It’s easy to be swept away with the fun of October. Pumpkin patches, apple cider, hayrides and who could forget trick-or-treating! But one of the most important events every homeowner should focus on during the month of October is winter weatherization.
Try our free Home Energy Analyzer to find ways to stay warmer and spend less money on heating this winter.
Michigan Winter Checklist for Your Home
Consumers Energy is preparing for the upcoming cold months, and you should too! Check these winter weatherization tips off your list before the first snowfall:
- Replace Furnace Filter
A dirty furnace filter restricts airflow, making your fan motor work harder and your energy bill rise rapidly. Dirty furnace filters also reduce the air quality in your home, aggravating allergies and asthma for your family. Choose a furnace filter that provides a balance of particle capture and airflow to prevent stress on the system. This will reduce the amount of energy needed to reach desired temperatures during the winter.
- Test Run Your Heater
Testing your heater before the winter months can help save you both money and unnecessary shivers. Set your heater for 80 degrees and check all the vents in your home. This is also a great opportunity to move any obstacles blocking your heating vents. Make sure to turn off the heat directly after the test run. If your heater isn’t running properly, contact a qualified service technician before temperatures begin to drop. Consumers Energy offers rebates up to $900 for natural gas furnaces.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat lets you automatically turn your heat up before you get out of bed, down when you leave for work, up before you return from work and then down again before bedtime. Installing one before the heating season could also save you as much as 20 percent on your heating costs. Consumers Energy offers $10-$50 rebates for programmable thermostats.
- Reset Your Ceiling Fan
Set your ceiling fan to spin on the low setting in reverse (clockwise). This will re-circulate warmer air that may be trapped near the ceiling down to floor level.
- Clean Out Your Chimney
Who can resist a warm fireplace during the winter? Before use, make sure it’s clear of bird or animal nests and soot. Have it swept and checked for damage or cracks. Unknown damage could be a huge fire hazard for your home.
- Check for Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless and can be produced when appliances aren’t operating or venting properly. It’s important to protect your family from the silent killer, especially during the winter months. Easily check for leaks by installing a carbon monoxide alarm that can be plugged in year-round. If you already have one and it’s past the warranty, replace it!
- Prep Your Windows
Check for leaks in your windows by feeling around for cool air during a chilly, fall day. Caulk or fill if necessary. If your home’s windows simply need an upgrade, there’s no better time to switch to high performance windows. Double-pane or triple-pane works the best. You can also use clear plastic or vinyl sheeting on the inside of your windows to make a temporary double-pane window. Consumers Energy offers rebates on windows and insulation.
- Check Your Doors
Just like windows, your doors can let in cold air if there are leaks. Check for weather-stripping on the side and bottoms and replace it if you feel cold air slipping through.
- Pack Emergency Supplies
Dangerous winter weather may happen without much notice—but that doesn’t mean your family can’t be prepared. Watch Consumers Energy’s video below to see what your family should be packing: