Energy bills are one of the largest monthly expenses for any household. And with cooler weather ahead, energy costs are expected to rise. To combat this new expense, Wisebread has complied a list of ways you might be inflating your energy bill without even realizing it.

Take a look at these five tricks that may help offset the cost of heating your home:

Stop “energy vampires.”

When appliances and devices are plugged into the wall, they are sucking power, even when they aren’t being used – giving them the name “energy vampire.” If you have an electronic device that you use sparingly in your home, take the time to unplug it after each use. This small move could save you up to 10% on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Be mindful of kitchen appliances.

An oven is a large energy user, so when heating up leftovers or making a single serving dish, try to see if a microwave or toaster oven will suffice. Standing in front of the open refrigerator for an extended amount of time will also hurt your energy bill, so try to think ahead for what you’re looking for before you open the fridge. And lastly, try skipping the drying option on your dishwasher. While this option will help to avoid your cutlery and plates from spotting, a rinsing agent can have the same effect without using the extra energy.

Monitor washing machine temperatures.

If you constantly use warm water for your laundry, Wisebread recommends switching to cold water for a month to see if you notice a difference in cleanliness. Reserving warmer water for your toughest stains can easily drive down the energy used by your washing machine.

Check your vents.

It’s always a good idea to check your vents, ducts, and any filters to make sure they are clean and running correctly. Not only will this save your vents from working extra hard (therefore using more energy), but it will also help with the health of your home if you see any dirt or mold that will require a professional to clean.

Use your power at discounted times. Some companies reduce their rate for power after a certain time of day, so check with your provider to see if they offer this type of deal. If they offer this discount, try to schedule large energy tasks (like using your dishwasher or laundry machine) during this interval. While this won’t necessarily save you from using energy, it can definitely help to lower that energy bill. You can check out comparison sites like choose power in texas to determine Time-of-Use (TOU) rates throughout the day.

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