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Money Matters Blog

Monday, November 26, 2012

Little Steps Can Go a Long Way in Saving Money on Winter Heat

Saving money is important, and not just when it comes to making purchases. There are strategies you can use to save money every day just by changing little things.

For example, cutting down on energy consumption is a smart way to save, and it’s easy to do. A few simple steps can make a big difference down the line.  But remember safety should always be top of mind considering more homes burn in the winter than at any other time of the year according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Here are tips for saving money, and staying safe, this upcoming winter season: 

Time for a check-up: DTE Energy recommends scheduling a visit from a qualified heating contractor to make sure your system is operating efficiently prior to each winter season. Filters should be changed to allow more warm airflow, and vents and heat registers should be cleaned.

Watch that thermostat: Keep an eye on your thermostat to make sure you’re not wasting energy. A programmable thermostat can allow you to automatically lower the temperature when you’re away and then increase it just before you get home.

According to DTE, each degree lowered on your thermostat below 72 degrees Fahrenheit will save about three percent on your energy bill, so dial down to make sure you’re not wasting your heat. Research also shows most people sleep best at a degree or two below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

To find out exactly how much you can save, DTE offers a programmable, detailed thermostat calculator on its website at:
A furnace calculator based on your unit’s efficiency and other factors is also available at
Keep the cold air at bay: Don’t forget to seal off any door or window spaces where air can get through with caulk and/or weather stripping.

Work with nature: Opening curtains during the day will add natural heat through sunlight. Just be sure to close them at night to insulate your windows.   

Consider new programs: DTE Energy offers several new programs to assist customers in saving energy at Discounts, rebates, assistance and home energy audits are among the services offered.

Be safe: Be sure to have your fireplace cleaned out frequently and inspected for cracks and obstructions if you plan to use it this winter. Always make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to sleep.

With a little time and effort you can stay warm this winter and save some money.   

Sources for this article include:,

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