By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNESOTA (WCCO) – As Minnesota experiences its seventh day inside a 90-degree heatwave, Xcel Energy shares tips on how to stay comfortable in your home without breaking the bank.

According to Xcel, air conditioning can account for over half of a summertime electric bill, but practicing some basic conservation and efficiency habits can keep you cool and stress-free.

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Some of the basic ways to conserve energy and stay cool, according to Xcel, include:

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  • Installing a programmable thermostat that raises the setting when the house is empty.
  • Using ceiling fans to help circulate cool air through the home.
  • Opening interior doors to improve the circulation of cool air inside.
  • Using a whole-house or attic fan to draw in cool nighttime air and push out hot air.
  • Changing air conditioning filters regularly.
  • Closing drapes and blinds during the heat of the day.

The energy company says customers can also help reduce their overall bills by turning off unnecessary lighting and replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs. Running washing machines, dishwashers, and clothes dryers with full loads after the heat of the day also use less energy.

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Xcel Energy offers incentives and rebates to encourage customers to make homes and businesses more efficient. Information on these programs can be found here.