Conditions are boiling over at the Villa Oaks Townhomes in Houston, Texas this week as the entire complex is without air conditioning. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the heating and cooling industry will expand 21% from 2012 to 2022, mostly due to rising average temperatures throughout the United States and a higher demand for central air and heating.
Residents of Villa Oaks Townhomes have contacted the owners of the building about the central air problem, but they are still awaiting any fixes. Promethius Hatches, whose mother lives in the complex, said “It’s a central unit. The residents don’t have control over it.”
Heating and cooling costs account for more than 50% of American home energy bills every year, and most people fail to realize that improving the window treatments and insulation in homes can make a house more energy efficient and as a result will allow people to save money on their bills.
Residents of the complex state that management is well aware of the problem — the owners have even sent a notice to all of the residents that they are working hard to fix the aid conditioning issue. Houston’s average daytime temperatures in June range between 89 and 91 degrees F, a temperature which, if you are living on any other floor but the first, is unbearable.
“I get faint, real faint, my head starts hurting, and my leg swells up real bad, real bad. Because I can’t get comfortable,” resident Richard Dean said.
During the summer months, its best to have a heating and cooling specialist evaluate your home for energy efficiency so you don’t run into the same issues these Texas residents face. Installing a programmable thermostat can save you up to 10% on heating and cooling bills, while installing hi-efficiency air conditioning systems help maintain more precise temperatures in your home. Plus, they dehumidify the air in your home more effectively, too.
For now, many residents have been installing portable air conditioning units because there is still electricity. Others have resorted to fans and window units. No matter their efforts, young children and elderly with medical problems are still suffering from the sweltering southern heat.
“I had to rush my son to the hospital because of his breathing problem, its ridiculous,” said Laketa Haley. “It’s hot, it’s 98 degrees inside. Everybody’s burning up.”
In the southern part of the U.S., nearly 100% of residences had air conditioning, compared to the 65% of homes in the west. For those at the Villa Oaks Townhomes, they will have to be counted out of the majority for this week as they continue to wait for maintenance to repair the air conditioning.