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Some free ways to save energy, money in your home this winter

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With that cold weather coming, it’s time to think about getting your home ready for winter.

There are some simple steps you can take to make sure you’re saving money and staying warm.

The key is getting ready before the really cold weather strikes. There’s help available. Some of it’s even free, but you have to act fast.

Next week, temperatures could drop well below freezing. Leaks in your heater and general wear and tear can mean you’re using more electricity. That means more money to keep your home warm. 

If you’re handy, there are some things you can do to lower your cost and your energy use. 

“Weatherstripping or switch plates on your light switches that have the foam installation,” said Lew Middleton, a spokesman for Duke Energy. 

If you’re one of Duke Energy’s 800,000 customers in Indiana, you can get a helping hand for free, as long as you meet income requirements. If you live in a single-family home, you can get a free energy audit. 

“Looking around the home looking to see where the energy leaks are. where the cold air is coming in and having some supplies to then mitigate for it and cut down on that energy loss,” Middleton said. 

That’s a $180 value and the inspector will even make the changes you need for you. 

But, here’s the catch: You have to sign up quickly. Middleton said the waiting list is two weeks long. 

“I would get on the phone or get on the web and see if i could get that appointment made as quickly as possible,” he said.

There’s a similar program for Indianapolis Power & Light customers to do an energy audit, but you need to be at a certain income level to qualify. 

Indiana residents also can participate in a program, as long as you qualify, where part of your energy bill can be subsidized this winter.