Americans Expect a Hot Summer

HomeServe Survey Finds Americans Concerned About Summer Electric Bills;
Poorly-Maintained AC Units Could Cause Higher Energy Bills

Business Wire

NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

With this winter’s so-called “polar vortex” a distant memory and even before learning that May 2014 was the warmest May on record, most Americans are predicting that this summer will be a scorcher. Over two-thirds (68 percent) of those polled believe this summer is going to be hotter than last summer, according to a new survey from HomeServe USA (HomeServe), a leading provider of home emergency repair service plans.

To determine how Americans are preparing for the summer weather and what actions they’re willing to take to stay comfortable, HomeServe commissioned Harris Poll to conduct an online survey in June 2014 among 2,035 U.S. adults aged 18 and older

With Americans predicting extreme high temperatures, many are worried the heat will melt away their budgets. The survey found that close to two-thirds (64 percent) are concerned about the cost impact that running their air conditioning (AC) this summer will have on their electric bill. However, over half (55 percent) are willing to sacrifice and spend more money this summer than last year to keep their homes cool if needed.

Despite concerns over rising temperatures and electric bills, not all Americans are vigilant about the maintenance of their AC units. Only about a quarter (26 percent) of Americans had their AC units serviced by a professional within the last year, with slightly under a fifth (19 percent) indicating that they have never had their AC units serviced by a professional. Despite this, the vast majority (81 percent) of Americans think their AC units are in good working condition.

In addition to an AC tune up by a professional, consumers can help keep costs down and maintain a healthy environment inside their home by simply changing filters. According to the survey, the regularity of Americans changing the filter in their AC units was mixed. The good news is about half of those (52 percent) of those responsible for the AC unit in their home say they changed the filter in the last three months. However, only 12 percent say they changed the filter(s) in the last 4-6 months; 9 percent changed the filter in the last 7-12 months and 6 percent say the last time they changed the filter in their unit was more than a year ago. A further eight percent of Americans responsible for their AC units have never changed the filter, while 13 percent have no idea when was the last time they changed the filter. This is concerning because the maintenance of the unit and filter changes help keep units in good working condition and boosts energy efficiency, which can save on energy costs.

“For improved efficiency and a healthier home, homeowners should change the filter in their AC unit at least every three months during the cooling season,” said Tom Rusin, CEO of HomeServe USA. “Homeowners should also consider getting an annual tune-up with a professional technician, as the technician can fix issues like refrigerant leaks and loose connections that can translate into significant cost savings on the homeowner’s monthly electric bill and prolong the life of their unit.”

HomeServe provides protection to more than 1.6 million homeowners across the US and Canada from the expense and inconvenience of heating and air conditioning system issues, as well as of water, sewer, electrical, and other home emergencies. Homeowners in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin will receive an offer in the mail this month regarding HomeServe’s Water Service Line protection plans, which cover the cost for repairs such as leaks and breaks to the line that runs between the street and the home. These repairs, which can cost homeowners thousands of dollars, are not typically covered by homeowners insurance policies.

For more information about HomeServe protection plans available in your area, please visit www.homeserveusa.com.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States between June 13 and 17, 2014 among 2,035 adults aged 18 and older (among whom 1,683 are responsible for air conditioning unit(s) in their home) by Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe USA via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About HomeServe

HomeServe USA Corp (HomeServe) is an independent provider of home emergency repair service plans. For over a decade, the company has protected homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC and other home emergencies by providing affordable coverage and quality service. HomeServe, a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, serves over 1.6 million homeowners in the US and Canada and dedicates itself to being a customer-focused company providing best-in-class emergency repair plans through leading utility partners and directly to consumers. For more information about HomeServe, please go to www.homeserveusa.com, follow us on www.twitter.com/homeserveusa and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homeserveusa.

Contact:
HomeServe USA
Myles Meehan, 203-356-4259
Myles.Meehan@homeserveusa.com
or
ICR, Inc. for HomeServe USA
Sari Martin, 646-277-1256
hsusa@icrinc.com
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