Austin Air Companie Blog : Posts Tagged ‘High Efficiency Air Conditioning’

High Electric Bills In Katy Texas

Monday, August 24th, 2020

This time of the year for the Katy, Texas area it is not uncommon for electric bills to start inducing a bit of shock and awe into people. This blog post is for the Katy, Texas area primarily because we run and depend on our AC systems upwards of 10 months of the year most years. If you keep your dial set at 75F degrees that is around 2300 hours. That’s alot of run time. If you like it cooler than 75F in your home, your AC system is running much more than normal. If the AC operational cost is 65% of your homes utility cost and you are running the AC really hard? Well there’s good reason why your electric bills are high, but sometimes this is more complicated than you think.

UPDATE: June 10, 2021. New embedded video below updating my own personal experience & better describing what this new air conditioning technology is, how it works and why you’ll likely want one.

Complications of high light bills is that no two people pay the same electric rate any more. So part of your problem *may be* that you are paying a higher rate than you should. But fear not… I break this down like no one. Because I made some upgrades at my own home in late 2019. I saved some old light bills to show you comparisons of how my old 14 SEER single speed AC performed versus the new 18 SEER Inverter AC.

To find out if this new technology may be right for you? You must schedule an in house visit. There is a cost for this service. It is to determine if this is right for you or not. This can only be done in person & you must be the owner of the home in question. This is not for renters.  To get on my schedule call Ray Austin at 832-475-6895.

Whoa, Inverter AC? What’s that? It’s a recent new comer to this market. As with everything especially Air Conditioners there are pros and cons to this. However, I think the pros outweigh the cons and because this new machine has the ability to cut your light bill in half. That alone makes it worth the risk. (It pays for itself.)  Is it for everyone? Probably not. If you like it cool with less humidity in your home there isn’t anything that I know of that can beat it. Obviously the more AC systems you have at your home, the more it will cost. It involves equipment replacement to various degrees. But it is a smarter overall solution as there are no proprietary controls to worry about as well as a few other perks.

Even if your AC is less than 10 years old, this *might* still cut your electric bill in half. It’s not just a run of the mill new air conditioner. It’s an air conditioner that ramps up and down depending on the heat load on the home. Your current AC is probably either on or off. This air conditioner has many different speeds. This is how it saves you money off your electric bill. Then all you have to do is find a good electric rate and you’re set.

How much could you save every month? If your AC is really old like 15 years or more… you’ll wonder why you didn’t look into this sooner.

Air Conditioning Contractor Cuts His Electric Bill In Half With New Inverter Air Conditioner

Here’s some proof to back up what I am saying.  The reason I am comparing to 2018 is that I paid a higher rate in 2019, I am trying to be as fair as possible here. This isn’t a gimmick. (nor is it solar panels, the biggest caveat with solar is no room to put them + higher up front cost). These bills are for my home in Katy, Texas a single story home 1910 square foot, with 1 HVAC system configured as 4 Ton Inverter AC system. (over 50 speeds the compressor runs in.)


AC efficiency comparison

May 2020: The savings are ramping up!

High electric bills comparison

June 2020: The savings holding steady at 50% reduction. It’s been HOT!

June 2020 Electric bill comparison

July 2020: Man you thought it was hot in June? Really hot this month, the savings take a turn higher! Wow! Over $100 in savings, that’s awesome!

July 2020 Electric Bill Savings Ramp up

Comfort means different things to different people. Some will disregard what it costs to operate the machine, they are more worried about the upfront cost not realizing that buying a better machine will eventually pay for itself via a reduction in the cost to run it. Obviously if you don’t run the machine you have now because you like it hot in your home, then the machine you have now is good for you.

If you like it cool like 75F or lower, this new machine may be the one you’ve been looking for. Thank you for visiting with me today! As always I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this Katy, Texas Air Conditioning blog:

My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with 26 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems as of August 2020. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs. I also own and operate a Rental Real Estate business. I know real estate! It’s unlikely to find another company truly like me. When I say ‘Service’: I actually mean it.

Austin Air Companie


“Your home comfort from A to Z”

Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

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Air Conditioning NEW BREED: Communicating HVAC System

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Air Conditioning NEW BREED: Communication between parts makes for one smart air conditioner and a really comfortable customer.

It also delivers better performance, better comfort, better reliability, and better warranty coverage. So what is the catch?

It’s designed as a complete HVAC system. There are no piece meal options to get this kind of Air Conditioning system for your home.

You might be thinking at this point what exactly is piece meal and what exactly is a complete HVAC system? Most HVAC systems are Natural gas furnace with electric or grid tied air conditioning that consists of an out door condensing unit and an evaporator coil with two copper tubes known as what is called a line set that runs between the condensing unit and the indoor evaporator coil.

With the above type system there are 4 parts to the HVAC system that make up a communicating HVAC system. Now just because you replace the whole HVAC system at once doesn’t make it a communicating system. This is a special system with special parts and special controls. The outdoor equipment communicates digitally with the indoor equipment for the best performance available today in mid tier HVAC systems. Currently it is my opinion these systems are the most reliable with the best in warranty guarantees and because of this makes them a best buy when buying a complete system. Everything you would want in an HVAC system right?

Because of the energy efficiency achieved by them in most cases the cost of the system will be recouped within the life span of the equipment and in some cases even faster depending on usage habits and the age of your current HVAC system.

So now that you understand the number of pieces that make up a complete HVAC system you are probably wondering what a piece meal system is. To describe it accurately it is otherwise known as a mismatched system. Mismatched more or less means the brands of the system are different, there is no ARI number available to determine efficiency and so on. In other words if your out door unit (condenser) failed and you only replace the out door unit condenser without replacing the furnace and the evaporator coil in side the home either attic or closet at the same time that you replace the other pieces.

This method doesn’t necessarily mean the piece meal system won’t work, it just means that it won’t work as well and won’t have many features (it’s either on or off) and won’t have as good of guarantees or warranty coverage of the communicating system and it won’t be as energy efficient as the communicating system either.

Air Conditioning Energy efficiency is very important for us Texas residents with the last heat wave with temperatures in the triple digits for 30 days or more. I’m sure people all over this area are going to be complaining of ‘crazy’ high light bills for the next couple of months. This is why an energy efficient HVAC system is a wise investment and will probably do you a big favor to sell your home if and when the time comes. Other people are no different than you when they look for a new home. For some it’s the first thing a prospective home buyer will look at (the AC system).

For those that want to take this to comfort levels out of this world you could add a zone system to this equipment. Stop those thermostat fights dead in their tracks… stop that constant fight of upstairs versus downstairs temperature wars. A zone system added to this type of system is comfort at it’s best. Best reliability, best comfort and efficiency that blows the roof off. How do I know you might ask?

I have had one of these zone systems in my own home since 2007. Realize only a properly designed zone system will perform this way. I have installed several zone systems as of this writing, they are complicated beasts in most scenarios. If the design is not right it will not work. Remember the system has to perform in 80 degree weather just as well as it has to perform in 100+ degree weather as well as 20 degree weather. I design them to work and perform reliably as well as simplicity if the need arises to fix the system. Certainly you don’t want to sit in Texas heat for any longer than necessary. Which brings me to the last very important part.


I don’t leave my customers in the heat after installing new HVAC equipment or a new HVAC zone system. I stand behind the systems and units I sell and install and I can fix them if that need arises. This is why I say brand doesn’t matter. It’s more important that I can fix it when it breaks. I have been in the HVAC industry for over 20 years there is not a single HVAC brand out there that out lives another brand… just clever marketing and advertising.

If I can fix and repair any Air Conditioning brand… then please tell me what difference does a brand name make?

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.


Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

How do I make my air conditioning and heating system more efficient without sacrificing “ANY” comfort?

If you’ve ever read about the infamous free tips that many offer on this subject you will quickly skip over those suggestions if you live in the Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas and some surrounding areas.

Sure you can do these “free” ac tips and while they will cut costs they come at a price in the comfort department many will refuse to entertain. I’ll give you some of the “free AC cost cutting tips” later on within this Home AC efficiency & extreme comfort blog post.

You see making a home air conditioning and heating system more efficient without any sacrifice to comfort is a complex task that involves serious technical know how. Without this technical know how, attempting this could damage and quite possibly ruin your current HVAC system. I am talking about more than just simply upgrading your AC system to a new higher efficient box or what is commonly referred to as High SEER HVAC Equipment. You can replace your home HVAC equipment and cut operating costs, but this blog post goes much further and takes this HVAC efficiency & home comfort solutions to the “extreme” delivering the best home comfort imaginable.

What I am about to tell you is nothing new… it has been available for some time now. I installed one of these in my own home over 7 years ago, have made countless videos showing what I pay for utilities and do my best to explain the comfort I get. How do you explain true comfort in text and video? It’s a feeling… to know the feeling you have to have experienced it.

Thankfully, I can describe this feeling to you due to “seasonal” changes in the weather. It gives a much clearer description than anything I can think of. You know what it feels like when you wake up on a crisp autumn day? It’s not cold, it’s not hot… the air is just “crisp”. That is the kind of comfort I am talking about.

I get this kind of comfort every day in any room of my house that I choose to occupy and not just during the autumn season when the outdoor weather helps most people’s AC system out. Part of the reason for this type of HVAC system is to boost efficiency, but that isn’t the only reason. The other reason is extreme home comfort in any room within the house. If you have rooms in your home that are not comfortable no matter what you do — this is probably the solution you’ve been looking for.

Anything that is “extreme” you would expect some serious challenges. For anything that is worth something there are obstacles that will stand in your way. The easy way is to admit defeat, keep living in discomfort and instead of paying me once for better comfort and a system that pays for itself while increasing the value of the home, some would rather pay the utility company a higher rate than they should be for comfort they are not getting month in and month out. There’s nothing wrong with either home owner, except one is more comfortable than the other and is paying less to cool and heat their home.

“We choose to do things,
not because they are easy,
but because they are hard.”
~John F. Kennedy

First you have to realize that hard things are not insurmountable, unless you are prone to giving up. The problem is that perceived value tends to chase the “lower cost” solution, even though the “higher cost” solution solves the actual problem fully and completely. The lower cost solution will work to a different shade or “feeling” of comfort. When it comes time to sell the home however, the home has no advantage over a home that has one of these types of systems installed.

Which home would you want, now that you are learning the difference?

There are ways to cut costs even with this solution, but if this system pays for itself while providing the best comfort possible and increases the value of the home isn’t this a moot point?

I am not one to make excuses and give up. I am a problem solver by nature. It’s what I do more or less everyday of the year as a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor serving the Katy, Texas area. (TACLB28416E)

The number one rule to problem solving is to solve a problem right?

WRONG. The number one rule to problem solving is to solve a problem without creating additional problems. Otherwise you’re not solving anything. Right?

In other words… it just works. Well if you’ve bought anything in the past you’ve read the blather about how great something is only to find out later after the purchase things aren’t so well.

Why is that? Something as simple as solving a problem that creates additional different problems. That’s it in a nutshell…. they weren’t really problem solving. Take a pill and get 5 additional problems (side effects) than the one you are trying to solve is a easy way to fully describe this.

I tell you these things in this manner so that anyone reading this will fully understand this HVAC comfort solution requires an “INVESTMENT” this is not a gimmick. There are additional conditions that are required as well. I won’t even offer you the solution if your home doesn’t allow me to solve your problem without creating additional problems. What would the point be if I can’t make you happy with the purchase?

If you can’t afford an investment that will pay for itself over time and increase the value of your home you can always try the following “free AC efficiency tips”.

1. Turn the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter.
That’s right make yourself hotter in the summer and colder in the winter.

2. Turn on fans through out your house.
Living in a wind tunnel is not my idea of home comfort. Maybe you can live with it. I can not.

3. Don’t cook in the kitchen…
So I’m real sorry, there won’t be any aspiring chefs in your family. The people who wrote this one probably own half a dozen restaurants.

4. Plant trees and shrubs to shade your home.
Increase your water bill and maintenance costs. Everyone who lives in this area know what it’s like to have a dead tree in their yard due to drought. If the outdoor temp hits 100 the shade won’t be much cooler.

All these “free AC tip suggestions” attempt to solve the problem of a high AC bill, but neglect the comfort problem. Is this problem solving? I don’t think so… that is the difference between me and “them”.

I think and hope by now you should clearly see my point. Like different shades and resolution of high definition television sets so too are there different shades and “feelings” of home comfort.

Now that utility costs have been coming down somewhat in recent years you may be at a position that what you pay for electricity “isn’t that bad”. I like to call this the “well, it’s not too bad syndrome”. The real question is how bad is bad?

You’ll only really know for sure if you investigate it. Take me as an example. My total electric bill for August 2014 was $73.19. I live in a 30 plus year old home with just over 1700 sq feet. I run my central air conditioner 24/7 at 76 during the day and 74 at night. My utility rate was 10.7 cents per KWH for this time period and includes all charges for that month. With that said I have videos on my YouTube channel that clearly show what I pay for electricity since 2011. I don’t just throw around a bunch of hot air without proof. Whether you believe it or not after that fact well that’s entirely up to you. I know we live in a scam a minute world so I made these videos for your benefit, not mine. To help you ascertain truth from fiction.

The key here is I only cool or heat the portion of my home I am using.
What I am talking about here is a Zoned HVAC System. Watch the 2 HVAC zoning videos that are embedded below here. These videos best describe what this is all about and what is possible in home comfort. After watching the videos continue reading the text below them for further insight. (The videos will direct you to my main website, you can go there later on if you want.)

Now that you have a better understanding of what I am talking about you will have a better idea if this is something you want to explore or not. If a zoned HVAC system is not for you there are other approaches to get better comfort with reduced operational costs. However, those options will not exceed all expectations in all areas of the home as a properly designed and installed HVAC zone system would.

Your house may decide this for you. I won’t install an air conditioning and heating zoned system in just any home. Remember I have a rule with problem solving, if you don’t remember that rule you really should reread this entire blog post.

Most HVAC zoned systems are designed improperly. This is a primary source of traffic for my website and a primary source that tend to claim air conditioning and heating zoned systems don’t work. The design of an HVAC zone system is critical, so critical that I spend 30 to 40 hours and maybe in very difficult cases as much as 50 hours just designing them specifically to the characteristics of the home. This doesn’t include installation time. I do all of this myself. There is to my knowledge, no other air conditioning company like Austin Air Companie. If you live way outside my service area of Katy, Texas my suggestion is that you look for a “working HVAC contractor” in your area. That is really your best option.

Can a HVAC zoned system increase the value of your home?

Yes, it can. Especially in a hot tropical location like Katy, Texas and Cypress, Texas. But you have to inform potential buyers what you have. I tell my customers to save their electric bills… make the comparison from old electric bills to the ones after the HVAC zoned system has been installed. The only down side to selling a home with a HVAC zoned system installed by me?

You will likely have to install another zoned air conditioning system in your new house. Once you live with this kind of comfort there is no comparison to anything else.

Ok, here is another myth. “You have to replace your current HVAC system to install a HVAC zoned system.” Not necessarily so. However, if your AC system is over 10 years old it would be best to start over for a multitude of reasons… many of them pointing to efficiency and reliability reasons alone. A HVAC zone system will not magically solve all current problems you have with your HVAC system, inspection and diagnosis shouldn’t be taken for granted.

A HVAC zone system is hard and complex to operate? Sure, they can be. This comes down to design. The HVAC zoned systems I design and install are simple to operate and nothing different than you currently do now except that you have multiple thermostats that control different zones or “areas” of your home.

Do you offer other solutions other than HVAC zoned systems?

Yes, absolutely. The national average life of an HVAC system is roughly 15 years. Slightly less than this in my service area in and around Katy, Texas. Because people don’t experience air conditioning issues very often they may not be aware of what is available today to give the best comfort possible, the best efficiency possible while also paying for itself and increasing the value of the home.

You have a central air conditioning system for comfort. Can you imagine paying for it via an electric bill every month and not being truly comfortable? Now that you’ve read this entire blog post you know what true comfort feels like… a crisp autumn morning in Katy, Texas. Use that threshold to compare with the comfort your current system is delivering.

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope your day is extremely comfortable.

    About the author of this blog:

My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.