Winter Weather Saving Strategies

Temperatures are dropping around the Tennessee Valley.

That can mean bad news for heating bills, even if you’re keeping the thermostat at a sensible 68 degrees. That’s because your heater has to work harder and harder to keep up as the outdoor temperature drops.

Not to worry. There are things you can do to keep you power bill under control. Start lowering your thermostat—for every 1 degree you drop it, you’ll experience an up to 3 percent savings. 

Consider installing an ENERGY STAR certified programmable thermostat to automatically keep your house cool during the times you’re not home, and warm it up when you’re coming home.

Thermostat set to 67 degrees

Top 10 Tips for Staying Warm and Saving Energy this Winter

  1. Let there be light—Keep your curtains open on the south side of the house and closed on the north during the day to trap the warmth from sunlight.
  2. Family meals—Take advantage of the heat generated by cooking.
  3. Close the damper—Don’t send warm air up the chimney. Make sure the fireplace damper is closed when not in use.
  4. Decorate—Use area rugs if you have hardwood or tile floors to keep your feet warm.
  5. Create breathing room—Keep weeds and debris away from the outdoor unit of your heating system.

    And if you want to invest in some home improvements, these tips may be helpful:

  6. Keep it clean—Change air filters monthly. Dirty filters force your heating system to work harder.
  7. Seal it up—Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors.
  8. Stop the gaps—Install insulating gaskets to exterior light switches and electrical outlets to stop air leaks.
  9. Bundle up—Insulate heating and cooling ducts and repair any air leaks.
  10. Lay it down—Add insulation to your attic, crawlspaces and any accessible exterior walls.

Want more information on how to make your home more energy efficient and even earn incentives for making energy-smart upgrades? Visit  EnergyRight to learn more.

Managing your energy costs

In extremely cold weather, homes and businesses use more energy to stay warm. As temperatures drop, your heating system has to work longer and harder to warm your house. (The same is true for electric or gas heating.)

Long periods of below-freezing weather require more energy to keep your family warm and safe. And the biggest difference in your bill from month to month comes from how much energy you use.

Lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees, and even lower when no one is home, helps keep your bill lower than it would be otherwise.

TVA power rates among the lowest in the nation. We work hard to keep them low, and we encourage people to make their homes and businesses as energy efficient as they can, so their bills aren’t higher than necessary.

TVA and many local power companies offer programs to help consumers use energy wisely.