The record-breaking temperatures the region has endured over the past month or so has played havoc with many family's budgets.  Cranking the air conditioner over a series of hundred degree days can send your utility bill sky high, but Bill Smith, an investigator with the Better Business Bureau, says there are some things you can do to save a few bucks.

Smith comments

He says if it is time to invest in a new air conditioner, an Energy Star qualified model could save up to 30 percent in cooling costs, according to Ameren.  You should also look at the unit’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER).  The higher the number, the less energy it uses to cool.  Look for a rating of 16 or higher. Some new units may have a rating of 25 or higher.  And buy a unit that is sized to fit your home. Ask your contractor for recommendations.

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