NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — When it’s bitter cold outside — like it will be in Middle Tennessee over the next few days — you might be tempted to crank up the heat inside.

However, Amy Byers, the marketing and public relations coordinator with Middle Tennessee Electric, urges you not to do so.

“Sixty eight degrees — that’s the magic number,” Byers said. “So, every degree you go above 68, you’re going to be adding about 3% to your electric bill.”

Next, Byers recommends stepping outside your home.

“Everyone needs to go out today and walk around their house and make sure that all the garden hoses are undone,” she advised.

Inside, water can do some of the worst damage to your home. To keep the pipes from freezing, put your indoor faucets on a slow drip all night.

“I always open up the cabinets below it, so that the heat that you’re putting in your house can get up under there as well and just kind of help that,” Byers added

These tips also help take some pressure off the electric grid.

During an average winter day, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will operate at 24,000 to 25,000 megawatts. While officials aren’t anticipating any records, TVA is prepared for this big chill to put more pressure on the grid.

“We’re expecting peak demands, certainly above 30,0000, maybe closer to 31,000 megawatts. Our system has an availability of between 33,000 and 35,000 megawatts,” explained Scott Brooks, a TVA spokesperson.

“It’s just a good rule of thumb in general to just stay in and bundle up and ride this out,” said Byers.

Furthermore, if the roads get slick, avoid driving.

“For their own safety, but for the safety of our crews, for the safety of keeping the lights on, if you start skidding and you skid into a power pole, there’s a power outage,” said Byers.

If you do lose power, have flashlights ready to go; don’t use the oven to heat your home; and keep the portable generator at least 20 feet away from the house, with the exhaust directed away from the building, in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.