Now is a good time to prepare to beat the heat and high energy bills by purchasing a new air-conditioning system.
Today's high-efficiency models with a federal "energy-star" designation use half the energy a 20-year-old model uses. During peak cooling periods, you can cut overall energy bills by 20% to 40%.
Units that are 10 years old or older have seasonal energy efficiency ratings of only 6 to 8. New units are rated 12 or greater--a big difference that leads to big savings. Another bonus: Many utilities offer rebates on these units.