Stay energy efficient this summer

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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The hum of air conditioners is continuing to be heard as summer officially kicked off last weekend.

Because more people are staying home more due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama Power is offering some helpful tips to promote energy efficiency during the summer heat.

Alabama Power recommends the following:

  • 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 percent 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 weather stripping 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.

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