Above Average Temps Heading into Autumn

Our attention may be turning toward colorful leaves, sweater weather and Halloween—but Mother Nature has other ideas. It's still plenty hot across the Valley. Here's what you can do about it.

Its football season and pumpkins are popping up all around, but Mother Nature isn’t ready to let go of summer just yet. With temperatures climbing into the 90s again this week and humidity much higher than normal across the Tennessee Valley, TVA is seeing higher than normal power demand heading into the start of fall. Keep cool and lower your electricity bill by continuing summer-smart practices.

“Temperatures across the Southeast are 8 to 10 degrees above normal, so we encourage you to continue using the summer energy saving tips while we wait for those fall temperatures to arrive,” says Greg Henrich, general manager, TVA Balancing Authority and Resource Operations. 

The Tennessee Valley Authority and your local power company are ready to keep power flowing, but there are some easy things you can do to gain energy efficiency and lessen the impact of future electric bills.

  • Crank it up—Setting your thermostat just one degree higher can save up to 3 percent on your power bill. A setting of around 75 degrees is the “sweet spot” to maximize your savings.
  • Don’t “yo-yo” your thermostat—Keep your thermostat changes to 2 or 3 degree adjustments no more than once every four hours. Constantly turning your thermostat way up during the day and then way down when you get home forces your unit to work harder than needed, costing you more money.
  • It’s curtains for you—Or maybe blinds, but try to cover your windows on the south and west sides of your home in order to block sunlight during the warmest parts of the day.
  • Get out of the kitchen—Summer is the perfect time for grilling outside, which keeps the heat from cooking the inside of your home.
  • Or use that microwave—It will cook your food faster, and keep the kitchen cooler than stovetop or oven cooking would.
  • Keep things clean—Keeping your air filters clean will allow your air conditioner to work most efficiently. Change them regularly, too. Clogged filters will make your AC system work harder.
  • Seal it up—Caulk around windows and doors to seal the cool air in and keep the heat out. Likewise replace cracked seals around refrigerators or freezers.
  • Take a cold shower—Not only will it feel good this time of year, it will save on unnecessary water heating costs.
  • Plant a tree or two—Shade trees on the south or southwest side of the house will add beauty and keep your house cooler.

These low-cost or no-cost, easy-to-do actions can help make an immediate difference in your power use without forcing you to break even more of a summer sweat. More summer energy-saving tips can be found at EnergyRight Solutions®.

TVA and local power companies are also doing their part to ensure reliable power will be there for you when you need it most. All available generating units are being readied for peak operation, and less critical maintenance activities are being delayed. It’s all a part of continuing our 85-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley to deliver the power you need when you need it most—and always at the lowest feasible cost.