Why HVAC Work Should Be Left to the Pros 0 0

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Whether you live with hot summers or cold winters, your air conditioning can break when you need it most. Whenever you hear an unusual noise or notice poor airflow, searching potential causes online might be one of your first steps. But don’t switch from researching likely problems to trying to fix your HVAC yourself. Not only can that be dangerous for yourself and your air conditioner, but it also invites a whole host of problems. Before you open up your air conditioner, consider these five reasons to leave it to the professionals:

  1. Repairing HVACs is dangerous.

Air conditioning systems are major appliances, and electrocution from your HVAC unit’s wiring can cause serious injury or death. Wiring mistakes, or simply jostling connections, can result in a fire. HVAC systems are also dangerous because of the Freon or other chemical coolants that can leak out of cracked or loose systems. Even opening your unit’s access panel can expose your hands to sharp metal edges. Aside from preventative maintenance tasks like changing your filter or vacuuming the vents, it’s safest to call an HVAC repair service.

  1. Don’t void your warranty.

Don't void your warranty

Image via Flickr by tonytayloradt

HVACs come with parts and service warranties either through the original manufacturer or the company that sold and installed your air conditioning unit. Modifying the system or making do-it-yourself repairs can make the warranty null and void. Even hiring a service that isn’t certified under the original equipment manufacturer can invalidate parts of your warranty. So look for a reputable company that covers all of the services you need.

  1. Troubleshooting can be expensive.

When it comes to your air conditioning, one problem can quickly lead to another. Poor ventilation from a clogged filter can frost over the coils and make the motor overheat. If you start troubleshooting to solve just the noticeable problems, you might find yourself making repairs again and again without treating the core issue. When professionals service your HVAC, they examine the whole system and can trace problems to the source.

  1. Don’t make malfunctions worse. 

DIY repairs take time. Not only would you need to research the issue you think is making your air conditioner misbehave, but you also have to collect the tools and materials. Any delay can make your air conditioning unit develop new and more severe issues. DIY repairs also have a significant risk of going wrong. Most homeowners don’t have the tools, training, or backup that professionals do just in case something deviates from the user manual.

  1. Maintain your AC holistically.

Like we mentioned earlier, most HVAC service companies check over your whole system, even once they’ve solved the critical issue. Inspections, annual service appointments, and even just having a professional glance at the air conditioning can help you catch issues before they turn into expensive problems. If your AC is malfunctioning and it’s been over 12 months since its last service call, don’t just repair the single problem. Get your whole system ready for the upcoming season.

A little bit of DIY maintenance can keep your HVAC running from month to month and changing the filter regularly is one of the best ways to keep it running smoothly. But if you notice malfunctions, poor air circulation, or strange noises and smells, bring in a pro.


Featured Image Source: Kara Eads on Unsplash

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Time Saving Beauty Hacks For Busy Moms 0 3

Time Saving Beauty Hacks For Busy Moms
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No matter how busy you think your life is, you’ve probably got nothing on the crazy schedule of a new mom. All at once, everything else in your life that used to draw your attention is now shifted to your child. It’s not surprising or unnatural that putting aside time for some much-needed self-care is no longer a priority once women start a family.

The constant needs of a child can drown self-care needs that used to be a priority before motherhood. Taking time to style your hair just right, put on a full face of makeup or even getting to have a shower all to yourself seem like the dreams of yesterday for busy moms.

Being a mom, whether you are in Chicago or Los Angeles is the most important role that you will ever have; it’s universally demanding. It’s also important to start teaching your child about taking time to take care of themselves, which they can learn by watching you. Grooming habits and taking care of yourself even when you are pressed for time is a good example of healthy habits to pass along to your children.

You don’t need to look like you are about to walk a runway every day but there are a few time-saving beauty hacks that are great for busy moms. From getting the best laser hair removal Chicago has to offer to embracing your natural hair color and texture, you can still save time and look radiant.

Minimize Makeup Routine

There isn’t a mother on the planet that doesn’t know what it’s like to always look tired around the eyes and lose a bit of your natural glow from pure exhaustion. You may not want to completely embrace the fully natural look but, that doesn’t mean that you can’t show your beauty to the world.

Start with a combination product that includes moisturizer and a light pigment to help you renew your skin’s moisture and even out your complexion. Add a bit of mascara to your upper and lower lashes to give your eyes a more alert and open appearance. Finish off your look with a bright lip stain that will stay on all day and stand up to lots of baby kisses.

Shower At Night

Days are the busiest time for moms so it can be nearly impossible to fit a shower for yourself into the schedule. Take a bit of time at night when the day slows down a bit to jump in the shower for a few minutes. This can become a relaxing routine at the end of a long mommy day and help you to sleep better and rise ready for another day.

Simple Hair

When you become a mom you can say goodbye to fancy hairstyles on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean that you have to walk around looking like you have never used a brush or a comb but, embracing your natural hair has its benefits. Get comfortable with your natural hair texture and try simple styles that can be done on the run.

You may even want to go with a short and sassy style when you start your family. Most women can rock a pixie cut with very little effort and maintenance.

Laser Hair Removal

Mom’s that can barely get in the shower long enough to rinse off don’t have time to worry about shaving their legs. Most moms know that things can get pretty prickly between shaving sessions. If you want a permanent solution you can talk to a dermatologist about the benefits of having laser hair removal treatments.


There is nothing more beautiful than a new mother. Even with a busy schedule and a huge shift in your priorities, it’s still possible to look your best with these time-saving beauty hacks.

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What New Parents Should Look for in a Credit Card 0 6

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Author: Michelle Couch, Financial and parenting writer

Michelle Couch is a freelance writer who covers family finance, personal finance, parenting and more. Couch lives in Maryland, MA and loves to leverage credit card points to travel with her husband and two children. 

Having a baby brings overwhelming joy but also comes with a lot of new expenses. From buying packs of diapers in bulk, to walking the grocery aisles for baby food, your expanding shopping list may mean it’s time to consider opening a credit card that fit your new family needs.

Data shows, in the first year alone, the cost of raising a baby can run up to $21,000, and the cost of raising a child to adulthood can increase after that. In order to maximize your financial flexibility and your credit card rewards, the credit cards you carry should evolve as your family and spending habits change. Read on for the qualities you should look for as well as some of the best credit cards for each stage of raising a family based on your goals and spending habits.

Parenting stage: Newborn baby

When you have a newborn baby, you will spend an outrageous amount of money on new baby gear – from diapers to medical bills and childcare. Having a credit card that gives you rewards and cash back for all those expenses can be beneficial and help ease the burden of all those extra costs. Choose an easy-to-use card that will reward you for the spending you’re going to do and skip cards that give you extra points for entertainment and dining out, since you’ll likely cut back in those categories. The Brim Financial credit card, for example, has built a unique rewards marketplace that provides points for the things you will need for your little one like groceries and retail items.

Parenting stage: School-age kids

As time goes on, you’ll spend less on diapers and baby food, but that does not mean spending costs will decrease. A USDA analysis found that family expenses actually increase as a child ages. Spending costs will go more towards extracurricular activities and your grocery budget will increase. New moms and dads will appreciate the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because this credit card offers the highest cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets at 6%.

Parenting stage: Teenagers

Once your child is 16, many experts recommend making your teenager an authorized user on one of your credit cards to help build your child’s credit history. Keep in mind that just because you add your teen as a user doesn’t mean you have to give them the card. If your goal is to maximize rewards, The Chase Freedom and Discover It Cash Back all offers 5 percent cash back each category in different categories, ranging from dining to gas.

Parenting stage: Kids off to college

It’s never too early to start saving for your child’s college education. 529 college savings plans are your best bet when planning for future college costs. A 529 plan is a savings account where the money is used to pay for the beneficiary’s college expenses and K-12 tuition, tax-free. If your goal is to enjoy more time to yourself since your child is away at college, apply for a premium travel card with a big sign-up bonus to help pay for those planned vacations. The Chase Preferred and Reserve cards offer 3 percent back in both dining and travel.

The Takeaway

As your children grow from diapers to college caps and gowns, different credit cards can help you reach and manage your goals dependent on your household spending. Credit card users should switch cards frequently as their spending habits change and the issuers change their offerings.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

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