Why Keeping Cool This Summer Is Draining Your Wallet

Experts are predicting significant increases in the cost of cooling your home this summer. This could have serious consequences for the most vulnerable populations. Read on for all the new price predictions and how you can avoid overheating this season. 

The Rising Cost of Staying Cool

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The costs of air conditioning during the summer are on the rise. According to a recent report by the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, keeping their houses cool this summer will cost American families 8% more than last year.

Historical Price Trends

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AC costs have been steadily rising in the past decade. Various factors, such as rising energy prices and increased demand for air conditioning, have contributed to these increases.

The Result of Hotter Summers

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As climate change drives summer temperatures to record highs, the demand for air conditioning also increases. The higher usage and need for units to combat even higher temperatures are driving up electricity bills.

Impact of Energy Prices

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Energy prices are a large part of the story. As the cost of electricity rises, it also becomes more expensive to keep your home cool. The report also notes that energy prices are expected to remain high.

Older AC Units

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It’s not just the AC that is expensive, but it could also be your unit. Order air conditioning units tend to be less efficient, requiring more power to cool a room, resulting in higher energy bills.

Improving Efficiency

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Newer, more energy-efficient AC units could help to reduce overall costs. By investing in a better system, you may be able to lower your energy bills and maintenance needs in the long run.

Regional Effects

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The cooling costs are likely to vary across the country. States in the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific, and East South Central are expected to have the greatest impact, with prices increasing by more than 10% compared with a year ago.

Adjusting The Energy Budget

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The summer utility bills can be a huge hit to family budgets, especially for those who are already struggling financially. Unfortunately, this may mean cutting back on other expenses and being proactive about how to save.

Impact on Low-Income Households

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The rising summer temperatures can pose a health risk for the 20% of low-income families that don’t have air conditioning. For those who do have AC, the costs may force them to turn off their AC or risk not being able to pay their electricity bills.

Reduced Assistance Program

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The Federal Low Income Home energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is meant to alleviate some of the costs of summer cooling. Unfortunately, this program’s budget was recently reduced by $2 billion, forcing states to reduce the number of households served.

Summer Shut-Off Protection

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There are 17 states, as well as the District of Columbia, that provide protection against the utility company turning off your power. However, 33 states do not have these protections and this puts low-income households in danger of prolonged extreme heat exposure.

Are Cooling Centers A Solution?

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Cooling centers are air-conditioned buildings where people can go during extreme heat. The problem is that these places are often too small to accommodate all of the people looking for relief.

Smart Thermostats

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Aside from better AC units, smart thermostats may be an investment worth trying. They can help to adjust temperatures when nobody is home, optimizing your usage and lowering your bills.

Investing in Better Insulation

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Proper home insulation and sealing can make a big difference. By keeping cool air inside, families may be able to reduce the amount of AC needed, lowering their costs.

Taking Advantage of Off-Peak Hours

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Some electric companies will offer lower rates during off-peak times. By following this schedule, you may be able to save some money.

Renewable Energy

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Especially during the summer, renewable energy sources like solar power could help to improve some of the costs. You might consider installing solar panels, which receive more sunlight during the long, summer days.

The Impact on Health

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Long exposure to extreme heat can have serious health implications. Rising AC costs may be especially dangerous for the health and safety of vulnerable populations and low-income families.

DIY Cooling Tips

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When in doubt, consider researching some DIY tips to keep cool. Closing blinds during the peak sun hours and finding ways to make your fans more effective could make a big difference in managing your costs.

Navigating the Future

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Experts are predicting the challenge of cooling costs this summer. It’s important to stay informed and think ahead to try to prevent some of these potential issues.

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The post Why Keeping Cool This Summer Is Draining Your Wallet first appeared on EcoHugo

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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