Prepare Your Home for Winter Savings

With a few simple actions you can be a bit more comfortable this winter and lower your bills.

women in snow

As temperatures drop, utility bills climb. With these actions you can solve two problems at once this winter — making your home more comfortable and lowering your utility bills. Participate in the following actions to get your home ready for winter.

Instant impact

  • Program your thermostat: Adjust your thermostat down by up to 8 degrees while no one is home during the work day or while you sleep to keep your home comfortable without over-spending.
  • Turn it down: If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can manually adjust your thermostat throughout the winter. You might need to throw on an extra layer, but occasionally turning down the temperature will be worth it when you save on your heating bill!
  • Seal your windows: Applying plastic film from a window kit and fixing larger gaps with weatherstripping or caulk will reduce the feeling of cold air near your windows. Although focusing on your windows may seem like an easy, immediate fix, most draftiness comes from uninsulated cavities or air leaks in things like a chimney or recessed lighting. 
  • Put a damper on it: Air loss through the fireplace can account for 19 percent of your heating bill. To stop your money from going right up the chimney and prevent energy waste, remember to close the damper.
  • Keep the heat: If your water heater feels warm to the touch, it needs a blanket! Add a recycled-denim blanket to the tank and insulate pipes to minimize energy waste and keep your hot water, well, hot!

Plan for impact

  • Insulate and air seal: In a cold climate like Minnesota, insulating the attic and walls can have the greatest impact on your home’s energy efficiency and bills. 

  • Upgrade your heating system: Making sure an older heating system is still performing efficiently or upgrading to a newer, high-efficiency model is critical in the cold winter months. 


outside resources

Energy Star Guide to Programmable Thermostats

Learn the best way to program your thermostat and access a buying guide.

Weatherize windows with plastic film

Step by step guide on how to wrap your windows for effective draft control.