Stay snug and save money by insulating and weatherizing your home.
Weatherizing your home can save you up to a 10% on your annual energy bills. Sealing air leaks and adding insulation as needed helps make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Good ventilation makes your energy and temperature control efforts even more effective.
Be sure to visit our Insulation page to see if you are eligible for rebates on energy efficient insulation.
Our tips below follow the recommended sequence for insulating and weatherizing: seal air leaks, add insulation as needed and always follow good ventilation practices.
Seal Then Insulate - Sealing air leaks around your home and adding insulation as needed can help your home be more comfortable and energy efficient and provide up to a 10% savings on your annual energy bills. Simple fixes include installing weatherstripping on doors and caulking around windows, while bigger jobs might include sealing leaks and adding insulation in your attic.
Check out our Insulation program to see if you are eligible for rebates on energy efficient insulation upgrades.
Seal Hidden Leaks - Air can leak out of your house around openings that are not in obvious areas. Common household air leaks can be found around the plumbing vents, attic hatch, recessed lights and basement rim joists. To maximize home efficiency, seal all the gaps where air can leak out.
Attic Air Sealing - Many major air leaks are in attics, and sealing them will help you maintain the desired temperature throughout your home. Combined with attic insulation, air sealing can help to alleviate the formation of dangerous ice dams in the winter.
Symptoms of Insufficient Insulation Although some types of floor coverings will naturally feel cold on bare feet, insufficient insulation or air infiltration could be the cause for cold floors. Air sealing and insulation can help stop drafts and improve the comfort of your home. Contact a heating and cooling contractor to check if your heating and cooling system is providing enough air to each room.
Keep the Air Flowing - Make sure that rugs, drapes or furniture are not blocking airflow from registers.
Roof Ventilation - Ensure the roof has adequate ventilation to avoid ice blockages. In the winter, warm, moist air seeps into the attic from the living space below. If heat is not ventilated, it can build up on the underside of the roof and cause snowmelt. As a result, water runs down the roof to the eave, where it can refreeze into an "ice-dam." Water will then back-up under the roof shingles and potentially leak into you home.
Ceiling Fan Strategies - Use ceiling fans to provide additional cooling and better air circulation. Run the blades counter-clockwise or downward to cool more efficiently.
Exhaust Fans - Save energy and money by not over-using exhaust fans. Bath fans usually clear humid air in fifteen minutes. Kitchen fans usually complete their task of blowing hot air out of your kitchen within twenty minutes after you’re done cooking. When replacing exhaust fans, consider that high-efficiency, low-noise, ENERGY STAR-certified ventilation fans use 50% less energy than standard models.
Seal Air Leaks - Check your ductwork for air leaks, especially at joints. Start by sealing air leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulate all the ducts that you can access (usually those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements and garages). Also, make sure connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls and ceiling. Sealing and insulating your ducts can increase air flow and the efficiency of your system. About 20 to 30% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ductwork. Sealing and insulating your ducts can increase the efficiency of your HVAC system and greatly increase air flow. About 20% to 30% of the air that moves through the duct system in a typical house is lost through leaks, holes and poorly connected ductwork.
Insulate Ducts - Wrap ducts in insulation to keep them from getting cold in the winter and hot in summer.
Secure Hanging Ducts - Check to ensure that hanging flexible ducts are supported every four feet with a hanging strap. The straps should be an inch-and-a-half wide or more.
Avoid Ice Dams - Ensure the roof has adequate ventilation to avoid ice blockages. In the winter, warm, moist air seeps into the attic from the living space below. if the heat is not ventilated, it can build up on the underside of the roof and cause snowmelt. As a result, water runs down the roof to the eave, where it can refreeze into an "ice-dam." Water will then back-up under the roof shingles and potentially leak into you home.
Add Solar Panels - Harness the power of the sun. Consider adding rooftop solar panels to your home.
Avoid Heat Build-Up - Ensure the roof has adequate ventilation to reduce heat buildup during the summer. Good attic ventilation reduces cooling costs and prolongs shingle life.
Purchase ENERGY STAR® Roof Products - ENERGY STAR®-certified roof products can help reduce the amount of air conditioning needed in buildings and can reduce peak cooling demand by 10% to 15%.
Efficient Ceiling Fans - ENERGY STAR-certified ceiling fans with lights are 60% more efficient than conventional fan/light units and feature improved motors and blade designs.
Ceiling Fan Lighting -If your fan doesn't include lighting, be sure to purchase an ENERGY STAR-certified light kit. This lighting is efficient and long lasting, so you won't have to make frequent bulb changes.
Ceiling Fan for Cooling - Dialing up the thermostat by only two degrees and using your ceiling fan can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14% over the course of the cooling season.
Change Blade Direction - Use ceiling fans to provide additional cooling and better air circulation. Run the blades counter-clockwise or downward to cool more efficiently.
Sun Strategies -Keep draperies and blinds open on your south-facing windows during winter days to have sunlight help to warm your home. Install insulated drapes or blinds to keep warm air inside. In summer, close blinds and curtains on the south and west-facing windows to block out summer sunlight. To add more shade, plant trees or move container trees and plants in front of windows to filter sunlight.
Storm Windows - Replace your screens with storm windows to provide an extra barrier to the cold outside air of winter.
Sun Protection - Low-emissivity coatings on many ENERGY STAR-certified windows, doors, and skylights reduces UV sun damage to floors, carpets, and furniture
Sheeting - Install low-cost, clear plastic window sheeting over leaking windows to keep cold air out. The plastic must be sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
Tinted Window Film - Tinted window film can help reduce solar heat gain during the summer and it will keep furniture and carpets from fading from sunlight exposure. Check out our DTE Energy Weatherization programs to see if you are eligible for the Home Performance Program or the Insulation and Windows Program.
Close the Fireplace Damper - Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter. An open damper allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
Maximize Heat - Tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system maximize heat by blowing warmed air back into the room. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.