Your home’s heat is on, your thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature but your house still feels cold. Why? Chances are, your furnace isn’t the problem — it’s the less obvious areas of your home that need attention.

ecobee thermostatMost household energy waste occurs in places we don’t often see. Take air leaks, for instance — heat can escape through the smallest of gaps. So, when your home lacks proper insulation or has any type of crack or gap, that’s when heat can seep out and cold, unwelcomed outside air makes its way in. When that happens, your heating system has to work even harder to warm your home, driving up your heating bill and leaving both you and your finances in discomfort.

Air leaks happen in drafty areas around windows, doors, attics, basements, fireplaces and vents. Other items that can cause heat loss in your home include electrical outlets, baseboards, exhaust fans, wall- or window-mounted air conditioners and more.

Stop winter from stealing your heat and save money with these five secrets to a warmer home:

1. Maximize insulation.

Insulating your home is your best defense against unwanted heat loss. It’s one of the most effective ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency, reduce your heating bill and keep you warm all winter long. While insulating your home from top to bottom will give you the most benefits, consider starting with the attic to prevent heat from escaping through your roof and your furnace from working overtime.

2. Seal air leaks.

You can further reduce drafts by sealing leaks around windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings and fireplaces to make your home feel warmer and more comfortable and to help you save on energy bills. You’ll want to choose a type of weatherstripping that will withstand friction, changes in weather and general wear and tear.

3. Upgrade heating controls.

Installing and setting a programmable thermostat can help you conserve energy and save on heating costs by regulating your home’s temperature. Avoid a chill by setting temperatures to a desirable warmth before you wake or return home.

4. Use energy-efficient windows and doors.

Roughly 20 percent of air seeps in through openings in windows, doors and skylights. Installing energy-efficient windows and doors with ENERGY STAR® ratings will help reduce heat loss and increase the comfort of your home.

5. Use window treatments.

Until you’re ready to upgrade to more efficient windows, get your hands on some interior window coverings to prevent heat loss. Insulated cellular shades and insulation film, for instance, are handy ways of reducing energy loss and preserving heat.

How We Can Help

Michigan Saves offers financing that can help you easily and affordably make these upgrades and other energy-efficiency measures in your home to stay toasty all winter long. Not sure where to get started on a warmer home? Get professional help through an authorized Michigan Saves contractor in your area who performs whole-home energy audits, or give us a call at 517-484-6474 or email info@michigansaves.org.