Avacado Pesto Pasta

This is one of my favorite spring recipes.  It’s perfect for pot lucks or outdoor picnics in the summer time.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 bunch fresh basil (if don’t have fresh, dried will work fine)
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese –  monterey jack, cheddar, and mozzarella are best (optional)

Directions

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  Add linguine and cook according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining basil, walnuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and oil in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Season generously with salt and pepper.

Toss pasta with pesto.  Top pasta with  sun-dried tomatoes and cheese for additional flavor.

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What is a condensing unit?

A condensing unit provides the primary cooling power for your entire home comfort system, and because it’s exposed to outdoor elements to outdoor elements it requires special care.

If plants, shrubs, or other objects are too close to the condenser, the fan can’t move as much air as is required for maximum efficiency.  The exterior doesn’t have to be cleaned; in fact, cleaning chemicals could actually damage the protective finish of the cabinet.  Be careful when trimming plants near the unit, because it can be DANGEROUS.  Damaging the control or cooling coil can cause electrical shock.

The best practice is to have your local HVAC dealer perform a cooling system check.  They’ll evaluate your entire system to ensure you stay cool.

Tax Credits Return

IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled Out

Picture provided by http://www.seniorliving.org.

Many tax incentives were extended through the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 – also known as the “fiscal cliff bill” – which Congress passed on January 1, 2013.  The most important change may be the retroactive reinstating of the 25C Residential Energy-Efficiency Tax Credit from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013.

If you had a high-efficiency heating and air conditioning system or water heater installed in 2012, or plan to purchase qualifying equipment in 2013, you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $500.

There may never be a better time to install new or replacement equipment.  Consider contacting your local heating and cooling contractor to see if you qualify for the new credits or the retroactive credits.

Air Conditioning maintenance: A Quick and Simple Home Investment

Spring is almost here and routine air conditioning tune-ups are among the best home investments you can make.  That’s because tune-ups improve your system’s efficiency and increase its lifespan, saving you operating dollars and keeping you comfortable at the same time.  Not only that, you can avoid problems with mold build-up that can harm your breathing space.

It’s the same principle as routine dental cleaning and annual medical appointments.  Nothing’s wrong, and you want to keep it that way.  But some folks let the “ounce of prevention” opportunity pass right on by, thanks to a misguided impression that it’s just too much trouble.

Yet tune-ups are simple and quick and very much worth a very minor inconvenience that can save you a good bit of time and money in the long run.  Basically, a licensed professional will:

1: Clean evaporator and condenser coils, as needed, and straighten bent fins.

2: Check all the electrical components and controls.

3: Oil motor and shaft bearings.

4: Check the condenser.

5: Examine fan belts and replace if frayed or worn.

6: Calibrate the thermostat.

7: Check to see if the system is properly charged with refrigerant and that there are no leaks.

8: Check filters. (Ask your local HVAC dealer to see how often your filters need replaced)

Oh, and you can keep a watch on this on your own.  While many homeowners choose to shade their condensers with trees and shrubs to improve efficiency, you’ll want to watch to make sure vegetation doesn’t grow around the condenser and restrict the air flow.

Most tune-up tasks are too extensive for the average homeowner – because of the risk of electrical shock and potential for shorting in the electrical components.  But one of your techs can tend to these things in a very short time.  Also, there is additional maintenance that can be advantageous to your system.  When a tech comes to do your maintenance, ask if it would be beneficial to you to get some additional equipment maintenance.

Think of it as a way to save money while avoiding a whole lot more trouble later on.  Equipment failure in the heat of August is never as fun as a preventive measure taken in springtime!