NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are closely monitoring a major winter storm expected to bring the coldest air in more than a year to the state. Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing sometime on Saturday and remain below freezing until at least Thursday. Tennesseans are urged to plan accordingly.
Here are some tips to prepare your home for the cold weather.
Prepare your Home
Inside Your Home
- Open cabinets doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow warm air to circulate around the water pipes.
- Allow faucets along exterior walls to drip a small amount of water. Running water will prevent pipes from freezing.
- Ensure that your home has some minimum heat, even if you are away.
- Cover or close foundation vents.
- Drain and store water hoses.
- Protect outdoor faucets and pipes with insulation. If pipe insulation is not available, use newspapers, rags, trash bags or other household items to create a layer of protection.
- Familiarize yourself with your water shut off valve and have the tools necessary to close it if necessary.
- Turn off power to your water heater before draining pipes.
Energy consumption can spike during periods of extremely cold weather. Even with your thermostat set at the same temperature, the greater the difference between inside and outside temperatures, the more your heating system must work to maintain a comfortable living space. Here are some tips to save energy during periods of extreme cold weather.
Set your thermostat to 65 degrees. You can drop it even lower if you plan to be away from home.
Use drapes to control temperatures. Open drapes to allow sunlight to warm your home. Close them in the evening to retain heat.
Seal cracks. Use towels or other materials to seal cracks around windows or under doors to prevent cold air from entering your space.
Be sure air filters are clean. Your heating and cooling system runs more during periods of extreme weather, and that means that your air filters can become dirty much quicker. Dirty air filters make your heating system run less efficiently, and that can have a big impact on comfort and your energy bill.