Stay comfortable while managing energy use this summer

Summer is here and with it comes trips to the ice cream stand, time at the lake and hot weather. While Michigan summers have a lot to offer, hot and humid days can put a strain on electric bills. But with some tips and simple changes, you can make the most of the season while managing your electric use and your bill.

“Hot weather and household changes can increase energy use,” John Boladian, DTE Energy director of energy efficiency, said. “Through our tools and tips, customers can take charge of their energy use and stay comfortable as temperatures rise.”

With a little planning – and helpful information – you can be ready to embrace all that Michigan summers have to offer while keeping your family and budget comfortable. Get started with these tips:

  • Install a programmable thermostat and save up to $180 annually. Programmable thermostats offer several benefits, including cost savings, convenience and comfort. You can also put it on a schedule and not worry about manually adjusting it multiple times during the day. Some even allow you to control them from your smartphone. Our recommended summer settings are 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a degree or two higher when you’re asleep or away. Make the most of your energy and set your thermostat to pre-cool your home before 3 p.m. on weekdays to take advantage of the lower, off-peak rates offered on DTE’s Time of Day rate.
  • Shade your home. Closing blinds and shades on sun-facing windows on sunny days is a simple way to keep your home comfortable. You can also plant a tree or shrub outside of sun-facing windows to provide extra, natural shade for your home.
  • Seal those sneaky air leaks and insulate for up to $200 in annual savings. No one wants the hot outdoor air leaking into their home, nor do they want the cool indoor air escaping outside during the summer. Check for air leaks by holding a lit candle or incense stick by your home’s windows, chimney, doors or outlets. If you notice that the smoke begins to blow sideways, you may need to remedy an air leak with caulk or weatherstripping. Then, add the appropriate insulation where needed and you could qualify for a rebate. Homeowners can save up to 10% in energy costs by sealing leaks and adding insulation.
  • Give your kitchen a break. Using your oven or stove during the summer creates an extra hot home causing your A/C to work overtime to cool down that trapped heat. Try giving your kitchen a break a night or two a week and grill outside instead. You can even have an outdoor picnic!
  • Is it time to change your filter? A dirty HVAC filter can lead to an inefficient running system and unclean air flowing through your home. It’s recommended you change your HVAC system filters at the start of the summer and every 3 months to keep it optimally running, or sooner if it appears to be dirty.

With just a few adjustments, your family can stay comfortable while managing your energy use this summer.

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