Advice | New to Austin

Beat The Heat and Those Power Bills Too!

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This post was provided by our friends at, an Idaho real estate website.

When the summer months arrive, utility bills soar about as high as the temperatures, putting the squeeze on pocket books everywhere. With your air conditioner running like a jet engine to keep up with the heat waves it might as well be a money shredder. Some have even seen mirages of dollar bills flying out of their air conditioner when temperatures reach their peak.  So what kinds of air conditioners are right for Austin homes? How can families stay cool in the summer without having to drain their savings?

What types of air conditioners are available?

  • Single Package Central Air Conditioners are mounted on a buildings roof or a wall.  They are common in the industrial scene.
  • A Split System Central Air Conditioning unit cools an entire house evenly while keeping the noisy unit outside.  It is more efficient than a window mounted unit and can be adjusted by a thermostat.  However, it does require ducting to be installed in a home.
  • A Ductless Air Conditioning system offers advantages similar to the Split Central air system without the need for air ducts.  This type of system cools only specific rooms or homes with an open air floor plan.  One or more indoor units mounted on walls or ceilings are connected to an outside condenser, and two to four units can cool an entire home.
  • Portable Air Conditioning systems are preferred by those on a budget.  The window unit is the most commonly used system, although there are self-contained units that can be rolled from room to room.
  • Evaporation Coolers are for drier climates such as the desert and can be greatly affective.  The fan draws air in before cooling it and expelling it again.  They are among the most economical to run with simpler maintenance.
  • Solar air conditioners are more environmentally friendly and have no compressors to consume power.  They are more economical in terms of operating and maintenance costs.  They require very little electricity for running low amp fan motors and small pumps.

What can Austin residents do to save money on cooling costs?

  • Seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit is the best setting on an air conditioner thermostat. If it is set any lower cooling costs can increase up to twelve to forty-percent or more.
  • Dusty filters reduce air flow.  One should regularly examine his air conditioner filters, cleaning or replacing them if necessary.
  • The sun’s heat can raise the temperature in a home.  In many Austin neighborhoods you will find families close their blinds and drapes to beat the heat.
  • Using fans to keep cool air flowing on milder Austin days can increase a consumer’s savings by sixty percent or more.
  • Planting shade trees around the house to block the suns rays can significantly reduce cooling costs.

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