It’s springtime in Alabama, which means the weather can vary dramatically from day to night or week to week. Managing your energy costs at this time of year can be a challenge when you may want to switch on the heater in the morning and turn on air conditioning in the afternoon.
We’ve rounded up seven energy-saving tips to help you manage your utility costs during this fickle spring season:
Set your thermostat to 70 degrees. Between 68 and 70 degrees is comfortable for living spaces. This temperature range is the best thermostat setting in springtime when the weather outside is erratic. For additional energy savings, consider investing in a smart thermostat or following these guidelines for setting your thermostat:
- Away from home: 65 degrees.
- During the day at home: 68-70 degrees.
- During sleeping hours: 65 degrees.
- Let fresh air in. When the weather heats up, try opening the windows instead of switching on the AC. Creating a cross breeze by opening windows and turning on ceiling fans can keep your home cool even as outside temperatures heat up.
- Invest in insulated window treatments. Lined or insulated curtains, also known as “blackout” curtains, are another option for reducing energy costs. If you have drafty, older windows, blackout curtains can reduce your home’s energy loss by up to 25%. Insulated curtains can prevent cold drafts and block harsh sunlight.
- Take advantage of natural sunlight. If you have well-insulated windows, you may save more energy by opening your curtains or blinds. Many homes have increased energy usage when one or two people in the household work from home. Relying on natural light instead of artificial light is a simple way to reduce daily energy consumption.
- Get a desk light. Using a desk light to illuminate your workspace can save electricity. An overhead light uses more electricity than a desk lamp. A desk lamp is a wise investment to reduce your monthly energy costs if you work from home.
- Use nightlights. Nightlights aren’t just for children’s rooms. Placing a nightlight in bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms and the kitchen can reduce lighting costs. Since nightlights have low wattage bulbs – around 4 watts compared to 50-100 watts for regular bulbs – using them during the evening can help save electricity.
- Change your air filters. Dirty air filters force your HVAC system to work harder. Changing or cleaning your air filters every three months can save 5% to 15% on energy costs. Regular replacement of air filters also improves your home’s air quality, which can help you breathe better and experience fewer allergy symptoms. Check out Alabama Power’s air filter page for recommendations.
These energy-saving tips can help you take control of your utility costs this season. Check out Alabama Power’s Save Money and Energy page for more tips. You can learn about our energy savings programs and the best energy-efficient products available, along with additional energy-saving ideas.