Beat the Heat

By  | May 19, 2017 | Filed under: News

Summer temperatures have arrived early in the Tennessee Valley. Try our top tips for painlessly curbing your energy use to keep your power bill under control.

TENNESSEE VALLEY-This year—after a mild winter—temperatures are soaring across the Valley even before the official start of summer.

Not to worry: To keep us all calm, cool and collected, Tennessee Valley Authority has readied its electric grid for the strain summer temperatures can put on the transmission system. It’s also prepared some tips for to help you keep your cool while you save money on your electric bill.

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Remember that summer energy use is usually highest—and it costs the most for TVA to generate electricity—between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., during the warmest part of the day and when people arrive home from work. Reducing energy consumption between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. will help TVA generate electricity at the lowest possible price, and pass the savings on to you through lower fuel costs.

These free, low-cost measures can offset the additional energy needed to run your air conditioner throughout the summer, saving the strain on your wallet:

Top Tips for Saving Energy in the Summer Heat

  • Keep it clean when the sun goes down. Refrain from running your dishwasher, clothes washer or dryer during the heat of the day. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full.
  • Filter it out. Make sure your air conditioner filter is clean—a dirty filter means the air conditioner won’t get as cool and will use more power than necessary.
  • Mom was right…shut those doors! Try to minimize the amount of times you open and shut the doors leading outside to keep the cool air in. The same theory includes the refrigerator door.
  • Do a fan dance. Use ceiling and floor fans to keep air moving in your home—they use a lot less power than setting your air conditioner lower.
  • Unplug to power down. Unplug any unused or unnecessary electronic devices—even when turned off, they still are generating heat if they’re plugged in.
  • Cut the cord to the old appliances. Got an old fridge out in the garage or down in the basement? Consider letting that sentimental dinosaur go…it’s still inefficient.
  • Lighten up. Make that switch to more energy-efficient light bulbs. You’ll save money, and—bonus!—they put off less heat.
  • A slightly warmer house equals less sizzle on your budget. Setting your thermostat between 75º and 78º during the day (even higher if no one is home) can make a significant difference in your power bill.
  • Made in the shade. Create your own shade by keeping curtains closed during the day on the south, west, and east sides of the house to block out sunlight.
  • Kiss the hot cook goodbye. Plan menus ahead of time for meals that require less range or oven heat. Consider using the microwave instead…it cooks faster and doesn’t create as much heat as stovetop cooking.
  • Or, get out of the house. Consider using your gas or charcoal grill outside for cooking rather than kitchen appliances.
  • Keep your cool. Insulate your attic and walls and seal cracks to keep air conditioning inside where it belongs. Likewise, caulk and weatherstrip around windows and doors.
  • But not too cool. Set the refrigerator temperature at 36º to 39º and your freezer at 0º to 5º F.
  • Create some breathing room. Keep weeds and debris away from your outdoor air conditioning unit.
  • Look within. Perform a do-it-yourself home energy audit. Online and paper versions are available at www.EnergyRight.com/residential.

For more energy-saving tips, visit EnergyRight® Solutions for Your Home.

Media Release/Scott Fiedler
Public Relations & Corp. Info.
Tennessee Valley Authority

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