Six energy-saving tips for an Alabama summer

Six energy-saving tips for an Alabama summer
Keep blinds, shades and draperies on the sunny side of the house closed to reduce the amount of heat entering your home. (Getty Images)

With summer about to begin, the weather is getting warmer and air conditioners are cranking up. This summer may look different than before with many encouraged to spend more time at home because of COVID-19. Alabama Power offers these tips to promote energy efficiency during the summer heat.

Switching to LED bulbs is a simple way of saving energy. (Getty Images)
  • Clean or replace air filters every 30 days. It will increase the efficiency and longevity of your cooling system or window air conditioners.
  • You can save energy by upgrading lights from incandescent bulbs to LEDs. Only 10-15% of electricity emitted by incandescent bulbs is light – the rest comes off as heat. So, turn off unnecessary lighting.
  • Wait to do household chores, such as washing dishes and running the clothes dryer, until the cooler part of the day. This will help reduce moisture and heat in the house. You can also air-dry dishes and clothes instead of using appliances.
  • Set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and use ceiling fans while in a room. Raising the thermostat by 2 degrees can reduce air conditioning use by 10 percent. The cost of running a ceiling fan is minimal. And remember to turn fans off when a room is unoccupied to cut energy use further.
  • Use caulk and weatherstripping in places where cool air can escape. This will also help save money during the winter by keeping heated air inside. Keep blinds, shades and draperies on the sunny side of the house closed to reduce the amount of heat entering your home.
  • For heat-reducing, cost-effective cooking, consider using the microwave, an electric frying pan, grill or toaster oven instead of a full-size oven. Small appliances use about one-third the power of an oven broiler and create less heat in your kitchen. Remove excess heat and moisture by using a kitchen exhaust fan, but don’t let the fan run for more than 15 minutes after cooking. After 15 minutes, the fan will start to pull cool air out of the home.

Alabama Power customers can help manage their home energy consumption online with “My Power Usage.” It allows customers to view daily and monthly usage and learn their projected electric service amounts before receiving their bill. Customers can also receive email alerts when their bills reach a predetermined dollar amount. To learn more, visit www.alabamapower.com/mypowerusage.

Find more customized energy-saving tips and get a free online energy checkup at www.alabamapower.com. For more information on Alabama Power’s COVID-19 response and customer support, visit www.alabamapower.com/COVIDsupport.

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