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As energy prices climb, folks are weighing whether to crank up the air conditioner

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 19:17:55-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — With high costs for gas and food, staying cool might seem like a bit of a luxury.

"If we don't need to use it, we don't, we turn it off and open up the house," Donna Wallin, Omaha resident said.

Donna and Jason Wallin have air conditioning in their Omaha home, but they are thrifty. For about 45 years here, they've saved by using a clothesline to dry their laundry.

The Wallins make sure to keep their air conditioning clean and invested to make sure their house is fully insulated.

"We are on a budget plan too for electricity, so it's the same every month," Donna said.

They keep their air conditioning set to 73 or 74 degrees, but when temperatures start to reach 100 degrees, they set it a little higher. A method that Aksarben Heating and Air recommends as well.

"Let's move the thermostat a little higher than you would normally set it, if you set it at 72, 73 (degrees) go to 75, 76 (degrees), it's cooler than the 100 degrees that's outside," Neal Herring, sales manager at Aksarben Heating and Air said.

But Herring said for some it's not just the expense of using the A-C or not, but the possible expense of a system that doesn't work.

"The problem is the repairs are just as expensive if not more, so now the difference between replacing and repair are closer than they used to be, it's just going to be a financial burden on everybody," Herring said.

Herring emphasized the importance of routine maintenance and says the demand this time of year is high but it is important.

"It's going to be a tough choice for a lot of people. Especially when the prices have gone up as fast as they have. We've seen gasoline go up, food prices, everything is going up, including services," Herring said.

For the Wallins adjusting the thermostat or leaving the windows open throughout the summer works best.

"We've got the fresh air coming in, you know from the windows. And then it just blows through the house, cools the house," Donna said.

To keep the costs down, Aksarben Heating and Air recommends having scheduled maintenance when it is not peak season like it is now.

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