SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With a big spike in home heating costs expected this winter, now is the time to prepare for the looming price increases.

Factors like the war in Ukraine straining natural gas availability and electricity supply issues are causing energy prices to skyrocket this year. But, there are ways you can ease the burden on your wallet. With colder weather coming some are accepting the inevitable this winter.

Consumers are bracing for an around 64 percent monthly electric price increase and a 24 percent monthly natural gas price increase. Taking small steps now, though can make a dent in those costs, that’s what the assistant manager of Rocky’s Ace Hardware shared with 22News.

“You want to make sure all your door seals are in, you’ve closed up your windows. Insulate your windows with insulating tape and plastic. Make sure you cover your pipes. Make sure you cover your outside faucets.” Bob Parent, Rocky’s Assistant Manager

Spending around $10 right now on something like a rubber window seal can end up leading to big-time savings by the end of the winter. One shopper told 22News that she’s ready for whatever this winter brings. “Well, I’m already, I have had it insulated, my home, which is very good. And new windows I had that done a while back.” Betty Malaguti of West Springfield

Aside from insulation, there are practical ways to stay warm. “My niece from Colorado just sent me a thermal blanket so if that means using it, I will,” said Betty.

It’s also a good idea to see if you qualify for energy assistance like programs available through Eversource.