BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Alabama Power is offering the following tips for consumers to conserve energy and reduce costs on electricity bills.

  • Clean or change your air conditioner filter regularly. A dirty filter cuts down on airflow and reduces efficiency. Air conditioners are the biggest source of electricity usage 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. The monthly savings could be between 3 and 5 percent. Raise the thermostat higher when away from home for extended periods.

  • When buying a new air conditioning unit or heat pump, select one with a higher seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER). The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit.

  • 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 frequently used.

  • 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.

  • Add insulation in the attic. Better attic insulation can save as much as 30 percent on cooling and heating costs. Insulation is measured in R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. 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. Proper insulation can make a big difference in keeping a house cooler in the summer.

    For more information, call 800-990-2726 or visit

    Publication date: 07/19/2004