Snowflakes are falling in parts of Michigan. It won’t be long until winter arrives. Before it does, we’re sharing some ways you can winterize your home on a budget and save energy and money this winter. Check out how to keep the cold out, and the heat in with 6 cost-effective tips!

  1. Cover up – Just talking about windows here. It’s not pretty, but it’s effective. Covering your windows with insulation film can keep up to 70% of heat from leaking. You can purchase a kit at most local hardware or home improvement stores for around $15. Not only will it reduce drafts, it can also seal air leaks around your windows. Sometimes it’s obvious that you have air leaking in, but if you’re not sure do a simple paper test. Put a piece of paper under the window and close it. If you can move the paper around with ease, cool air is probably sneaking in (and warm air escaping out).
  2. Stop the Drafts – Under your doors, that is. By all means, keep the football and basketball drafts going – we love those! Anyway, draft guards can be a cheap and easy fix that can lead to big energy savings. Starting for around $10, there are several different types depending on your preference and needs. Choose from rubber strips that wrap around the bottom of the door, to fabric ones that lay across the inside bottom of the door, to magnetic fabric door draft stoppers. There are also extra long stoppers to cover the length of a sliding door or double doors. Check out the options here.
  3. Tape It – If covering your windows with insulation isn’t your thing, try weather stripping tape. It also works around doors, and you can get a roll for under $10. As with most things, there are a lot of different options to suit a variety of needs and preferences. Foam tape has adhesive backing, felt strips are usually nailed in place, V strips fit around window corners and door sweeps are similar to the draft stoppers that stop drafts at the bottom of the door.
  4. Set it and forget it – Your programmable thermostat that is. ENERGY STAR estimates that homeowners can save about $180 a year when using a programmable thermostat. To get the most savings out of your smart thermostat, utilize the schedule to automatically adjust the temperature for times when you won’t be home or are asleep. You can check out different thermostats at our Online Store. You can also review the different programs available to our customers to help you get the most savings from your smart thermostat. Check this out to learn how to install your smart thermostat.
  5. Clean those Gutters – I know, that sounds terrible. But you know what’s worse? Ice dams. So, make sure to unclog those gutters to help melting snow and ice drain properly this winter instead of building up on your roof and creating water spots (or much worse) inside your home.
  6. Replace those filters – ENERGY STAR recommends changing your furnace filters every three months. This is important, especially during heating season – a dirty air filter slows down air flow which makes the system work harder – which means wasting energy and increasing your bill!

The More You Know
Did you know Michigan has a Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income homeowners and renters? You could be eligible for free home energy conservation services which will reduce energy use and lower your bill. These services can include:

  • Wall insulation
  • Attic insulation and ventilation
  • Foundation insulation
  • Air leakage reduction
  • Smoke detectors
  • Dryer venting.

For more information and to see if you are eligible, contact your local Weatherization operator.

If you’re planning to make some significant energy efficiency investments in your home (think new furnace, windows or adding insulation) you may be eligible for a rebate. Charles can explain more: