ROCHESTER, Minn. - There are multiple different assistance programs available for Minnesotans and Iowans to apply for if you're needing help with energy bills this winter. But what can you do inside your home that could save you some money?
You have a few different options to save some money this winter without actually spending money in the process. First, leave your blinds or curtains open. If you leave them open during the day, that will allow the sun to shine through the window and bring in some warmth. Then you just close them back up at night. Lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees will save you up to 9% on your energy bill. Don't worry, your shower will still be plenty warm.
Minnesota Energy Resources recommends turning your thermostat down by 7 to 10 degrees when you leave home for the day and even when you're sleeping since a lot of us aren't leaving home a lot nowadays. That can save you up to $180 a year. "Especially, we know a lot of our customers are working from home, spending a lot more time at home, so that definitely makes a difference," explained spokesperson, Alison Trouy. "Following these tips can help manage your energy costs."
Some low cost options include seal up any cracks or gaps on windows and doors with weather stripping, caulk or towels. Installing a ceiling fan is an energy-efficient way to warm your home in the winter. Also, insulating your home can save you up to 10% on annual energy costs. "Your furnace uses 30% of the natural gas that you use," explained Trouy. "So by following these tips, it will absolutely save you money." Minnesota Energy Resources also recommends you check your furnace filter at least once a month and replace it if it's dirty. It's also important you get it checked out professionally once a year.