DETROIT, MI — As people prepare for the upcoming hot summer months, DTE Energy reminds its customers to inspect air conditioners and other appliances to help ensure safe and energy-efficient operation.

The company offers the following energy-saving tips when preparing for summer that hvac contractors can also pass along to their customers:

  • Maintain air conditioners regularly. Keep the area around outside condensing units free of dust and debris, clean fan blades annually, and clean or change air filters every 90 days during the cooling season. Seal any leaks in ductwork and basement registers.

  • Check weather-stripping and caulking around doors and windows. Insulation prevents hot summer air from entering the interior.

  • Keep the area clear around gas-powered appliances, such as hot water heaters. Debris around the unit could interfere with its operation and may result in a buildup of carbon monoxide.

  • Close blinds, shades, and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat and help air conditioners cool more efficiently.

  • Set thermostats of central air conditioners at the highest comfortable temperature. When leaving for five hours or more, raise the temperature 3-5 degrees F. Raising the temperature just 2 degrees can reduce cooling costs by 5%.

  • When using a window air conditioning unit, close doors leading to uncooled areas of the home for more efficient cooling. Eliminate air leaks between the air conditioner and the window with foam insulation or weather-stripping.

  • In the evening, keep windows closed and continue to operate the air conditioner. This will keep humidity out of the home, maintain a comfortable temperature, and put less strain on the unit the next day.

    More energy-saving and safety tips can be found at

    Publication date: 05/27/2002