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Austin’s Climate Affects Your Budget in a Big Way

Hot summer days bring oppressive electric bills

The city of Austin is known for its beautiful parks, thriving economy and exciting music events. Unfortunately, it also has a seasonal climate that produces costly and unpredictable utility bills. High temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees during the summer, yet they can fall below freezing in December and January.

Hot Weather

Austin’s lengthy summer persuades just about everyone to use air conditioning. During 2011, some parts of the state capital reached 100 degrees on 90 separate days. Extremely hot weather seldom occurs before June or after September. Nonetheless, the Bergstrom International Airport once reported a 100-degree reading in February!

Central Texas summers aren’t just hot. This area also endures greater humidity than the Lone Star State’s more arid locales, such as El Paso and Lubbock. Austin’s skies often remain clear in July and August, adding extra heat to the upper floors of many buildings. The local power company charges higher rates during the summer as well.

These factors combine to make your electric bill soar when the weather heats up. A typical Austin home consumes about 25% more electricity in the late spring and summer, according to the city website. The exact cost depends on the efficiency of your cooling equipment. For example, you can save money by replacing clogged filters.

Cool Winters

After experiencing Austin’s blistering summer temperatures, it’s hard to believe that snow remains possible in this area. Nonetheless, the city occasionally becomes cold enough for a few icy flakes. Readings often fall to about 40 degrees on winter nights. Camp Mabry reported a low of 19 degrees in February 1996, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Although it seems tame to people in northern states, Austin’s winter remains cold enough to justify heating equipment in nearly all homes. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that almost five out of 10 residential buildings in Texas have electric heat. Around 49% use natural gas or propane systems.

Frequent heating and cooling compels Texas homeowners to pay about $1,800 per year for electricity. Residents with lower electric bills often spend more on gas. Either way, it’s important to save money for higher utility bills in the summer and early winter. You can also get ready by performing regular HVAC maintenance.

The heating and air conditioning specialists at ABC Home & Commercial Services conduct precise tuneups that make HVAC equipment run as efficiently as possible. We also offer high-quality replacement filters. To learn more, please call 512-837-9500 or visit us online today.

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