Spring into energy savings with seven tips from Alabama Power

Spring has sprung, and with warmer days on the horizon it’s a great time to make a few small changes that can improve your home’s energy efficiency. You’ll enjoy cool savings and a more comfortable home.

Consider these seven easy steps to energy savings as temperatures begin to rise:

1.  Service your air conditioner.  Replace or clean the air filters on your cooling system. If it’s been awhile since the cooling system had a checkup, call a professional. A well-tuned cooling system operates more efficiently and saves money. If the system needs refrigerants, it won’t work as well and will stay on longer, using more energy. Plus, a well-maintained system lasts longer.

2.  Stop air leaks. Use caulk or weather-stripping to seal cracks and openings around windows and doors. When the weather turns hot, you want to keep conditioned air in and warm air out.

3.  Open windows. If the weather is pleasant and not humid, open the windows and let the fresh air in, naturally cooling the house without turning on the air conditioner.

4.  Use window treatments on hot days. Shades, curtains and blinds can improve the look of your home and reduce energy costs. Keep blinds or curtains closed on the sunny side of the house to keep the heat out and cool air in.

5.  Turn on ceiling fans. Run ceiling fans in the down direction to keep air circulating. This uses less electricity without sacrificing overall comfort. Turn off fans when rooms aren’t occupied.

6.  Set the thermostat. On warm days, set a programmable thermostat to a higher setting when you’re not at home. When you’re at home, set the temperature to a comfortable 78 degrees. And tell the kids not to touch the thermostat: Pushing the thermostat up and down runs the cooling system longer and costs more.

7.  Cook outdoors. On warm spring days, keep the heat out by using an outdoor grill instead of the oven. If you are cooking indoors, use a toaster oven instead of the full-size oven. Run dishwashers and washers and dryers only when you have a full load.  

For more energy-saving tips, please visit www.alabamapower.com and type in “Ways to save.” There, you can also provide information about your home to obtain an online, personalized Energy Checkup.

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), provides reliable, affordable energy to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.