Alabama Power Offers Energy Saving Tips for Hot Summer Weather

The temperature outside signals that these are the dog days of summer. To stay cool, Alabama Power offers the following tips to help conserve energy around the home or business during the summer.

Air conditioning:

Your air conditioner is the biggest user of electricity in your home during the summer. In many homes, air conditioning costs can account for more than half the electric bill.

  *  Set the thermostat at 78 degrees or slightly higher and leave it there.
     You can save between 3 percent and 5 percent of your cooling costs for
     every degree you raise the temperature above 75 degrees, depending on
     how well the house is insulated.

  *  Raise the thermostat even higher when away from home for extended
     periods, but not more than five degrees higher (it takes more energy to
     cool down the house when the temperature is set too high).

  *  Clean or change your air conditioner filter regularly.  A dirty filter
     cuts down on air flow and reduces efficiency.  Clear away overgrown
     grass or plants around outdoor air conditioning units.

  *  When buying a new air conditioning unit or heat pump, select one with a
     higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.  The higher the SEER, the
     more efficient the unit.  Experts generally recommend a 12 SEER.

  Staying cool in the kitchen

There are a number of ways you can cut down on energy use in the kitchen during summer.

  *  Instead of heating up the stove on hot days, try cool summer salads and
     other cold dishes.  Or use the microwave.  If you are using the oven,
     avoid opening the door, which can let out 20 percent of the heat.  Use
     a cooking timer instead.  When using the stovetop, choose pans that
     match the size of the burners.  This cuts down on heat lost to the air.

  *  Use the dishwasher only when you have a full load.  Smaller loads use
     just as much water and power.  If you don't need the dishes right away,
     turn off the heated drying cycle.

  Curtains, lights and ceiling fans
  Some other energy-saving ideas:

  *  Close drapes or blinds during the day to reduce heat from direct
     sunlight.  Use fans to circulate air.  Install ceiling fans (clockwise
     rotation) in rooms you use the most.

  *  Use fluorescent lights instead of incandescent lamps when possible.
     Fluorescent lights last about 10 times longer and produce more light
     for the same amount of energy. If you're working in only one part of
     the room, use smaller lamps that light only your work area.

  *  When redecorating, use lighter colors on the walls, curtains or
     upholstery.  Lighter colors reflect light, while darker colors absorb
     heat and require more artificial light.


Proper insulation can make a big difference in keeping a house warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer. Insulation is measured in R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation.

  *  Add insulation in the attic. Better attic insulation can save as much
     as 30 percent on cooling and heating costs.  Experts recommend
     insulation with an R-value of R-30 in ceiling areas.

  *  Make sure exterior windows and doors close snugly.  Apply weather
     stripping and caulking where needed.

For more information about saving energy and cutting your electric bill, contact your local Alabama Power office or call Alabama Power at 1800-990-APCO (2726).

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company , provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.3 million customers across the state.


SOURCE: Alabama Power Company

CONTACT: Alice Gordon of Alabama Power, +1-205-257-4155, or