outside unit, wasn’t spinning. I called the HVAC company and they sent out a technician.  He inspected the upstairs controller and duct work and found nothing.  He then went outside and removed the protective cover from the outside unit – and found the problem. All around the “contact” – the little piston-like device…

Continue Reading

Mortgage Payoff Progress For April With Chart

In February of 2010 my wife and I purchased our very first home.  We have a conventional 15-year mortgage and our plan is to pay it off in less than 10 years.  Our stretch goal is to pay it off in less than 7. As of March 31, 2011, we have made 13 regular mortgage payments – and several additional principal-only payments. When I posted February’s update, we had paid off 5.72% of our mortgage debt. When I posted March’s update, we had paid off 6.26% of our mortgage debt. As of the end of April, we have now paid off 6.90% of our mortgage debt. Here is our most recent chart – The chart below shows two percentages.  The…

Continue Reading
Emergency Fund

Increasing Emergency Fund Balance

We have decided to increase the amount of money that we keep in our emergency fund. One of our goals is to keep an amount equal to six months’ worth of expenses in our emergency fund.  The primary purpose for the money in our emergency fund is to replace (or supplement reduced) income. Income designated for mid- and long-term savings goals (like automobile replacement, new furniture, etc.) is kept in the same savings account – but is not considered part of the emergency fund.  The savings goals are part of our monthly budget – payments that we “make” to ourselves, each month. As a side note:  We also have long-term disability insurance.  The emergency fund is designed to replace income,…

Continue Reading