It’s freezing out there, but it is possible to leave the cold outside. There are many ways to increase energy efficiency in your home during the Michigan winters, helping you to live comfortably and even save on utility costs.
How to Increase Energy Efficiency in your Home
The best ways to increase energy efficiency when it comes to heating costs are much simpler than you might realize. In some cases, you don’t need to spend an extra penny or even leave your front door. Here are a few ideas.
1. Use the sun to your advantage.
Open up your blinds, raise your shades, or push aside your curtains to let in the sun.
2. After the sun warms your home, cover the windows back up.
During the winter in Michigan, the sun isn’t getting into your home later in the evening no matter how hard you try, so there’s no use in leaving window coverings up or open. After you have warmed up your home with the help of the uplifting sun during the afternoon, shut the blinds or curtains after the sun sets to help keep the cold air out.
3. Seal your windows and doors.
It’s not solely about the temperature. Michigan’s windy days are some of the most bone-chilling. Sealing your windows and doors will help to keep that cold draft out and the warm air in.
In addition to windows and doors, find places around the house that may be letting in air, such as unfinished spaces around cupboards, and add caulk or weatherstripping to seal them.
4. Turn on the ceiling fan.
Don’t worry. You read that right. Usually we think of a ceiling fan as something that helps to keep us cool during the blazing Michigan summers, but here’s a nice tip: If you turn your ceiling fan on a low setting, it pushes warm air down, thereby helping to increase energy efficiency in your home. That’s a neat little trick, eh?
5. Put your thermostat on a schedule.
Your warm bed and a cozy blanket may be all you need at night, and your house most likely does not need to stay so warm when everyone is at school or work. Program your thermostat to switch to a lower temperature during sleeptime and work hours, and then it can automatically increase when you expect to be home.
6. Check your HVAC system.
Routine maintenance for your furnace includes changing the filter. DTE Energy recommends checking your filter every month, especially during the winter. It should be changed at least every three months.
If your overall heating and cooling system is not up to par, contact a professional to have it repaired.
How to Save on Lighting and Electricity Costs
In addition to heating, lighting costs tend to increase during the Michigan winters as well. Consider using these easy tips this season.
- If you want to know one simple way to increase energy efficiency in your home, just think about what your mother or father told you when you were a child: “Shut off the lights!”
Yes, they were right. Remembering to shut off the lights when you leave a room will help you save on utility costs.
- Do you always need a full room of light, or will a lamp be enough? If so, using lamps is another smart way to save on utility costs.
- Dimming the lights or using lower wattage and energy-efficient bulbs will reduce energy consumption as well.
- Unplug electronics and small appliances around the home that are not used regularly, especially if you expect to be away for a while. Even if you are not actively using an item, leaving it plugged in eats up some electricity.