We've already had one snow storm, but that doesn't mean it's too late to start preparing your home for fall and winter.

This year, instead of agonizing over high utility bills, follow these tips from Co-op Drumheller Home Centre's Myrna Docktorchik:

"A very good thing to do to get ready for fall and winter is to make sure that your weather-stripping around all your doors is in tip-top shape," said Docktorchik.

By adding or updating weather-stripping, you can save money on heating by stopping cold air from leaking through spaces between your doors and framing.

"If you need to replace the threshold or those little insulation strips that go around each side and the top of your door, now would be the perfect time to get that done to stop any drafts and cold from coming in," elaborated Docktorchik.

If you find that your weather-stripping is in great shape but your home is still drafty, your best bet is to check the windows.

"Another thing that you can do if you have old windows, or leaky, drafty windows, is buy the vinyl window kits that you can heat up with your blow dryer," explained Docktorchik. "That stretches it so, at least you can see outside your window again, and that helps prevent a lot of cold air from also coming in."

People with windows in wooden frames should use a blow dryer to remove the vinyl once spring arrives, otherwise it could leave residue.

A third thing that Docktorchik recommends to lower energy costs this fall and winter is participating in Energy Efficiency Alberta's program. The program runs until the end of October and offers in-store rebates for things like timers, power bars, LED light bulbs and programmable thermostats.

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