Seal Up Places Where Air Leaks
Here are some ways to stop energy leaks, from quick fixes to whole-house weatherization:
- Place “draft snakes” under your doors
- Caulk cracks, particularly around windows and doors, where conditioned air can leak out
- Install thin plastic sheeting over leaky windows
Insulating and upgrading the envelope of your home is an important and cost-effective place to start conserving energy. By making your whole house more efficient at once, you can ensure that later improvements, such as upgrading heating and cooling systems, are only as powerful as they need to be.
Energy Audit and whole-house weatherization programs:
- Alliant Energy
- Minnesota Energy Resources
- Center Point Energy
- Center Point Energy and Xcel Energy: "Power Squad"
- Otter Tail Power Company
- Duluth residents
- Electric cooperative members, check here to see if your coop participates
- Municipal utility members, check here to see if your utility participates
- Federal tax credits for insulation and other efficiency equipment
If the upfront cost of additional insulation and other weatherization improvements seems daunting, don’t worry. There are several ways that home and business owners can finance the cost of efficiency improvements using low- or no-interest loans:
- Statewide home energy loan program for homeowners
- Statewide home energy loan program for renters
- Statewide Minnesota Energy Loan
- Otter Tail Power Company financing program
- Energy-efficient mortgages: finance the cost of adding energy-efficiency measures by adding them to an FHA-insured mortgage or refinancing. A list of lenders in Minnesota can be found here.
Low-income residents may qualify for free efficiency improvements to help lower energy bills. Check individual programs for eligibility guidelines.