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Tips On Heating The House Without Burning Your Cash

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(credit: CBS) Lauren Casey
Lauren Casey joined the WCCO-TV weather team in August 2011, a...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The average high temperature for December’s first two weeks was a mere 17 degrees — now the sixth coldest on record.

And when the mercury plunges, home heating costs skyrocket. So I talked to Xcel Energy for tips on how to maintain both a warm home and a full wallet.

“If you have a programmable thermostat, you definitely want to make sure it’s set,” said Josh Fields, a marketing specialist at Xcel Energy. “We recommend 68 degrees when you’re home, 62 or something similar in the evening and when you’re away.”

The right temperature setting is key not just for heating the air, but for the water heater, too.

“We recommend 120 degrees, that’s usually the…sweet spot for saving the most energy and providing you as much hot water as you need,” Fields said.

And a little handy work can go a long way.

“One of the other key recommendations we have is…making sure you’re doing weather striping and air sealing,” Fields said. “Really low cost…we want to keep the cold air outside, the warm air inside; and that’s the best way to do that.”

Another minimal exertion, low cost option is a furnace filter.

“You’re going want to make sure every month…that you replace that furnace filter, I mean it’s a huge piece of equipment, you want it working as efficiently as possible,” Fields said.

If you’re ready to invest in a bigger-ticket item to help reduce your home heating costs, Xcel offers rebates on the price of new, high efficiency appliances including furnaces, boilers and water heaters.

For more information and tips, go to Xcel’s Responsible By Nature website.

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