AC bills can surely mount in the summer months, especially in the southern United States where temperatures have been rising steadily and summer now stretches for six months or more. These days, mid-sized homes in Florida, Georgia, or Arizona can spend $250 to $300 on cooling bills alone.
That why’s shrouding your AC in a gentle haze of water may not be such a ridiculous idea. In fact, it should improve the unit’s efficiency and reduce your electricity bills, says Josh Teekell, CEO and co-founder of Mistbox. His company’s misting device starts operating when it senses stress in the AC’s machinery and when the temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s when the equipment starts to work less effectively.
The Mistbox comes from a company in Houston, Texas, which has been selling versions of it for three years. The newest model is solar-powered from a panel on top of the controller. The box is linked via Wi-Fi to an app, which records and illustrates data, including electricity use, temperatures, and savings.
The solar module not only provides power, it also brings with it a 30% federal rebate for the whole product. The Mistbox costs $449 before the rebate, $315 after. Plus, some states, like South Carolina and Delaware offer extra rebates for solar equipment, Teekell says. He says one customer from Texas saved as much $250 in the first two months (it’s possible he had a very big house). Normally, customers report savings between 20% and 40%, he says.