At this point in winter, the holiday glow is gone and now you’re probably hibernating wishing the cold weather would do the same. But you can take advantage of this time inside by doing some simple things around the house to save money on your energy bill – without sacrificing your comfort.
- Open your blinds
In the winter, keep drapes and blinds on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to warm your home and closed at night to reduce the chill and drafts.
- Clear the vents
Make sure that rugs, drapes or furniture are not blocking airflow to heating registers or baseboard heaters.
- Close fireplace damper
Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- Seal hidden leaks
To maximize home efficiency, seal all the gaps where air can leak out. Simple and inexpensive fixes include installing weather-stripping on doors and caulking around windows. Air can also leak out of your house around openings that are not in obvious sight. Some of these common household air leaks can be found around the plumbing vents, attic hatch, recessed lights, and basement rim joists.
- Seal ductwork
Check your ductwork for air leaks, especially at joints. Start by sealing air leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access (such as those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages). Never use duct tape, as it is not long-lasting.
- Change air filters
Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months in the winter. At a minimum, change the filter every three months. A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder to keep you warm and wastes energy.
For more ways to save money on your energy bill this winter, visit dteenergy.com/winter.
Originally published Feb 7, 2018; revised Feb 11, 2021.