With cooler fall weather finally here, many Southwest Michigan residents are now running their furnace and looking for ways to save money on Michigan energy costs this winter. Recently, Michigan Gas Utilities warned customers about an increase in heating costs this winter. This year alone, the daily average price for natural gas has more than doubled, and prices are at their highest level in the past ten years. According to Michigan Gas Utilities spokesperson Matt Cullen, the average residential customer is likely looking at an increase of $43 per month in their gas bill this winter.
With anticipated rising energy costs overall expected in 2022, we’ve compiled some tips to help you save money on Michigan energy costs this winter.
Tip #1: Turn Down the Thermostat
We know Michigan winters have a knack for being pretty cold, and nobody wants to turn down their thermostat. However, this is the top way to reduce your natural gas bill. According to the Department of Energy, if you lower the thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day, you can reduce your gas bill by as much as 10 percent. This is easy to do when you’re away working during the day or you don’t mind bundling up in extra layers at night.
Tip #2: Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat can help you control energy costs in your home without lifting a finger! You can program a smart thermostat to lower the temperature ten degrees during the day when everyone is away. Then using an app on your phone, you can raise it back up 30 minutes before the first person returns home. So you can still come home to a cozy, warm home and save money at the same time.
See our recent feature Fox 17’s Home Sweet Home Tip where our sales manager, Don talks about how the right thermostat can help you save money on Michigan energy costs this winter!
Tip #3: Schedule Your Annual Furnace Check-Up
If you have an HVAC technician come out to your home to perform a thorough furnace examination, you can prevent a lot of potential headaches this winter. A professional HVAC expert can make sure your furnace is not only safe, but also running at maximum efficiency. In addition, an HVAC service tech can also advise you on when it’s time to replace an older furnace with a new, more energy-efficient model.
See our recent blog on the 2 most energy-efficient HVAC systems on the market if you are looking to replace your system with a high efficiency system: https://thebossservices.com/most-energy-efficient-hvac-systems-2021/
Tip #4: Check for Drafts
Do you often feel drafts coming from your windows and doors? If so, you’re home is leaking heat and increasing your energy costs. Also, if your windows feel cold to touch, odds are that they aren’t keeping cool air out as they should. If your windows have drafts or they are aging, a window replacement can do wonders for your heating bill in the winter. We provide our customers with custom locally-made windows, crafted for the perfect fit with superior energy-efficient window technology to prevent drafts and, therefore, decrease your energy bills.
Here is a blog we recently wrote about signs you may need your windows replaced: https://thebossservices.com/5-signs-its-time-for-a-window-replacement/
Tip #5: Lower the Water Heater Temperature
This is an easy energy-saving DIY tip: Check the temperature on your water heater. It doesn’t need to be 140 degrees. The Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater to 120 degrees to effectively heat your water to a comfortable temperature.
Tip #6: Modify Your Cooking Habits
We all know having the stove on can heat up your kitchen and the rest of your home fairly quickly. When applicable, use a crockpot, which are much more energy efficient than using the oven. Also, if you can use a toaster oven or convection oven, you will save more energy.
Tip #7: Air Dry Laundry When Possible
In the summer, many people will hang clothing up outside to dry. In the winter months, it will make a big difference in your energy savings if you can purchase racks for air drying your laundry. Even if you only air dry half your laundry, that’s still a 50 percent savings!
Questions About How You Can Save Money on Michigan Energy Costs this Winter?
These are all ways you can save energy in your home this winter, especially when already-doubled energy costs are expected to rise even more. According to Michigan Gas, customers who find themselves struggling to pay their winter heating bill should call them first. Here are different ways you can reach out to them: https://www.michigangasutilities.com/secure/ssl/contact
They can connect you with assistance programs and get you into a payment plan. Just as we advised above, Michigan Gas also encourages everyone to have their furnace inspected ahead of the winter, check their homes for drafts, and keep your thermostat lower when possible.
Here is a great article from Indiana Michigan Power on some additional energy-saving tips: https://electricideas.com/at-home/saving-energy/tips-to-save-energy-money/
If you need to schedule your furnace check-up, need a window replacement to eliminate drafts, or would like to look into a more energy-efficient HVAC system, give us a call at 269-468-6682. We are happy to get your home ready for winter!