The US regions with the highest & lowest air conditioning costs


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Fighting Longer, Hotter Summers

In states like Florida and Alabama, families are accustomed to keeping their AC running 24/7, especially during the summer months. But, with summers becoming hotter and more intense, pricey AC bills are becoming the new norm, even in milder parts of the country.

According to data from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, energy bills are projected to rise in every region of the US this year, impacting hundreds of millions of Americans. (Learn more at Home Affordability Calculator).

Average AC Bill by Region

According to an analysis of US energy data, the average summer energy bill for US households is projected to hit $578 per month, an increase of 11.7% compared to last year.

Families in South Central states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas, can expect to pay the most for AC. The average household is projected to spend $706 in 2023.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific region, California, Oregon, and Washington will likely pay the least, with a projected monthly cost of $499.

Stay Chill Without the Bill

It’s expected that energy bills will continue to rise over the coming decades. While this isn’t welcome news for American families already struggling with higher prices caused by inflation, there are a few ways to help mitigate costs.

To save some cash on your monthly AC bill, try covering your windows during peak hours. Your windows are responsible for 76% of the sunlight that enters your home and 30% of the cool air that leaves. Covering them can be a simple, yet effective way to conserve energy.

Additionally, using the stove or oven creates extra heat inside your home and forces your AC unit to work overtime. When temperatures are really high, avoid cooking inside during the day and instead consider firing up the grill outside.

Finally, instead of trying to keep your entire home cool, consider grabbing a portable AC unit and camping out in the basement during peak hours. Since heat rises, the lowest level is usually the coolest room in the house — a welcome reprieve from the heat and for your wallet.

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How can I remodel my bedroom on a budget?

How can I remodel my bedroom on a budget?

Is your bedroom cluttered, depressing … tired? Maybe it’s high time for a bedroom remodel, an awakening of a room that can range from paint to structural changes.

If you’re a homeowner looking to spice up or calm down, your bedroom, know that bedroom remodels can have a return on investment of 40% to 80%, according to HGTV.

The steps you can take to renovate rooms aren’t too onerous and can often be done without the help of a contractor or other professional. (Learn more at The top home improvements to increase your home’s value)

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The amount of money you put into a bedroom remodel depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Do you simply want to change up your décor, including your bed, bedside tables, and desk? Or do you want to do that, paint the room a different color, and add some window treatments?

You may also be looking at more extensive changes, such as ripping up carpeting and putting in new flooring, installing new windows, or building custom cabinetry in your closet.

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The good news is that most bedroom remodels are less costly than renovations that entail taking down walls, rewiring electrical systems, and installing pipes, though some bedroom remodels may call for these types of tasks.

You’re less likely to be doing major construction that requires hiring licensed professionals like a carpenter, plumber, or general contractor.

Even if you have to rely on the services of a vendor, like one that can design and produce an extensive closet remodel, there are likely other aspects of the project you can tackle yourself.

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Decluttering is a tried-and-true way to visually open up a room. That means books and magazines, laundry or piles of clothes, and furniture. Here are some other ways.

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House-paint companies boomed during the pandemic, Artnews pointed out. Gray—all 50 shades—were out. Warm tones and deeply saturated color were in.

Some of the major brands and independent companies offer online color consultations. And then, if you feel up to the task, you can avoid hiring a painter by painting your walls yourself.

You’ll want to take stock of the current trim and match a color to it. You’ll also want to consider how the room changes color depending on the time of day. Sometimes a room that looks white in the evening can take on a yellowish tint during the light of day

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You’ll want to make sure you have all the equipment you need to get the work done efficiently and well. This includes paintbrushes, a paint roller and pan, rags, sandpaper, and drop cloths.

The great thing about paint is, if you feel you’ve done a poor job in spots, you can always paint over it.

What you do with your floors is going to depend largely on personal taste. Your choices include wall-to-wall carpeting, wood or wood-engineered flooring with or without area rugs, and tile or ceramic flooring, which works best in humid climates.

You’ll want to think about how your flooring will complement the rest of the room, including furniture. You’ll also want to take your comfort into consideration. Carpeting, for example, muffles sound, while wood flooring does not.

Some people don’t like walking barefoot on anything besides carpet, for example, while others prefer the look of bare floors.

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Cost may also come into play here as wood flooring is generally more expensive than carpeting, topping at $14 per square foot compared with carpeting, which runs upward of $11 a square foot, HomeAdvisor notes.


While some homeowners may want to keep the bedroom furniture they’re currently using, others choose to sell or donate what they have and start over.

If you’re in the latter group, you’ll want to consider the paint and flooring you’ve chosen when looking for a new bed and headboard, bedside tables, desk, and chest.

Looking online for bedroom remodel ideas can be a low-cost way to design your bedroom décor, with many blogs and websites linking to online retailers for easy purchase.

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Social media sites like Houzz and Pinterest have scores of photos and boards delineated by room, color, and style to help you brainstorm.

If your budget allows, this might be an area to bring in the help of an interior designer, who may be able to see things you don’t, such as whether you need a large desk for working from home, a bench at the end of the bed for sitting, or a changing table if you plan to grow your family in the near future.

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While bedroom remodels are typically less wide-ranging than those of a bathroom or kitchen, you may opt for larger changes that can drive up your cost.

These include altering the function and structural design of a room, which may require the use of a professional.

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If you own a home or are looking to buy, the lack of an ensuite bathroom might be a big deal. Maybe you’d really like to be able to pad into the bathroom in the middle of the night without tiptoeing through the hallway.

Depending on the layout of the bedroom and the rooms near it, this may necessitate turning a closet into a bathroom, or building a door through a wall that conjoins your bedroom with that hallway bathroom.

Either way, you’re probably looking at hiring a plumber, carpenter, electrician, and contractor. While this type of remodeling affords you more options than sticking with your current footprint, it comes with added costs to be aware of.

Adding recessed lights requires the work of a licensed electrician, who may have to work around obstacles like heating ducts, and will charge for both installing and wiring each light.

Ceiling fans, while pretty and useful, will likely also require the hiring of a professional installer to burrow through your ceiling, connect to electricity, and complete the necessary patchwork afterward.

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Having a budget and payment plan is key, no matter the size of your bedroom remodel. Some changes are so small that homeowners can pay upfront.

Those with more extensive remodels might use a home equity loan or personal loan.

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A bedroom remodel can be a fun project from start to finish. After all, we spend a lot of time in our personal spaces, so it’s an opportunity to renovate a room to your exact specifications.

A home improvement loan could be just the ticket for a bedroom remodel.

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