Blog Post

Winter Home Energy Cost Savings Tips

Date Published: Jan 30, 2024

Small wood cabin home in the winter just out side a snowy forest with the roof covered in snow

Ah...the cold, winter months, that bring snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. They come quick and they linger longer than anyone would like them to. The time of year when you leave your coat on for a while after going into your house, and all you want to do is curl up in a blanket with a hot beverage. Bears have the right idea by hibernating.

Michigan winters are no joke. We are a northern state and surrounded by five bodies of water, which are two big ingredients that winter loves. While winter makes for uncomfortable weather, it also make for uncomfortable monthly home energy bills, as you try to keep your house a warm oasis. However, there are easy and cheap ways to stay warm and reduce costs without having to have your coat on all day while inside your home.

Ceiling Fans

Starting off with what may be a surprising one, running your ceiling fans in the winter can actually help keep your house warm! I know, it surprises us too! The trick is to turn your ceiling fan to spin clockwise, which is the reverse direction.

Basically how this works is hot air rises and cold air lowers, so when your furnace runs, all the hot air makes like a party and tries to raise the roof by moving up to the ceiling. Turning your fan on clockwise will help to push that warm air down and around the room. This will cause your house to heat up quicker and spread the heat around.

Thermostat Use

Knowing how to manage your thermostat can help add to your energy savings, and there are a few things you can do to help you save. One of those things is to switch the temperature it is set at when you aren’t home. If no one is going to be in your home, you can bump your thermostat down by ten degrees.

For every degree you lower the temperature set on your thermostat, for around 8 hours per day, you can save around 1% on your annual heating cost. Just make sure to never turn it off entirely, this can lead to frozen water pipes, which will definitely not help you save money.

Another thing you can do is to get a smart thermostat. This will let you pre-program your temperature settings for specific times and it will learn your favorite temperatures as you use them. This ability will allow them to adjust the temperature in your home to a comfortable level for you, while also reducing energy waste.

Smart thermostats also typically come with handy apps so you can change the temperature settings of your home, without being there. You can lower the temperature while you are out and then raise it to get things warmed up before you return home. Think of it like an automatic start on your car, but for your home.  

Winterize Windows

According to Popular Mechanics, windows are to blame for roughly 25% of heat loss in homes. So, instead of adjusting the heat in your home or shutting your blinds all winter, helping you to forget what the Sun looks like, just buy some cheap window cover plastic film.

These heavy duty, plastic sheets, which cost under ten bucks for a 62-inch by 84-inch roll, are placed on the inside of your windows from frame to frame. Once tightly secured, this will reduce window draft, causing less cold air to sneak into your home, and reducing the work for your furnace.

Re-Fortify Doors

We use doors a lot, and because we do, the weather stripping around them can become worn overtime. This will allow air-leaks around the edges of your door that can let cold air just walk right in, without having to knock first like an unwanted party guest.

So, what you can do is check out your door. If you notice sunlight coming in through the edges or air coming through pretty noticeably, it may be time for some quick repairs. Three things you can do are: replace the weather stripping, adjust your door threshold, and/or install a door sweep to keep the cold air out and hot air in.

Furnace Maintenance

There are a few fairly cheap and easy maintenance things you can do to your furnace to help it run smoothly. One thing is to change out your air filters every two months during the winter seasons. A filter that has become dirty or clogged will have a bad impact on air flow, which will in turn hurt the efficiency of your furnace.

Take a look at your duct work to check for any holes, leaks, or poor connections. These types of things can cause you to lose about 20% to 30% of through air that travels through your system. You can fix these issues by using a sealant or placing some metal tape over leaks to get them sealed up. While you are at it, check the vents in your home to make sure they are clear of any obstacles such as furniture.

Lastly, schedule a system tune up by having a pro come by and clean your system, lubricate it, and check it over to make sure everything is running as it should.

Stay Warm

As already stated, Michigan winters are long and they are tough, but at least they decrease the tick population right?

Luckily, over the years mankind has perfected inside so we don’t need to migrate back and forth to warmer areas to keep warm. Now with these tips you can keep warm and save money, putting each step listed into action to help your savings pile up. This way you can put the money saved towards a winter vacation to warmer land, to give you a break from the cold weather.