MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  The early cold snap means many of us are turning up the heat earlier than usual.

WCCO found some unusual and easy ways to keep your bill in check.

Outside North Market in Minneapolis, the temperature didn’t even crack 20 degrees. But inside, a group of homeschoolers warmed up with some hot moves.

But for most, the day didn’t warrant much celebration.

“It’s one of the first cold, cold days, so kinda got to put on the fur hat here,” Dallas Diamond of Minneapolis said.

His friend Jiccarra Hollman is already plotting her next southern getaway, “I like to leave as much as possible, I like to spend some time in Atlanta, Georgia and Gulfport, Mississippi.”

In the meantime, she’s creating her own warmth.

“I’ve cranked up the heat, I have my fireplace going,” said Hollman.

John Marshall, director of community and government relations at Xcel Energy, says you see an increase in gas consumption on days like this. He recommends turning the thermostat to 58 degrees while at work, and 65 to 70 degrees while at home to cut back on costs.

He says using a certain household appliance can help keep your house warm.

“You can set your ceiling fans clockwise and keep them running during the day, they push that warm heat down from your ceiling to circulate in the rest of your house,” Marshall said.

Another quick and free way to save, he says, is when the sun is up during the day, make sure your shades are up that way ambient light can warm the room.

Lastly, Marshall recommends lowering the temperature of your hot water heater.

“Your hot water heater at home, it’s typically set at about 120 degrees, if you can reduce that by 10 degrees, you can save about 5% of your energy bill.”

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield