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How to stay warm and energy efficient in extreme cold

DTE shares tips on how to prepare your home for the extremely cold temperatures that are moving into the Grand Rapids area this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - As the unseasonably cold temperatures move into the Grand Rapids area, DTE has shared tips to keep house warm as well as energy efficient.

Dan Brudzynski is the Vice President of Gas Sales & Supply at DTE Gas. He says he hopes that people started to prepare their homes for winter weather back in November, but he says by doing these steps it could still help to save on your energy bill.

"The next two weeks, the temps in the GR area are gonna be between 10 and 15 degrees below normal. The easiest thing to do is to check your furnace filter. The furnaces are working these days right now we want them to be as clean and efficient as they can be."

Another tip to keep your energy bills down, is to purchase a programable thermostat and to set the dial down 3 to 4 degrees at night while people inside the home are asleep.

"You will save upward of 10 percent on your energy usage if you dial it back at night. During the day time when you're when you're living in your apartment, 68 to 69 degrees and then if you can dial it back to 64-65 at night, 3 to 4 degrees and its really about comfort."

He also recommends dressing in layers to find a comfort level while people are awake and moving around inside the house. He also shares a way to easily check for drafts around windows and doors.

"I always like the little flicker lighter test around windows and doors with a flame," says Brudzynski  if the flame is flickering you have a draft. A real quick, easy fix for these next two weeks if you have a draft around your windowsill, roll up a towel and set it along there, push it into the draft to stop air from coming in. Same with doors."

And to prevent a draft from coming into the house through a fireplace, remember to keep the damper closed when there is not a fire burning in it.

Despite preparing homes properly, emergencies can happen in cold temperatures. If a resident can smell gas, they should call 9-1-1. If it is not an emergency situation, call DTE at 1-800-477-5000. They say they will be out to serve residents in need within minutes.  

And amid the ongoing pandemic, if a DTE workers has to enter the house, be mindful of the COVID-19 protocols. 

"If we need to enter a household, we will have the proper protocol masks, gloves, clean spaces, what we would ask the public is to do the same and then socially distance," says Brudzynski.  

Residents are also reminded to be wary of scams. DTE does not travel door to door to discuss bills or to collect payments from residents. And they do not take payments over the phone. If you anyone has experienced a scam, contact DTE or the BBB. 

To keep families safe and warm this winter, DTE reminds residents that there are resources available to help pay the heating bills. Contact DTE to find out more and to set up a payment plan. 

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