The holiday season is almost here, the time of the year for devoting time to catch up with your relatives, cherish doing festivities with your family, meet with friends – and also for spending a good amount of money on gifts and dinners.

If you don’t do it right, winter can be an expensive time of year, but don’t worry, has you covered! Whether you’re willing to reduce your impact on the environment or just want to save a few ALL (Leks), lowering your energy use can help you get there.

We’ve put together a list of 11 easy ways you can save energy during the winter and make your post-holiday energy bill a little lower. Now that’s a gift everyone can enjoy!

The strategies below will help you consume save energy, save money, stay comfortable during the cold winter months, and they’ll also give you the good feeling of enjoying the holidays without harming the planet.

Some of the tips are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun

Albania is blessed with mild winters and Mediterranean sunlight, which provides us with warmth even during the cooler months.

That bright ball in the sky should be the focus of temperature control in your home throughout the year, and particularly in the cooler season.

Working with the sun to make maximum use of its warmth is a clever and simple way to save energy during the winter holidays. Keep curtains and drapes open during the day to allow the sun’s light to naturally heat your home. As the sun begins to set, close them to keep warmth in and cold drafts out.

Bundle up with warm accessories

This is one of the easiest ways to save on your heating bill. Instead of turning the heat up, put on a cozy winter sweater and warm socks. Keep throw blankets on your couch, and add an area rug to insulate the floor.

Keep internal doors closed

Chances are high, that as you were a child your parents were often asking you: “Were you born in a barn?”.

Probably you weren’t, but even if you were that’s not an excuse; the fact is closing your internal doors will trap heat in each room and will prevent the cold air from circulating through unoccupied rooms.

To keep the room even cozier, use a thick mat to block the heat from escaping through the gap underneath the door.

Cover Drafty Windows

Worn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. Seven to twelve percent of a home’s heat loss occurs around windows and doors, according to Black Hills Energy, and these leaks often urge homeowners to turn up their furnace to keep warm and comfy.

Even if they don’t turn it up, they’re losing warm air, causing the furnace to work harder and thus consume more energy.

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration

Adjust the Temperature

Even the smallest step can make a huge difference. According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you turn down the heat on your thermostat by only one degree you can save 10% on your annual heating bill.

You can easily reduce your energy use in the winter by setting the thermostat to 20° while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home.

Add caulking around the fireplace hearth. Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance’s efficiency. Learn tips for safe and efficient fireplace installation and wood burning.

Clean your refrigerator

Refrigerators use more energy than any other home appliance, but you can make yours more efficient by keeping it well maintained.

Vacuum the coils on the back, or on the bottom, of your fridge, and check the temperature inside to be sure you’re not wasting energy and money.

Your fridge should be between 3 – 4 degrees Celsius and -15 degrees Celsius for the freezer.

Lower Your Water Heating Costs

Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (50°). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.

Cook clever

The holiday season is a big time for baking. The oven heats up every shelf regardless of whether there’s food on each shelf so make the most of the energy you’re using by cooking more than one thing at a time.

Make the most of your oven and the energy that goes into heating it, by cooking several dishes at once. You’ll have your dinner sorted for the rest of the week and you’ll save on energy.

Unplug Phantom Energy Users Before You Go On Vacation

TVs, DVD players, computers, printers, radios and many other electronics use energy even when they aren’t turned on. Unplug these items before you go on vacation, and enjoy the energy savings.

Check your energy consumption

If you haven’t already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings./