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Personal Finances / Living Below Your Means


Subject:  Re: Search boards by keyword? Date:  9/25/2020  11:46 AM
Author:  pedorrero Number:  911102 of 911503

Thank you for helping me find the well-hidden search feature!

I provide the following as a prime example of what we do here -- figure out what is actually a LBYM goal.

In the meantime, I have decided, without actually researching, that in my situation it probably makes sense to wait until my AC actually breaks expensively. I am, let us say, into year 17 of a 15-year projected life expectancy*. As I am wont to do, let me over-analyze this.

Background: HVAC system is "old" and has chronic issues that aren't worth fixing. This isn't just some opinion I pulled out of my, er, out of a dark place [grin]. This is the opinion of the tech that recently serviced my unit. It's just old, and prone to breakdowns and not worth repairing.

Cost: New HVAC will cost roughly $6-8K. This is not a trivial cost to me.

Option 1: Replace as soon as possible. Arguments in favor: can plan exact costs, schedule the repairs. Arguments against: unit is working adequately, and will continue to do so for an unknown period into the future.

Otion 2: cheaper to keep her. Arguments in favor: Unit is working acceptably. Most recent repair was about 1/100 the cost of a full replacement, this I can easily afford. Arguments against: if I replace now, I "lose" the "free" extended lifespan of my current unit, which is now working and will for an unknowable amount of time into the future.

Finally, what is the worst-case for each option? Option 1 gets me a new system with warranty, but I also am $8,000 poorer. Option 2's worst-case would seem to be the system finally dies during a heat wave. Woe is me, I will have to live in a warm, humid home for several days while a new system is chosen and installed. I've done this in the past (hurricane power outage, anyone?) and the point is -- it's an inconvenience but no threat to survival or even health.

So, after this lengthy analysis, what seems to me at least, the common-sense solution is let the old system limp along, and keep funds (or heaven forbid, credit card) on hand for the inevitable -- but perhaps far into the future -- need to replace the HVAC.

*My first home had a (then) 27-year-old HVAC system that worked perfectly. I lived there for about two years.If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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