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DTE Energy Offers Tips To Save Energy and Manage Heating Bills This Winter

PRNewswire
DETROIT
(:DTE)

DETROIT, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- As cooler temperatures signal the start of another heating season, DTE Energy suggests customers prepare their homes and their budgets for winter.

Steps taken now can pay big dividends. DTE Energy offers the following tips to help manage winter energy costs and save money on energy bills:

Budget wisely ...

-- DTE Energy's Budgetwise Billing program can take the seasonal ups and downs out of your energy bills. DTE Energy will calculate an average monthly payment, based on your previous year's usage. You pay that amount for 11 months; the 12th bill of the year will reflect the difference between the energy you actually used and the 11 payments you made. Enroll online at http://www.my.dteenergy.com/ or by calling (800) 477-4747.

Dial down ...

-- You can manage your energy costs by using energy wisely. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save about three percent on your heating bill.

-- One way to accomplish this is with an automatic set-back or 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 results.

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.

-- Clean or replace your furnace's air filters as needed 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.

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 attic.

-- Insulate all heating ducts located in attics and unheated crawlspaces, and make sure there are no leaks in your ductwork.

-- Place an insulation blanket around your hot water heater. Electric water heaters should be placed on an insulated surface, such as foam. Adjust water heater temperature to the warm setting (about 120 degrees F).

Keep the cold air out and the warm air in . . .

-- 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. And, 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.

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.

For more energy savings tips, go to http://www.my.dteenergy.com/.

SOURCE: DTE Energy

CONTACT: Len Singer, +1-313-235-8809, or Eileen Dixon, +1-313-235-9154,
both of DTE Energy

Web site: http://www.dteenergy.com/