I have a thirty-something year old house. It has thirty-something year old house problems. One of those problems is the fact that it still has its original HVAC units.
Now, the average American would go through life with $4.13 in the bank account and no margin for life to happen. "Life Happens" events like the HVAC unit going out. Luckily, Jenn and I stopped living with blinders on and have saved for such events.
So here is the story.
In February, I received a MONSTER electric bill. My reaction was like, "OH MY GOODNESS! I could color in a ton of squares on the Sangl Family Home Pay-Off Spectacular if I did not have this huge electric bill." So I did what anyone would do, I lowered the temperature of the thermostat and said to myself that we would just be a little chilly. Well, we FROZE for the month of March and received another MONSTER electric bill.
I said to myself, "This sucks. I am FREEZING and paying a ton of money on this stupid electric bill."
Luckily in April it warmed up nicely here in SC, and I was able to turn off the HVAC units. I have been able to leave them off until this week. On Monday night, it was over eighty degrees in the house and humid. So I cranked on the AC and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, it was still smoking hot.
I called my father-in-law who does HVAC for a living, but he lives far away. He told me to do some stuff, but all of it would involve me electrocuting myself so I decided to call my local friendly repairman (who also happens to be in my home group).
A short survey of the situation revealed that the condenser fan was not spinning. Thus the large electrical buzzing sound that has been coming out of the unit since FEBRUARY. Did I mention that it was buzzing since FEBRUARY? Oh, I guess that sound was important to note.
Turns out that I heated my house with the emergency strip heating for two straight months instead of the heat pump. Turns out that consumes enormous amounts of electricity. Turns out it consumed a lot of my budget for two months.
A few hundred dollars later, we are nice and cool again. With thirty-something-year-old units. It might help to know that I have money saved up to replace these units when they totally fail on me.
Do you have margin in your life to absorb "Life Happens" events?