I have written before about the fact that I have a thirty-year-old house that has thirty-year-old house problems. One of the problems is that the downstairs AC is the original AC for the house.
Problem 1 – January 2008
It was making a "banging" sound.
Diagnosis: Low on refrigerant – $75.
Problem 2 – May 2008
It was not cooling at all, and it was making a loud electrical "HUMMMMMMMM" sound.
Diagnosis: Condenser unit fan was not operating – $200+
Problem 3 – June 2008
It stopped cooling again. It was a day before vacation so I decided to have it looked at when I got back home two weeks later.
Diagnosis: Electrical wiring insulation had worn through and was shorting out the fan – $105
So we are back to enjoying the nice cool air conditioning in the dead-middle of a South Carolina summer.
I wonder when I will have to replace this unit? Part of me wants to bury my head in the sand and hope that it runs another thirty years. The realistic side of me says I should go ahead and start pricing out units. Initial looks have shown a cost of $5K – $7K. Just what I want to spend my money on … an air conditioner.
Why do I bring all of this up? Because it is so important to look ahead when preparing a financial plan. Jenn and I could pretend that this issue does not exist and then have a financial "emergency" when this AC really does fail permanently. In the past (when we were always broke), we would ignore this issue and then be surprised when it failed. Now, we recognize it as a known, upcoming expense, and we plan for it.
I do hope that it lasts another thirty years, though.
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