CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's getting pretty expensive to stay cool during the summer months. People across South Texas have said that their monthly bills this summer were more than $600.
But there may be a way to bring some of that cost down.
Joey Chapa with Mathews Air Comfort Solutions has been working in heating and cooling for over 17 years. In that time, he's learned some ways to control electricity use.
"Most of the time when people have high electric bills, it's due to the inefficiency of their air conditioning," Chapa said, "If it's an older unit, it's going to run longer to try and keep up. So that will hurt your utility bill. The hotter it is, the less efficient it is due to the age."
Air conditioning accounts for a large part of an energy bill, so an efficient and properly running AC unit is going to add up to savings.
"The air conditioner can use about 50% more energy on their total bill," Willie Izquierdo, Reliant Energy Expert said. "So a lot of times, a customer will look at their winter bill and compare it to their summer bills. There's no comparison. Their bill goes up at least 50% and that is based on an air conditioner that's working properly. It's not based on an air conditioning unit that has any type problems, particularly, with the age of the unit, whether or not the filter is clean."
There are several ways to lower the cost of an energy bill without compromising on staying cool. Many energy experts said it's all about checking your thermostat.
"Some people try to keep their thermostat at 68 degrees. During the day, it can be 75 or 76 [degrees], which is a good temperature," Chapa said. "Of course, if you're not home, have a programmable thermostat, that way, you can adjust the temperature a little higher when you're not there to help give your unit a little break. Then, of course it will help you save money."
The Energy Department noted that you'll save nearly 3% for every degree the thermostat is raised. It's also important to clean the air conditioning filter to ensure it's working efficiently. If not, it'll cost you in many other ways.