The winter months pose a unique problem for homeowners: how to save money on their energy bills. Electrical heating is the most efficient method for heating your home this winter, but it does come with a price tag. In order to save money this winter, conduct an energy audit within your home to find additional ways to save money. Here are some unique ways to shave off a few dollars from your electrical bill:

Find and eliminate air leaks

A well-insulated home is bound to save you hundreds in heating and cooling costs. Air leaks cause homes to feel drafty. Common problem areas are windows, doors, lighting and plumbing fixtures, baseboards, wall and ceiling junctures and fireplace dampers. Once you find the air leaks, seal the areas with caulk or weather-stripping to prevent drafts.

This is also an ideal time to check your insulation and whether it needs updating. Attics and basements are often the least insulated parts of the home. Contrary to popular belief, the ground is not an effective insulator and attics do require insulation as well.

Light bulbs

Each month, 10 percent of your electric bill is due to lighting. Try to be more energy efficient by installing energy-saving light bulbs throughout your home. To further reduce the amount of energy you spend on lighting, install timers and dimers throughout your home. These technological advances help you reduce the number of lights you leave on and the amount of time they are left on. Your electric provider might also provide additional cost savings if you install energy-efficient lighting throughout your home.

Prevent phantom loads

Phantom load is when electronics still consume energy while powered off but still plugged into an electrical outlet. This is also called vampire power or leaking electricity. The biggest culprit of phantom load includes computers, televisions, gaming systems, telephones and major appliances throughout the home. To save yourself unnecessary energy costs, get into the habit of unplugging electronics when not in use. To understand the impact a specific electronic has on your energy bill the Department of Energy has an interactive calculator on its website.

To get an in-depth energy audit report for your home, consult with your local electrical experts. A professional energy audit will provide you with a complete assessment of the current state of your home and how you can save on future electric bills.