With summer underway, many of us are looking for ways to stay cool. But here in the western United States, extreme heat is putting the electrical grid under stress. Customers have started to drive up the demand for power to help keep their homes cool.
“Monday and Tuesday were definitely higher than last week, we are seeing at least a 10% increase in consumption and that’s just the two days Monday, Tuesday,” said Bob Gammer, Community Relations Manager, Northern California Hydro.
It’s a similar story across other parts of the United States. Down south in Texas, residents have been asked to conserve energy to avoid blackouts. CA Hydro says that the record for maximum summer consumption is 7,900 megawatts, and just three days into summer, we’re almost 10% of the way there.
It’s not just power that’s getting an increased demand. HVAC and refrigeration contractors have started to get more calls just in the last week.
“We’ve been so busy, it’s been hard to keep up with our regular customers and now our new customers so we’re trying our best.”
Allan Russell, owner of Buckhorn Heating and Air Conditioning says that he’s used to getting lots of calls this time of the year, but he believes the pandemic played a part.
“We’ve had a lot [of calls] because of last year’s Covid closures. So a lot of people didn’t do maintenance or they were still broken from last year,” said Russell.
As of June 23, Environment Ca is calling for record breaking temperatures in the triple digits this weekend here in many parts of Southern Califronia. Reaching as high as 111 degrees on Sunday.
But if you can’t make it out to the pool or water park this weekend, there’s still other ways to stay cool inside.
“Definitely have your windows open in the house in the morning before the outside temperature reaches the inside temperature and then when they’re about even close your windows.” said Gammer.
But if you plan on using your AC, you should still keep an eye out to prevent any service calls. And if you’re one of the millions of Americans impacted by this unprecedented heat wave, you might be considering installing a new AC system. However, the cost of a new air conditioner may prohibit you from seeking much-needed relief.
New, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can cost up to $8,000, according to Angi, a home pricing estimator. But that doesn’t even account for the installation or replacement of your current AC equipment, which can cost up to $8,500. Installing a new air conditioning system in a home that doesn’t currently have central air costs about $6,500 to $14,000 on average.
Thankfully, there are many ways to finance an HVAC system installation, from personal loans to cash-out mortgage refinancing. Keep reading to learn about your payment options:
A personal loan is a lump-sum loan that’s repaid in fixed monthly installments over a set period of time. Personal loans are unsecured, which means they don’t require you to use your home as collateral.
Compared with dealer financing, personal loans may come with a lower monthly payment and fixed interest, as well as a more transparent financing agreement. Personal loan interest rates are typically set according to your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, so make sure your credit score is good or better before applying. That’s a score of 670 or higher, according to the FICO model.
Home values are at record highs, which means you may have extra home equity compared to just a few years ago. Plus, mortgage refinancing rates are hovering near record lows, making a cash-out mortgage refinance a cost-effective air conditioner system financing option.
A cash-out refinance lets you replace your mortgage with a new mortgage at a lower interest rate. Ideally, you’ll be left with a lump sum of cash after paying off your current mortgage and closing costs. In contrast, a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) is taken out in addition to your existing mortgage.
Many credit card issuers offer 0% APR introductory periods to entice potential customers. This means you can avoid paying interest on your purchases for a set period of time, typically up to 18 months. When the 0% APR period expires, you’ll be charged interest on the remaining balance.
Zero-interest financing periods can be a great way to pay for a new air conditioning system without having to pay interest on your purchase at all. However, the credit limit may not be high enough to cover your entire purchase. Plus, these offers are reserved for consumers with good to excellent credit scores, so not everyone will qualify.