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Energy costs rise as humidity increases

Amarillo, TX - The increased humidity this summer has caused some complications with A/C units and energy costs.

With the high humidity percentages comes an increase in cost to keep our homes cool and comfortable.

Gary Ward, Co-owner of Gary's Heating and Air Conditioning, said within the last few years our humidity has drastically changed, making us unaccustomed to what we are dealing with today.

He said we are more used to seeing 4-7 percent humidity, while today we are reaching up to 55 percent.

This humidity directly affects the comfort level of your home.

What makes you feel cool is the evaporation of moisture on your skin, however, the higher the humidity, the slower the evaporation, making a person feel hot.

Today, A/C units dry out the air to make a cooler environment, but with the humidity, units are having to worker harder.

This leads to units breaking more often and is driving up utility and repair costs in homes, ranging anywhere from $100 to $1800.In order to keep these costs down, Ward has a few tips.

"One of the things for anybody, but especially people that are struggling with utility costs, is to keep their units maintained and especially keep their filters cleaned," Ward said.

These expenses will come back and return on your investment by holding down utility costs and premature failures.

For those who cannot afford to keep up with these costs, Xcel Energy is offering lower income households services to make their homes more energy efficient.

Bryan Whitson of Xcel Energy said the company gives low efficiency clients energy efficient measures in their house.

This includes setting a new window unit in the house, putting a new refrigerator in the house, adding insulation, or wrapping pipes.

The program also helps to lower utility bills throughout the year for those who participate in the program.

You can contact agencies such as Panhandle Community Services, South Plains Community Action and Trinity E-Life Fellowship to see if you are eligible for aid.

These can be viewed on the Xcel Energy website, where you can view benefits, details, how to get started, who qualifies and more information.
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