Winter is coming and DTE has some tips to keep costs down as Michiganders begin to turn on their natural gas furnaces.
- Replace your thermostat with a programmable model. Save up to $180 annually by programming it for the season. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.
- Consider setting the thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home.
- Save up to $200 a year by sealing air leaks around your home to keep heat in and cold air outside and adding proper insulation. Add caulk or weather stripping as necessary to seal leaks around windows and doors.
- Inspect and replace your furnace filter at the start of the season and at least every 3 months to ensure your furnace can work at peak efficiency.
- Use a humidifier with an adjustable humidistat to maintain desired humidity and set it so the appliance does not run continuously. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature.
- Keep draperies and blinds open on your south-facing windows during winter days to have sunlight help warm your home. Keep curtains closed at night to reduce chill and drafts.
- Make sure that rugs, drapes or furniture are not blocking airflow to heating/cooling registers or baseboard heaters.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. If you do use the fireplace, you can install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- Ensure the roof has adequate ventilation to avoid ice blockages.
- Replace your screens with storm windows to provide an extra barrier to the cold outside winter air.
- Change the blade direction of your ceiling fan and operate it at low speed in a clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.
- ENERGY STAR-certified ceiling fans with lights are 60% more efficient than conventional fan/light units, saving you $180 in energy costs over the fan’s 10-year lifetime. They also use improved motors and blade designs.
For customers who need help paying their energy bills, DTE offers several payment assistance programs and can be reached at 800.477.4747.