If you live in a location that experiences all four seasons, you should know that preparing for the winter months now will save you energy and irritation later! There are numerous methods to save energy during the winter. These tips will help you save energy and live comfortably without throwing your budget out of whack.

Windows are a major source of unwanted air filtering in from the outdoors. Fortunately, there are multiple options for keeping the cold air outside and the warm air inside!

Make sure to insulate any cracks in or around windows. Use spray foam to insulate around windows or use weather stripping on the inner frame of windows.

Placing plastic film over windows will stop the cool air from creeping inside. Purchase shrink film for windows, measure the right amount that will cover the window and apply adhesive to hold it in place. Simple!

For a more stylish approach, add insulated blinds or curtains that contain padding. The padding will hold the cold air back from the interior. During daylight hours, be sure to allow the sun to shine through the windows and naturally warm the interior!

Place draft dodgers by your doors to keep cool air from coming in from underneath the door. Every little crack counts! Draft dodgers act like rolled up blankets. When you need to open the door, just push it out of the way.

A storm window or door adds another layer between the outdoors and indoors. Two glass panes are better than one, so layer up!

Unless you keep your fireplace closed tightly, it’s like having a window open. When not in use, attach glass doors to keep your heat from escaping into the fireplace. Also, keep the damper closed when not in use. This keeps the cold air from sneaking in.

Even electric outlets that reside on exterior walls allow cool air into the home. Sealers are available for nearly no cost and will cover the unlikeliest source of cold air.

During the winter, the days become shorter. Since lights are left on longer, replace your bulbs with fluorescent bulbs that use less energy and last longer.

When you aren’t in a room, turn the lights off. To help you remember, purchase timers or censors so that lights are only in use when you need them to be.

Insulation is key in keeping your winter energy costs down. Make sure to efficiently insulate your attic, pipes and hot water heater.

A humidifier will add moisture to the air and can cause it to feel more comfortable and warmer.

Electric thermostats allow you to set a timer to the temperature. When you leave for work, the temperature can be lowered. While you sleep, the temperature can be lowered. Anytime that you aren’t in the house, turn down the heat!

Even when you are home, you could probably afford to lower the temperature. The average temperature for a thermostat is 65. If you’re cold in your house, add blankets, slippers and sweaters to your body before turning up the heat. That should be the last resort!

Check the flexible duct area that surrounds your furnace for holes or tears. Cover these holes with something as simple as duct tape to stop heat from escaping. Also, change the filters in your furnace regularly so it works to the best of its ability.

Turning on ceiling fans during the winter can direct warm air downward, especially in homes with high ceilings.

Even the outside of your home can help! By planting trees near your windows, you are adding energy efficiency to your home year-round. Trees shade your home in the summer and then lose their leaves in the winter. This allows the sun to shine through your windows and warm up your interior. If wind is an issue, plant evergreens near your windows for year-round protection.