Air Conditioner Exchange Program

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The recent heat wave has some residents feeling a pinch in their wallets due to higher energy bills.

"They sure haven't been cheap," says Opal Morrow.

"Up until recently, they've been ok, but now with the last couple days with the hot weather, its been real high," Crystal Sexton says.

"They're above what I would like to pay for energy," adds Velma Hayes.

Hayes, Morrow, and Sexton were three of the 275 residents who lined up at the Riverfront Museum Campus to take advantage of a unique offer. ComEd allowed the residents to exchange their old air conditioners for a newer, more energy efficient model.

"We're trying to at the same help people that would not be able to go out and buy a new air conditioner," says ComEd Spokesman Paul Callighan.

ComEd will be recycling the old air conditioners. The new ones are 20-30% more efficient than the old units they were traded for. "The other one we had was really bad and you never know when its going to quit," Sexton says.

"I think the one I had was about ready to quit," Morrow adds.

While some might question why ComEd waited until the end of the summer to implement this program, the utility company says Mother Nature isn't easing up on us quite yet.

"The cooling season continues on through august and into September so these folks will be able to get advantage of it yet," Callighan says.

Those who received new air conditioners already have big plans for them.

"Come home after work, take a shower, and sit right there in front of the air conditioner," Sexton says.

"Just relax, relax," Hayes adds.

"Probably sleep. It'll be nice and comfortable in there," Morrow says.

The free units are part of ComEd's Customer Affordable Reliable Energy initiative. That educates customers on how to manage their energy use, reduce their bills, and help low-income customers. To find out if you are eligible in the future, contact the Department of Human Services.