When summer temperatures reach all time highs, it is sadly elders who may suffer the most. Due to health concerns, many elders cannot survive the heat without air conditioning, but unfortunately, many elders also struggle to buy new air conditioners or to pay high cooling bills. There are ways elders can offset the cost of buying and running an air conditioner.
1. Consider low cost alternatives to air conditioning
If you are an elder who does not currently have an air conditioner, consider bypassing AC installation and exploring relatively low cost options. Instead of installing central air, for example, just invest in a small window unit. Alternatively, swamp coolers offer a lot of cooling power and typically sport price tags lower than those on similar-sized air conditioning units.
2. Explore tax rebates
Instead of compromising on your original purchase, buy a full strength air conditioner but offset its cost with a tax rebate. The federal government offers a range of grants for appliances that are certified as energy star.
You can get rebates on anything from new dishwashers to air conditioners.
3. Take advantage of window treatments, fans, and weatherization programs
After your air conditioner has been installed, there are ways to boost its cooling capacity without running it excessively. For example, if you put energy efficient shades over your windows during the day and use ceiling fans to move the air around your home, you can keep your home cool without using your air conditioner as much.
If you are over the age of 60 and meet certain income requirements, you can also apply for help with weatherization. Locally funded and operated weatherization programs ensure your home is as sealed and as energy efficient as possible.
4. Apply for cooling grants
If you are a low income senior, you can also get help paying for your cooling bills through the nation's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This program offers grants of up to $400 for seniors and other low income citizens who cannot afford their cooling bills on their own.
5. Take a siesta and go to a budget film
If you cannot afford air conditioning installation and you are sweltering, embrace old school ideas to make yourself more comfortable. Take a note from Spanish or Arab cultures and schedule a siesta during the hottest part of the day. Sleep through that and do anything active during the relatively cool early morning or evening hours.
Alternatively, leave your home and go somewhere cool to beat the heat. Take a walk through a chilly museum, see a movie, or visit the mall. For more information, talk to a professional like Borter Heating & Air Conditioning Co.