Seasoned lake residents — and young folks, too — know that chilly lake winds have a way of “going right through you.”

Delight in a warm and cozy home

These tips will allow you and your family to enjoy all the pleasures of lake living year-round, while taking savings to the bank.

A crackling fire in the fireplace is warm and welcoming, but fireplaces can allow a lot of heated air to escape up the chimney. A fireplace designed to provide heat eliminates the problem through a draft, which supplies the fire with outside air, instead of air from the room.

Step into more savings with these easy changes:

    1. Place the ceiling fan in reverse, so the fan blades turn clockwise, to distribute heated air from the ceiling to the room’s occupied areas.
    2. Prevent furniture, draperies or doors from blocking heating outlets or return air registers.

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  1. On sunny days, leave curtains open to allow sunlight in so the home will absorb the heat. Close the curtains on the shaded side of the house and at night.
  2. Use an electric blanket when sleeping, rather than heat the entire house all night.
  3. Set the thermostat at 68°F or lower, then forget it. Remind teens not to touch the thermostat. If you often reset the temperature during the day, you’re more likely to waste energy.
  4. Replace your air filter every month, especially during the winter and summer, when your HVAC unit gets the most use. When that clogged air filter is working harder, more energy is used. And when it requires more energy to make your heating system work, it causes your energy bill to increase.
  5. Add attic insulation. While many older homes don’t have enough insulation, you can add the material to any house. A “do-it-yourself” project to add attic insulation can save up to 30 percent on heating and cooling.
  6. Plug any gaps between windows and doors with caulk or other material; collectively, these can add up to big energy losses. You can significantly lower home heating costs by adding weatherstripping and proper insulation in the attic and in crawl spaces.
  7. Take advantage of a secret most people don’t know: The water heater is your home’s second-largest energy user, up to 25 percent of energy consumed. Turn down your water heater to 120 degrees, which is also safer for children and provides comfortable water for most uses. Create a water-heating bonus by using an insulating blanket around your hot water heater. The thicker the insulation, the more energy you’ll save.

Sign up for a free energy checkup

More savings come when you find out which areas of your home use the most energy.
A home energy assessment will pinpoint those areas and offer steps you can take to cut your energy costs. Visit Alabama Power’s website for a Personalized Energy Checkup or an Estimated Energy Checkup. The Personalized

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Energy Checkup provides a more precise report, using your energy bills to provide a customized report. With an Estimated Energy Checkup, your energy use is based on average homes rather than your actual home. You’ll enter information about your home and family to measure how you use energy.

Alabama Power customers can schedule a free, in-home energy checkup. An energy expert will visit your home and conduct a thorough inspection for energy usage.

Call 1-800-245-2244 to reach an Alabama Power energy expert. Our Customer Service representatives are available 24/7 to answer your questions or to schedule an in-home energy checkup visit. No matter what time — day or night — a real person is a phone call away.

– Donna Cope

Categories: Blog, Energy Efficiency

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