Tips for a safe and energy-efficient holiday season


BIRMINGHAM – With the weather turning colder, here are tips to help conserve energy and stay comfortable while having a safe holiday season:

Turn down that thermostat and use the sun - Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower during the day, and even cooler at night. On sunny days open blinds to help warm your home.

Clean or change filters regularly - Make sure heating outlets and return air registers are free of obstructions, such as furniture or draperies. Vents should be cleaned regularly with a vacuum or a broom. Filters should be inspected and replaced regularly.

Check your insulation levels - Attic insulation is one of the most important areas to stop heat loss.  The thickness or depth should be 10 to 12 inches depending on the type of insulation. Floor insulation should be used in homes with a crawlspace or basement.

Stop drafts and air leaks - Check windows, crevices and doors for drafts and air leaks.  Weather-stripping and caulk are good ways to keep warm air from escaping.

Wrap your electric water heater - Save energy by placing an insulating blanket around your electric water heater. These easy-to-install blankets are available at most home improvement or building supply stores.

Don’t let the warmth go up your chimney - Be sure to close the flue when the fireplace is not in use.

Use the ceiling fan - A ceiling fan, switched to reverse, can circulate warmer air trapped near the ceiling, or a small fan can distribute air in a room.

Safe Holiday Tips

Check your Christmas tree - Many people use real trees indoors. If you do, make sure you regularly check it for fresh, green needles. Trees that have dried out over several weeks are more likely to ignite if exposed to a spark or open flame than fresh, well-watered trees.

Check the lights on the tree - Even if just purchased, check them before hanging them on your tree.  Make sure all the bulbs work and be certain there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.

Be careful with outdoor lights - Use only lights designed for outdoor use and keep electrical connections above ground and out of areas where water may collect. Be sure to install decorations away from power lines.

Safety first inside the house - Use UL-approved lighting and turn off lighted decorations when away or asleep. Don’t overload wall outlets or extension cords.

For more energy saving tips, contact Alabama Power Customer Service at
1-800-245-2244 or log on to

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

News Release Contact:  Keisa Sharpe, 205-257-4155