MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- When it gets this cold, it's tempting to crank up the heat. But with energy bills on the rise, you may want to consider ways to make your space more efficient.
Michelle Gransee with the Minnesota State Energy Office says turning your thermostat down a few degrees when you are out or sleeping could save you 10% on your bill. Of course, don't turn it too low. No one wants a frozen pipe.
"I'll turn it from 68 [degrees] all the way down to 65, 64, something like that," Gransee said.
There are some relatively cheap products you can pick up at your local hardware store, like window insulation kits that seal up five windows for less than $20. There are also things like outlet sealers that you put on the inside of your outlets, which cost a couple of bucks. Sealing putty for around your windows is also less than $5.
Joe Young, manager of Settegren's of Linden Hills hardware store in Minneapolis, says those cheap fixes are generally worth it.
"It definitely makes a difference in the comfort level of the house," Young said.
Changing your filter regularly will help things run efficiently, and play around with your vents. If it's hot upstairs for instance, try closing them and making sure vents on your lower level are open to get the heat where you need it.
And of course, bundling up will l save you, too.
The state is helping 50,000 Minnesotans pay their energy bills this winter. If you applied for assistance but didn't qualify, apply again because more are now eligible.
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