Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

DTE Energy Offers Tips For Managing Winter Heating Costs

October 31, 2013

DETROIT, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — With the heating season now upon us, DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) has a number of tips and programs to help customers save energy and money this winter.

Here are some simple steps that can pay big dividends as temperatures start to plummet:

Dial down . . .

    --  The best way to manage your energy costs is by using energy wisely.
        For every degree you lower your thermostat below 72 degrees, you can
        save about 3 percent on your heating bill.
        --  One way to accomplish this is with a programmable thermostat, which
            can automatically lower the temperature when you're away from the
            house, and automatically increase it before you get home.
    --  Homes with proper humidity levels will provide greater comfort at lower
        temperatures. When humidity is kept at a proper level - about 35 percent
        at 70 degrees - windows will not sweat and the air won't feel dry.
        Replace the humidifier pad or clean it of calcium deposits for best

Fine tune your furnace . . .

    --  Schedule a heating system check-up.  A qualified heating contractor will
        make sure your heating system operates efficiently and delivers the
        maximum energy savings. Check the DTE Energy web site for a list of
        participating HVAC Tune-up contractors.
    --  Clean or replace your furnace's air filters monthly during the winter
        season. Dirty filters block the warm airflow in the home, which causes
        the furnace to work harder and less economically.
    --  Clean and vacuum ducts, vents and heat registers. Check heat registers
        to ensure that drapes or furniture do not block airflow.
    --  Check the chimney for obstructions. Make sure your chimney is not
        blocked by debris such as bird nests, leaves, loose mortar or dirt.

Add insulation . . .

    --  Install attic and basement insulation to keep out drafts and make your
        home more energy efficient and warm. Adding blown cellulose on top of
        rolled fiberglass insulation will increase the insulation value of your
    --  Insulate all heating ducts located in attics and unheated crawlspaces,
        and make sure there are no leaks in your ductwork.  In the basement,
        insulate the band joists, where your home's frame meets the foundation.
    --  Place an insulation blanket around your hot water heater if it's more
        than 10 years old.  Electric water heaters should be placed on an
        insulated surface, such as foam. Adjust water heater temperature to the
        warm setting (about 120 degrees).

Keep the cold air out. . .

    --  Seal windows and doors with caulk and weather stripping to block
        unwanted drafts. If caulk cracks and peels away, it allows your home's
        heat to escape.
    --  Install a fireplace door to prevent cold air from entering your home.
        Be sure to close the damper unless a fire is burning.  Keeping the
        damper open is like having a window wide open during the winter.
        However, if you have a gas fireplace, the flue should be partially open
        to allow fumes from the pilot light to escape.
    --  Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans wisely.  In just one hour,
        these fans can pull out a houseful of warm air.  Turn fans off as soon
        as they have done their job.
    --  Minimize the number of times that doors to the outside are opened and
        closed. Every time an outside door opens, warm air rushes out and cold
        air moves in.

Let the sun shine in. . .

    --  Open curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight
        to naturally heat your home.  Be sure to close the curtains at night to
        reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Take advantage of DTE Energy programs…

    --  Enroll in BudgetWise Billing and spread your heating payments equally
        over the entire year. For more information about BudgetWise Billing,
        visit www.dteenergy.com/bwb.

For more information about managing winter heating costs, visit www.dteenergy.com/winter.


Source: PR Newswire