Electricity Costs of a FridgeWhen it comes to lowering the cost of monthly energy bills, there are all types of approaches today?s consumers can take in order to keep their expenses under control.

While shopping for lower electricity rates, remembering to switch off the lights and using ceiling fans are all easy ways to cut costs, one of the biggest drains on people?s wallets when it comes to their electricity is actually their home?s appliances.  While many of these appliances have become necessary fixtures in most people?s lives, with smart appliance use, the average homeowner can drastically cut down on their monthly energy costs.

Here are 10 of the easiest ways to use appliances better and to save energy in the home.

1. Use your microwave. When it comes to reheating leftovers or warming food, consider using the microwave instead of a conventional oven. It requires far less energy.

2. Set your refrigerator to the right temperature. Your refrigerator should be set anywhere between 30 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. If its not, then this could be costing you a great deal in electricity costs. Some new energy efficient models even have power-saving buttons.

3. Clean your refrigerator coils. The coils behind the refrigerator can actually get very dusting and cause this appliance to use more energy in order to maintain the right temperature. Using everyday home dusting products, clean these coils to keep your refrigerator as efficient as possible.

4. Use the toaster oven. The toaster oven is a common appliance that many people have in their homes, but most people rarely use. Small meals can be cooked just as efficiently in a toaster oven as they can in a conventional oven, and they use half the energy.

5. Do not leave your kitchen and bath fans on. These fans are such a common part of so many homes, that many people will turn a bathroom fan on after a shower, close the door and let the fan run for minutes or even hours. As soon as you are done in that room, turn the fan off right away. These fans suck up energy and usually aren?t really necessary unless you are in the actual room.

6. Always clean the dryer filter. Many people underestimate the importance of cleaning dryer lint. This is not only a safety factor, but dryer lint can prevent your dryer from working as efficiently as it should, costing you more in energy costs.

7. Turn the dishwasher off after the wash cycle. This lets your dishes air-dry and allows you to save energy. It may take a few extra minutes but this can be a big money saver. Plus, the drying feature tends to heat up the kitchen by several degrees, meaning you can save in cooling costs as well.

8. Never open the oven door when cooking. If at all possible, use the light feature on the inside of the oven to check on your meal. When you open the oven door, the interior heating component can drop as much as 25 degrees every time. This means your oven has to use extra energy in order to reheat.

9. Use your grill. When you cook inside during the summer, the heat from your stove and oven can cause the interior of your home to rise several degrees, putting your AC unit into cooling overload. Grilling outside won?t have an impact on your air conditioner bills.

10. Use the right pot for the right stove burner. Many people only use their large burners because it heats up pots and pans faster. However, doing this causes you to lose a great deal of heat. Match the pot or pan to the burner to keep your stove, and your cooking more efficient.

Making smart switches like this may only individually have a small impact on your energy costs. However, by implementing several of these approaches at once and being consistent with your efforts, over time this can lead to tremendous saving. The key is to be diligent in your efforts and remember the importance of smart appliance use.