Marcus Hiles’ last bit of advice can be a big saver.  He recommends that buyers and renters look for properties with updated air conditioners that have Season Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) of 16 or above.  Compared to a 15-year-old home with an older 10 SEER air conditioner unit, a 16 or higher unit can cut air conditioning bills by 60 percent.  The Department of Energy only requires the newest units have a 13 to 14 SEER rating, but the higher the number the better.  Hiles notes that his properties are equipped with energy efficient air conditioning units that lead to annual savings of over $400,000 and states that over five years they’ll save more than $6 million.  This comes with the added benefit of reducing carbon emissions by more than 320,000 tons of carbon over the next decade.

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