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Five ways to keep your cool and save on energy costs this summer in Alabama

Temperatures are going reach into the 90s in Alabama every day this week, so it’s a good time to consider ways to control energy costs as you stay cool.

There are plenty of ways to keep your home pleasantly cool – and block the heat – during good old summertime.

Consider these ways to stay chill this summer, all while saving on electricity and helping to lower your power bill.

Be a cool cook

The old saying is true: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. As temperatures rise throughout the day, using the oven will turn up the heat in your house. To avoid feeling uncomfortably warm, grill out to prepare a delicious family meal. Or use a crockpot, Instapot, toaster oven or microwave to cook lunch or dinner, without heating the entire house.

Keep the heat out

On the sunny side of your house, close the window blinds and curtains to prevent heat buildup during the day. Consider applying window film to help block the heat of the sun.

Give life to your air conditioner

Change AC filters every 30 days. (Donna Cope / Alabama NewsCenter)

Your AC will not only work better when you clean or replace the air filters every 30 days, this practice may increase the life of the equipment.

Just as you need to breathe, your air conditioner needs space to get air easily. When your AC is surrounded by shrubs, that restricts the airflow the equipment needs to run efficiently. Take a few minutes this weekend to spruce up the area around your AC:

  • Trim bushes in contact with the unit. Make sure there is a 1-foot clearance all the way around the equipment.
  • Remove leaves or loose debris that could get into the equipment. If the outside of the unit is clogged by debris, have it cleaned by an HVAC professional.

Add comfort with ceiling fans

In summer, try setting the thermostat at 78° or above. If you have a ceiling fan, you may be able to raise the temperature to 80° or higher.

If you are using portable fans or don’t have ceiling fans in rooms that need cooling, you’ll save on your energy bill by installing ceiling fans.

Use CFL or LED lights

Lighting technology has come a long way. CFL and LED bulbs can last for years. Replacing four or five lightbulbs in rooms you use the most can save you $45 or more annually. When selecting lightbulbs, consider that:

  • LEDs are more expensive, but prices are dropping. LEDs are a great lighting option: They’re as efficient as CFLs, produce a warm glow without being hot to the touch and can last for decades.
  • CFLs use a quarter of the energy of incandescent lighting. However, they contain a small amount of mercury and take a while to brighten.

Alabama Power customers can manage home energy consumption online with “My Power Usage.” See your bill, monthly usage and learn your projected electric service before you receive a bill. Customers can receive email alerts when their bill reaches a predetermined dollar amount.

For more energy-saving tips and a free online energy checkup, click on