KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Temperatures have dropped across East Tennessee over the last week.

It’s officially cold weather season and the Knoxville Utilities Board says there are some simple energy-saving improvements you can make to your home.

“Heating and cooling account for the majority of your energy bill,” said Rhonda Clay with KUB.

When the temperature outside drops, you may be ready to turn your thermostat up, but the higher you set it, the more money you could be losing.

“KUB recommends setting your thermostat at 68 degrees depending on your comfort level,” Clay said. “Do keep in mind every degree lower that you set your temperature is about a one percent savings on your bill.”

She said to make sure your HVAC unit is operating correctly before you switch from cooling to heat,

“Have it inspected by a professional. Usually, the best time to do that is right before winter and right before summer.”

There are also some simple tools you can use to keep the heat inside your home.

“Check around your doors and windows. Maybe add some weather stripping around your doors and windows,” Clay explained.

“Check on your insulation,” she said. “Make sure areas that are exposed to the cold are properly insulated. Places like your attic, your garage, your crawl spaces, or maybe your basement.”

Clay said other ways to save energy include unplugging unused appliances, only running full loads with your dishwasher washing, machine, and dryer and use cold water instead of hot water when you can.

KUB does offer workshops on energy efficiency and water savings for community groups. They also partner with other organizations like the TVA to offer qualifying KUB customers about $10,000 for weatherization upgrades. You can find out more about these programs here.