Is your home ready for winter’s chill? Many aren’t and this can increase your energy use, raise your average electric bill in the winter and decrease your family’s comfort. By curbing energy waste, you can help reduce Michigan’s carbon footprint. Here are five energy saving tips to help you reduce your household power consumption this winter.
1. Put your furnace on a diet.
In a typical home, furnaces use about 29% of total household energy use (Source: EnergyStar.gov). That’s why it’s important to give your heating system a checkup! Save your furnace from being an energy hog by having it tuned and inspected by a qualified professional every two years. Oh, and don’t forget that filter – replace it as recommended by your manufacturer so your system can breathe efficiently. Is your furnace more than ten years old? Talk to your contractor and find out if it’s time for a new high-efficiency model and look for one that’s at least 95% efficient. For more info or to learn about the rebates we offer, check out the HVAC section of our website.
2. Heat up your insulation and sealing efforts.
Got drafts? Many homes do and more than 50% of the energy used for winter heating escapes through uninsulated walls, ceilings, floors and attics. Adding insulation, weather strips and sealing up leaks, whether you do it yourself or have one of our affiliated contractors do the work, will reduce your energy costs, making your home more comfortable and even earn rebates! Learn more tips and tricks on how to lower your electric bill in the winter on our website.
3. Slay the energy vampires.
Did you know your home is probably full of energy vampires? And they don’t just come out at night. Energy vampires lurk in your home posing as phone chargers, cable boxes, computer cords – even the coffee pot. If your plug has a plastic “brick”, either to plug into the outlet or inline on the cord, there’s a good chance you’ve got a vampire. Slay these vampires by unplugging them when not in use or get a smart power strip that shuts off the electricity when it’s not needed. We offer instant rebates that can save you money when you purchase these power strips from us!
4. Light your fire.
A wood-burning fireplace may sound like the best choice for heating your home, but you could be losing heat, not gaining it. Try not to run the fireplace and central heating system at the same time and always lower your thermostat to a few degrees when you have a fire going. When using your fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers at the bottom of your firebox, or opening the nearest window approximately one inch. Be sure to close the damper when you’re not enjoying a fire. And seal and insulate unused fireplaces to prevent heat from escaping and cold air from inviting itself inside.
5. Get with the program.
If you’re heating your house when you’re not home, you’re wasting money and energy. Programmable thermostats let you turn down the temperature while you and your family sleep or during the day when you’re away. However, wi-fi-enabled smart thermostats enable you to control the temperature from anywhere using your smartphone. Many smart thermostats can even learn your heating preferences and patterns and automatically adjust for peak efficiency. A programmable thermostat could save you as much as 20% on your heating costs. Need more energy-saving tips? Enrolling in our Smart Thermostat program could help you earn incentives on top of your savings!
Save Energy. Save Money.
We want to help you find ways to save energy all around your house. These winter energy tips will not only help stretch your budget but will also help pave a path to a more sustainable future for Michigan. Want to learn more about how you can make your home more energy efficient, not just in winter, but year round? Just head to ConsumersEnergy.com/CharlesAtHome to see more! Did you know that some of the improvements to your home could even earn you rebates? They sure can – stop by our Rebates page to learn more.