Lately, it seems as if my entire house is falling apart. I have been facing one malfunction after another. Because my home is around 200 years old, it has been extremely difficult to update and manage all of the necessary improvements, maintenance and repair work. My husband, Greg and I have spent the last seven years remodeling the household, and it is an ongoing challenge. Despite adding insulation, replacing windows, caulking, weatherstripping and putting up new drywall, we can’t prevent energy waste. The HVAC system seems to run constantly and the monthly utility bills cost a small fortune. Last summer, right when I was planning to fix the air conditioner and have it professionally serviced, the water tank ruptured and flooded the basement. Not only did I have to handle all of the water damage, mold and clean up, but I was forced to buy a new water heater. I was still left to deal with the time and expense of the air conditioner upkeep, when my vacuum broke and the overhead garage door suddenly refused to open. Since I couldn’t get by without a vacuum cleaner, and I needed to get my car out of the garage, those jobs became my priority. The air conditioner was neglected and it eventually suffered the consequences. By the end of July, the air conditioner started making a really alarming screeching sound. Greg and I just purchased a new pool heater and a new clothes dryer, so I attempted to fix the air conditioner myself. That was ultimately a huge mistake, and once I took the cooling unit apart, I couldn’t put it back together. I was tempted to try and get along without air conditioning, but the outside temperature climbed into triple digits and my family was complaining.