During the winter, you may find that most of your house is nice and warm, but one or more rooms are colder. There can be several reasons for that. You may be able to address the problem yourself, or you may have to call an HVAC technician. 

Things You Can Try Yourself
A colder room may have drafts. In some cases, closing the curtains or hanging heavy drapes can help retain heat and keep the room warm. If one or more windows are old and damaged, adding caulk or weather stripping may eliminate drafts. If those strategies don’t work, you may need to replace old windows. 

A vent that provides warm air to a room may either not be fully open or there may be an obstruction. Check to see if the vent in a cold room is open and make sure that there is no furniture blocking it. 

If necessary, use soap and water or a cleaning solution to clean the grate that covers the vent. Use a vacuum to remove whatever dirt and debris you can from inside the vent. If you think there might be something deeper inside the ductwork that is blocking airflow, have an HVAC technician conduct an inspection. If you look inside the vent and see rodent droppings, contact a pest control company.

Your HVAC filter needs to be replaced regularly. A dirty filter can reduce airflow. Check the filter and replace it if necessary. That may take care of the issue.

Sometimes an HVAC system needs to be balanced to give each room an appropriate amount of airflow and keep the entire house at a consistent temperature. HVAC systems have supply runs that come off the supply trunk and provide heat to individual rooms. If your system has dampers in the basement or attic, you can adjust them to regulate airflow to different parts of the house. If your HVAC system doesn’t have dampers, you may be able to make adjustments at the supply registers. 

When to Contact a Professional
Ductwork may be damaged and may need to be repaired by a professional. In some houses, ductwork was installed in a way that makes it difficult for adequate airflow to reach certain rooms. In those situations, an HVAC professional may have to repair or modify the ductwork. 

The location of a room may be responsible for the difference in temperature. If a room is located along an exterior wall in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, if it’s poorly insulated or if it’s above an uninsulated space, such as the garage, you may need to hire a professional to install more insulation.

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Investing for a long-term goal, such as retirement, requires a sound strategy. All too often, people make investment decisions based on current market conditions and recent changes. That approach can backfire. You’ll generally be better off if you decide on a long-term strategy and stay the course.

Stocks Usually Do Well Over Time
It’s common for individual stocks and the stock market as a whole to experience wide swings. That can make investors nervous, but it’s a normal process. 

Although the stock market goes up and down, over a period of decades, it tends to follow an upward trajectory. Even accounting for periods of significant economic decline, if you look at the big picture, stocks tend to perform well over the long term. If you invest in stocks and hold onto them for several years or decades, you will most likely see a substantial return. 

Reacting to Market Fluctuations Can Backfire
Investors often get worried when the stock market dips or a particular company that they own stock in is struggling. They sometimes think that it will be better to sell stocks before things get worse. 

When people try to time the market, it’s hard to get things right because there are so many factors at play. Investors have limited information, and circumstances can quickly change. When investors sell stocks during a market downturn, they typically earn less overall than they would have earned by staying invested and waiting for the market to rebound.

Making Emotional Decisions Can Cost You
If you get nervous when the market is in decline, you may sell stocks when the price is falling and get less than you initially paid for them. When the market begins to improve, you may decide to buy back stocks and pay more than you sold them for previously. You would be better off just holding onto those stocks and riding out the storm. 

If you sell stocks, you will have to pay taxes. Your tax rate will depend on how long you owned the stocks and your income tax bracket. You can also incur fees when you sell and buy stocks. All of those costs can eat away at your investment portfolio’s balance. If you stay invested, on the other hand, you can earn dividends and reinvest them to grow your nest egg.

Get Financial Planning Advice
Your individual investing strategy will depend on your goal, how much time you have available to invest, how comfortable you are with risk and other personal factors. If you need advice on how to save for retirement or another goal, consult a financial planning professional. 


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