Can Allergies Lead to Higher Energy Bills?

The question is not a proverbial one for allergy sufferers in the Sacramento Valley: Do allergy sufferers pay more for electricity? The answer is a simple yes, and it’s going to get worse. If you live in the Sacramento area and you have allergies, unless you are heavily medicated, you are quite miserable most of the time that you spend outdoors. But if you are indoors, and you want to be comfortable as the temperatures start to climb, then you have to turn on your air conditioners sooner in the year and more often because opening the windows is NOT an option.

Recently SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) announced the new fee structure for electricity rates in the Sacramento Valley. It’s a pretty dramatic rate increase between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., about 32% for electricity usage during non-summer months, and a whopping 300% increase during summer months. The two biggest electricity users in the household are the clothes dryer and the air conditioner. While you will fairly easily be able to re-schedule your laundry hours around the higher rate times, you will likely be stuck with the bill for the air conditioner in the hot afternoons when you come home from work. 

The peak rates will negatively affect allergy sufferers disproportionately. Opening the windows to catch the Delta Breeze is not an option. Nor is opening the window and running the whole house fan. Yep, allergy sufferers are going to be caught holding the bag (and not the bag of money!)

If you are an allergy sufferer, and you have an older air conditioning system, it’s time to rethink how you are apportioning the dollars in your household. Newer, high-efficiency air conditioning systems perform much better than the old ones, saving valuable energy dollars and allowing you to cost-effectively run your comfort system, and actually be comfortable in your home. In many cases, money you are already spending, or will be spending with the new fee structure, will off-set the cost of the new system.

Additionally, if you have an older air conditioner, and have been having problems with it in the past, it makes even more sense to change it out now. In less than a year, January 1, 2020 to be exact, older systems running on refrigerant type R-22 will no longer be able to be serviced. The EPA is restricting the use of R-22 refrigerant down to ZERO. No system repairs requiring refrigerant capture and replace, or system charges (top off the tank) will be able to be performed after December 31, 2019. 

For allergy sufferers, replacing an older in-efficient system has never made more sense. If you do make the change this spring, make sure to combine it with the AirScrubber Plus, which helps to further clean and protect the home comfort system. 

The AirScrubber Plus is the same system used on space stations to keep the air clean. If you suffer from allergies and would rather upgrade your system than give all your money to the utility companies, then give us a call to schedule a no-obligation consultation regarding replacing your older air conditioning system. Happy Breathing! 

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