Right after college, I struggled to keep up with expenses. I was faced with a tremendous amount of student loans, on top of my car payment, health insurance, and living costs. By necessity, I moved into a crappy little apartment because the rent was cheap. I was fortunate that the apartment was within walking distance of my job. However, I had to make do with a leaky roof, broken refrigerator, leaky faucets, and very little hot water. Despite the small size of the apartment, it was very difficult to regulate temperature. The windows were in terrible shape and leaked a tremendous amount of air. They were also painted shut, making it impossible to bring in fresh air. I am suspicious that there was little to no insulation in the walls, and I could feel outside air wafting in beneath the front door. Plus, the heating and cooling system was ancient, dirty and corroded. In the summer, I didn’t even bother running the air conditioner. The one time I started it up, it made a terrible screeching sound and smelled so musty that it gave me a headache. Although I managed to get by with box fans, I frequently blew fuses because the electric lines were so old. In the winter, I had no choice but to rely on the heating system. The heater seemed to run constantly, and yet the apartment was always chilly. It cost me a fortune in monthly utility bills, and I continually lowered the thermostat setting. When I finally got a promotion and a raise at work, I immediately started looking for a better apartment with a modern HVAC system.