10 tips to stay cool and save money on extreme hot weather days
DETROIT -- Over the next week, the weather forecast calls for extreme hot weather, with temperatures reaching over 90 degrees. While DTE can’t control the extreme hot weather, the company offers the following tips to stay cool and save money throughout the warm summer season.
1. Install a programmable thermostat - Program your thermostat to work around your family's summer schedule. A setting of 78 degrees is recommended in the summer. With proper use, programmable thermostats can save you about $180 annually in energy costs.
2. Seal air leaks first, followed by adding insulation - Homeowners can save about 10% of their total energy bills. Seal air leaks using caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping. Weatherizing your home this way is one of the most cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency and comfort.
3. Change your furnace filter every three months at a minimum - A dirty filter will slow airflow and make your furnace work harder.
4. Minimize the number of times that outside doors are opened and closed - Hot air from outside enters your home every time the doors open.
5. Use ceiling fans - to provide additional cooling and better air circulation. Run the blades counter-clockwise or downward to cool more efficiently. Fans only cool people, not the room, so remember to turn fans off when you leave.
6. Close blinds and curtains on south- and west-facing windows - This easy step blocks out summer sunlight, making your home cooler. You can also plant trees outside to shade windows or move potted trees and plants in front of windows.
7. Set water temperature - Water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half. Using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more.
8. Avoid activities that add heat and humidity to your home - during the hottest parts of the day, such as cooking inside. Cook outside on the (natural gas) grill instead of using the oven.
9. Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils - Dirty coils reduce the system's ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
10. Purchase ENERGY STAR® room air conditioners - ENERGY STAR®-certified room air conditioners use about 15% less energy than conventional models, which could mean a savings of about $85 over the lifetime of the unit, on average.
DTE Energy encourages customers to sign up for hot weather alerts. When hot weather hits, DTE will text customers tips to help manage energy bill costs. To sign up, text DTETIPS to 80565.