The cost of heating your home seems to go up every year. There isn't much you can do about changing the outside temperatures, but there are some things you can do in and around your house to lower those bills. Many of them have an upfront cost, but you will recoup your investment in the long run.

Insulate your floors, ceilings, attic, walls, around windows and around doors. Insulation acts as a barrier to keep warm air inside of your house and cold air outside. Choose insulation with a high "R" value. The "R" value is the measure of how well the insulation insulates. Use foam insulation to insulate around electrical switches and outlets. Make sure you torn the power off before working around electrical outlets and switches.

Cover you windows with plastic to stop window drafts. If you can afford to replace old windows, install double or triple paned windows. New windows are the best option, but also the most expensive.

Replace worn or missing weather stripping on the bottoms of doors leading outside. New and replacement weather stripping is available at home improvement stores and hardware stores. You can also use draft blockers which are material filled with insulation that do a very good job at blocking cold drafts.

Patch all cracks and holes outside of your home. Use caulk to seal the area around your window frames and door frames.

Change or clean the filter on your furnace at least once a month. Vacuum and clean all heating vents to keep them free of dust, dirt and debris. this will keep the air flowing through without putting extra strain on your furnace.

Hang heavy curtains or drapes on your windows to act as an added layer of insulation. Open your curtains or drapes during the day to let the heat of the sun warm your house. Close all of your curtains and drapes once the sun sets in the evening and the outside temperature begins to drop.

Keep all radiators, vents and hot water baseboards free and clean of all furniture and clutter. placing objects in front of a heat source will cause the object to absorb the heat rather than for the heat to radiate throughout the room.

Lower the temperature in your house. Wear a sweater or watch TV under a blanket, you body will acclimate to the temperature change fairly quickly. Lower the thermostat in your house to 55° while you are not at home or while you are sleeping. A thermostat with a timer can be set to raise the temperature just before waking in the morning and just before you return home in the evening.

Use your fireplace to add heat to your house. Keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use. A good amount of warm air can be lost through an open flue.

Do not use your stove, oven or heaters specifically for outdoor use to heat your home. These all pose the danger of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.