Getting Ready for Year End

Can you believe we are 5 weeks away from the end of 2013?  It is time to start gearing up for taxes, purging files, and all the other things that invite procrastination.  If you are like most people  this time of the year, your filing cabinet drawers are begging for mercy, hoping you don’t stuff in one more file or receipt!

You might find yourself asking ….. How long should I keep my files?

First and foremost, in regards to taxes, you must keep all your records for 7 years.

When it comes to business files, depending on the business you are in, there may be some gray area, however, sticking to the 7 year rule, is a good rule of thumb.

If your office space is small a good tip is to keep one year prior and current year on site.  If necessary, you can use a storage room or building to hold the other years’ records.

What should you keep?  EVERYTHING. 

Well not everything, but it’s my policy to keep  AP files down to a minimum.  Keep the invoice with the check stub stapled to it, but toss out a statement, a payment envelope, and any extra baggage that comes with your invoice, such as coupons you won’t use, etc.

If you are interested in backing up your paper files – keep an eye on us – we have some options coming up that will be announced soon.  If you can’t wait – email us now.

As far as taxes go………….meet with your bookkeeper or accountant now to review where you are financially.  Should you make a contribution to an IRA?  Should you buy a piece of equipment?  Are you ok to just leave status quo as it is?  Have you spent enough money on your business this year – or have you spent too much?  Have you paid your tax liabilities? – are you prepared, do you know the proper forms to file at year end?

All of these questions are excellent for your bookkeeper.  If you don’t have one, please give us a call and we will be glad to set up a year end review to make sure you are on track and ready for 2014!

Lauree Adams, Owner

Adams Business Solutions

lauree@adamsbusinesssolutions.com  / 850-319-4205

An Idea Camp Success Story with Gulf Coast Theatre Students

If you haven’t been to an IdeaCamp with the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, you are missing out.  These interactive events designed after “Bar Camps” offer a laid back way for community members to share, learn and network in a local restaurant.   A handful of speakers share their experiences and “ideas”, hoping to connect and inspire with their audience.  Connections are made and often cool things happen, as did with Gulf Coast Theatre Department.

A couple months back, Jason Hedden, Associate Professor of Theatre in the Division of Visual and Performing Arts at Gulf Coast State College shared about what his applied theatre class was up to, a concept he called “Rehearsal for Reality.”

The way his students would “rehearse for reality” would be to use theatre techniques such as improvisation in non-traditional settings as a training tool for sales, customer service and effective communication.

They started with other Gulf Coast State College students such as those in the fields of physical therapy and micro-biology.

The theatre students served as simulated patients to help train the students entering the medical field.

After these exercises proved successful, Hedden proposed to his fellow chamber members an opportunity to partner with them in their prospective businesses and several took him up on the offer.

A local retail establishment had the theatre students do some “secret shopping” and helped the shop owner improve the quality of experience for their customers.

In addition, after being ignited with Hedden’s enthusiasm at IdeaCamp, two Real Estate companies also signed up for the opportunity.  Both Keller Williams Success Realty and Beachy Beach Real Estate had welcomed the students in their offices for simulated buyer and seller meetings.

This IdeaCamp success story is proof that cool things happen when people get together to share, learn and network in a no pressure setting.  The next IdeaCamp is scheduled for Nov. 21st from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Panama City Beach.  The event is FREE to Panama City Beach Chamber members and includes light eats, a free drink ticket for up to 50 participants and an opportunity to win door prizes like swag from local businesses or even a FREE ROUND TRIP flight from Southwest Airlines.

To register for the next IdeaCamp, click HERE or visit their FACEBOOK page to stay up to date with Ideacamp happenings.

If your business or organization is interested in the “Rehearsal for Reality” project with Gulf Coast Theatre students, contact Jason Hedden at jhedden@gulfcoast.edu or 850-769-1551 ext 2889

You can also catch the Gulf Coast Theatre Department live in action starting this upcoming Friday the 15th for their opening weekend of the hit musical Les Miserables.  To buy tickets and to learn more about the theatre department, you can visit the website or stay tuned to their FACEBOOK page.

 

 

 

 

Increasing the Longevity of Your Central AC Unit

Every homeowner who has ever had to purchase a new central AC unit knows that they are expensive. For this reason, it is important for homeowners to keep in mind a list of ways that they can increase the longevity of these units. There are some simple, easy steps that you can take to make sure that your AC continues to work just as well 15 years from now as it does today.

Air-Conditioning-RepairBuy the Right Size

One of the main problems that you can face with your central AC unit is simply having the wrong size unit. If the unit is too small for your large house, then it has to work overtime in order to keep the area cool – and it may not do a very good job, at that. This means that you can expect it to break down much more quickly. The same can be said for units that are too large for smaller homes; these will cycle on and off more quickly than normal, thus increasing the wear and tear on internal parts. In either case, choosing the wrong size will take years off of your AC unit’s lifespan.

Proper Maintenance

Although you’ve likely heard it time and time again, this point cannot be stressed enough. The regular maintenance of your central AC unit is the single most important thing you can do to increase its longevity. This starts at home with things like using the correct filters, changing them often, and keeping the outdoor components of your AC clean and free of debris. An annual inspection is also recommended as this can catch any potential problems early and prevent major repairs down the road. If your air conditioner is not in optimal condition each season, it will undoubtedly wear much faster than it normally would.

Use Ceiling Fans when Applicable

While many people are turning away from ceiling fans because they present several cleaning challenges, these can actually help to extend the life of your central air conditioner. First and foremost, running ceiling fans helps to evenly distribute the cooled air throughout your home and help your unit run more efficiently. Additionally, when it is not terribly hot and humid, you may feel comfortable when you shut off your AC and simply enjoy the breeze created by the fans. This can also help your air conditioner last.

Create Good Airflow and Check Thermostat Positioning

Finally it is important to ensure that each and every room of your home has adequate airflow. There is no point in opening registers wide in every single room since smaller rooms need less cooled air than larger ones. Thus, take the time to go through your home and close off registers that are not being used, open those that deliver air to the biggest, most used rooms, and see how you feel the most comfortable. Finally, be sure that the thermostat is not positioned directly in front a vent or in a location where bright sunlight will ‘trick’ it into registering that it is much warmer than it actually is.

If you have questions about the size of your central AC unit, are experiencing issues or would like to schedule an appointment for a knowledgeable professional to come to your home to inspect your unit, please do not hesitate to call us at A Superior Air Conditioning today!

Don’t Miss the Grand Opening Today at Highland Parks!

Hot property #1 is GORGEOUS model in Highland Parks for only $599,000

ALMOST complete and ready for Grand Opening November 7

Over 2280 square feet

About a half a mile from the beach

Resort style swimming pool and quiet surroundings

Hot Property #2 is a Kelly Plantation home for $899,000

Over 4,000 square feet

5 bedrooms 4.5 baths

Large kitchen and living with expansive outdoor living

RIGHT on the golf course

Screened in pool with relaxing fountain

Dealing with Condensation on Ductwork

When it’s hot outside and your air conditioner is working overtime, you may notice some condensation on your ductwork. This can pose a problem for your home since this damp, cool environment is a breeding ground for mold and other harmful bacteria.

condensationWhy Condensation Occurs

Condensation occurs when air is cooled below its ‘dew point’ temperature. Essentially, air can only hold so much moisture depending upon its temperature. The cooler the air, the less moisture it can hold. Thus, when your air conditioner works to cool the air in your home (essentially by removing the humidity, or moisture), the air becomes completely saturated with moisture and cannot hold any more. Any extra moisture in the air comes out in the form of condensation, and your ductwork is a very common place to notice it.

Why Ducts ‘Sweat’

Now, it is important to understand how condensation forms on your actual ductwork. Think of it like this: cold air is being forced through the ducts in your home, whether they are located in your attic, basement or otherwise. The air that is inside the ducts is much cooler than the air outside the ducts, and as the outside surface of the ducts is cooled, the humidity that is in the air outside of the ducts will start to form condensation. This is essentially water that is being taken out of the air and collecting on the ducts; leaving this problem unsolved can cause some serious issues since the water can drip onto the floor of the basement or, worse, onto your ceilings if the ducts are located in the attic.

Handling Sweaty Ducts

There are two different solutions for handling ducts that are prone to condensation. First, the surface of the ducts themselves can be warmed in order to prevent the condensation from forming. Second, the air that surrounds the ducts can be ‘dried’, and this essentially removes the humidity that causes the condensation to form in the first place. To keep the ducts warm, homeowners can add insulation to them. However, it is important to enclose the insulation in a vapor barrier in order to prevent mold growth on the insulation itself. To dry the air, homeowners can install whole-home dehumidifiers.

When the Air Conditioner Unit is the Problem

The air conditioner unit itself is very rarely the cause of condensation on ducts, but there are a few situations in which this should be considered. Some of the newer air conditioners actually make the air that flows through the ducts colder in an effort to remove more humidity from the home in a more efficient manner, but this only adds to condensation issues. Another thing to consider if you are noticing condensation on your ducts is the filter in your AC unit. If the filter is dirty, it restricts the airflow and results in air that is much colder than it should be.

If you are experiencing condensation on your ducts, then professional help is only a phone call away! Here at A Superior Air Conditioning, we can quickly pinpoint the cause, provide you with a solution and potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Rates are Lower after Fed does not Taper

 

The government shutdown is over, but with another budget deadline looming in a couple months, it is unlikely economic data will be strong enough to warrant the Fed changing its taper tune in the near future. This also should help keep mortgage rates at relatively low levels over the next couple months.

Buyers beware, these low rates are so low because the government is artificially keeping bond rates low through its $85B / month bond buying program known as QE3. Economists such as Forbes’ Robert Lenzner believe the Fed will gradually ease out this program but cutting back $5B to $10B per month, but also state that rates will rise to an “impossible to predict level” as institutional bond investors will sell off their investments in bonds when this taper begins. This is another good reason to go ahead and buy now if you are planning to do so in 2014.

Here are a few other key items regarding mortgage loans:

• Effective November 16, 2013: Loans submitted to Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter will require a minimum 5% down payment vs. 3% as it is now. With no up-front MI this is a great loan option vs. the FHA loan but some buyers may not have the sufficient funds for the higher down payment amount. If you would like the lower 3% down option we are still taking applications and running DU findings for this great loan product. Loans do not have to be closed by November 15, only have DU Approval, so there is still time to take advantage of this low down payment loan.

• Bank of England is a local lender that offers the Homepath Renovation loan. This product features 3% down, no MI, and up to $35,000 in renovation funds. This product can be used for primary, secondary and investment properties. What a great product! Email me or call for details.

• Florida’s USDA Rural Housing office is reporting 60 – 70 day turn times once they receive the file. This means home buyers and sellers can expect a 90+ day waiting period to close start to finish. FHA has a low 3.50% down payment and allows the funds to be gifted or borrowed from family members, so this is an alternative to allow buyers to buy now, closing in 3-4 weeks, rather than waiting on the USDA product.

• I also have great resources for all types of loans to include Lot and Construction Loans, Condo’s, and Commercial Properties.

 

Mike Tarleton
Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer
5410 E. Hwy 30-A, Suite 212

Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

850-866-2963 (Cell)
706-888-0980 (Cell / Text)
866-727-8521 (Fax)
NMLS: 264821
www.bankofengland.us

For informational purposes only.  Credit subject to approval, including credit worthiness, insurability and ability to provide acceptable collateral.  NMLS 418481. Member FDIC.

 

EHO Logo

Florida Minimum Wage to increase by 14 cents Jan. 1, 2014

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has announced that as of January 1, 2014 minimum wage will increase by 14 cents. Currently minimum wage is 7.79 and it will go to 7.93. Employees whose wages are based on tip earnings will go from the current of 4.77 per hour to 4.91 per hour.

Remember that according to Florida minimum wage statues employers are required to post minimum wage notices in a conspicuous and accessible place where employees work.

You can log on to the DEO website http://www.floridajobs.org for more information and for a link to download the requirements for posting.new logo

Easy Maintenance will Maximize Air Purifier Performance

air cleaner

If you suffer from asthma or allergies, you may want to consider an air purifier to remove dust and other fine particles from the air. In order to ensure your unit works properly, you’ll need to change the filters on a regular basis in addition to performing certain other maintenance. Here are some tips you can use to make sure that your air purifier continues to work efficiently and offer you great health benefits.

Changing the Filter

Filters will need to be changed at different intervals based upon a variety of factors. Machines equipped with HEPA filters may only need to have them replaced every three to five years; however, they should still be vacuumed about twice a year in order to keep them working properly. Other types of filters may need to be changed anywhere from one to six months. Foam pre-filters may not need to be changed at all, but instead taken out and washed thoroughly and then allowed to dry.

Electrostatic Units

Elecrostatic air purifiers are those that use magnetic fields to trap particles. These units have plates that can be removed in order to clean them. This should ideally be done at least once per month, but it could be needed more often if you have pets or are a smoker. Simply remove the plates according to your manufacturer’s directions, and then rinse them underneath warm running water. Allow them to dry thoroughly before replacing them.

Wire Maintenance

In addition to cleaning the plates, you could also need to remove dust and dirt from internal wires if you have an electrostatic unit. A special tool is needed in order to clean these wires without damaging them. Replacement brushes can normally be obtained by contacting your manufacturer. Wire cleaning should ideally be done at the same time you clean your plates, but remember to turn your system off and unplug it from its power source before doing so.

Fan Cleaning

Some models are also equipped with a fan to help circulate the air throughout the room once it has been purified.  Fan blades may also become dirty and need to be cleaned from time to time. You’ll be able to tell if this is needed simply by looking at these blades. Again, you should power off your machine and then use a damp cloth or sponge to gently remove dirt particles before starting it back up again.

Exterior Cleaning

Aside from changing the filters, the only other maintenance that is usually needed is cleaning the exterior of the machine. This should be done with a damp sponge about once a week or so. Avoid spraying any type of cleaner on the front of your machine, as this could cause chemicals to get inside of it and then be expelled out into the air you breathe. If you find your air purifier is especially dirty, you can use a bit of dish detergent in a bucket of warm water to clean it instead.

Air purifiers improve indoor air quality tremendously, but can only work efficiently if they are properly maintained. Fortunately, doing this is not time consuming or expensive, even on the most elaborate models that are available.

Your Heating System and Carbon Monoxide

While the state of Florida is known for its warm climate and sunny views, residents understand the need for an effective heating system when temperatures plummet. If you have a gas furnace in your home, you should understand what carbon monoxide is and how you can protect you and your family from this harmful gas.

carbon monoxideWhat is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a clear, odorless gas that is produced by the gas-burning appliances in your home. If you have a gas water heater, then a flue must be installed to carry the carbon monoxide that is created out of your home. The same can be said of your heating system; if you have a gas furnace, then that furnace is associated with a flue that not only lets fresh air in to aid in the combustion process, but also that allows the gases that are created to escape from your home safely. If carbon monoxide leaks into your home and your family breathes it in, it can cause brain damage or even death. The first symptoms of poisoning include nausea, headache and fatigue.

What Causes a Leak?

When your heating system is properly installed, it is designed to safely remove this byproduct of the combustion process from your home. The heat exchanger, or the location in which the heat is actually produced, is what contains the gas. It escapes through a flue that generally stretches from the location of your heating system out through your roof. The most common cause of carbon monoxide leaks is a cracked heat exchanger, but there are some other things like a blocked flue or even cracks in the flue itself that may allow for the gas to escape into your home.

Preventing Leaks

The absolute best thing that you can do as a homeowner to protect your family against carbon monoxide poisoning is to make sure that you have your gas furnace serviced each year. During our inspection, we will check all of the different aspects of your HVAC system that may pose not only mechanical problems, but also dangerous issues like carbon monoxide poisoning. Similarly, you can install detectors in your home to alert you if this dangerous gas is present. These are available as stand-alone monitors or along with fire detectors. Some companies that provide home alarm systems will also help you monitor for carbon monoxide.

What to Do if Carbon Monoxide is Present

In the event that your carbon monoxide detector alerts you to the presence of this gas, the first thing you should do is assess the symptoms of everyone in your family. If anyone reports a headache, an ill feeling, dizziness or extreme fatigue, you should evacuate your home and dial 911. If no one is experiencing any symptoms, then you can turn off all of your gas-burning appliances, reset the alarm, and then see if it continues to sound. If it continues to sound, please contact us here at A Superior Air Conditioning so that we can evaluate your system.

As always, we take your family’s safety and comfort very seriously. By installing carbon monoxide detectors and allowing us to inspect your gas-powered heating system annually for issues, you can better protect yourself and your family from this silent, odorless and colorless killer.

Boys and Girls Club Needs Your Help

 

 

We all have our gifts to share and if yours happens to be working with kids, the Boys and Girls Club of Bay County needs your help.

The Youth Basketball League is registering players right now and they are short coaches!!!!  

If you have a gift of working with children, i.e you can motivate them, have fun with them and ENJOY working with them…..Boys and Girls Clubs needs your help.  And if you happen to know something about basketball, well that is a BONUS!  Intimate knowledge of basketball or coaching is not as important as a desire to use a physical sport as a vehicle for positive self esteem.

Who do you know that can get kids moving and having fun using a sport?  Man, woman, young or old, college student, retired teacher, the youth leader at church,….who do you know?

Please keep in mind, this volunteer position would require a time commitment of 2 to 3 hours during season and would require the person to be at least 18 years of age and a background check so all the Boys and Girls Clubs normal safety protocols are followed.

The Boys and Girls Club is an after care program that provides a safe place for kids to go after school and during the summer so parents can go to work with peace of mind.  In addition to providing affordable child care, the club provides enrichment activities, time for homework and FREE recreational co-ed sports such as street hockey and basketball.

Currently in Bay County there are three locations: C.C & Vivian Moore in St. Andrews (850-763-3546), The Chapman Unit in Millville (850-785-2747) and the Frank Brown Beach Unit just east of Hwy 79 on Panama City Beach.  (850-236-3030)

Not only do all three locations offer sports programs to members for FREE, the programs are open to non-members as well.

As street hockey winds down, Basketball is starting with registration open until October 25th.  The basketball league provides a positive outlet for co-ed students ages 7 to 16 years old and normally involves a time commitment of a couple hours a week.  It is a no pressure commitment with beginners always welcome.

Basketball practice begins November 4th with games beginning December 12th with a break for winter recess when school is out of session for the holidays.

As a parent who has tried out many solutions for after care, I can say so far the Boys and Girls Club has been the most positive program for my child.  For the first time ever, he is showing an interest in team sports.   He even wants to play basketball and he has never held a basketball in his life, that I am aware!  So his desire to play is a testament to the kind of encouraging environment their staff and volunteers create in this program.

About a month ago during a street hockey game, my son Jack (he attends the Frank Brown club) kept looking at me during his game and smiling.  I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for this program, it was hard to hold back the tears.  My fervent hope is that right people and resources will continue to bless Boys and Girls Club so they continue with their mission that touches so many lives.

If you or someone you know might have interest in one of the volunteer coach positions or perhaps your business might want to help with supplies or sponsor a team, please email Ryan Roberts at robertsbgc@hotmail.com or call him at the Frank Brown Unit at 850-236-3030.

You can also see what the club is up to by visiting their FACEBOOK page.