ENERGY bills have risen for millions after the energy price guarantee came into effect.
On top of this, the cost of living has soared meaning people's budgets are being stretched further.
Food prices have gone up after inflation hit 9.9% in August and fuel prices remain high partly due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
So knowing how to cut back on your energy bills without having to spend a penny is essential.
The Sun spoke to Emily Seymour, sustainability editor at Which?, who offered her eight top tips for reducing your bills without busting the bank.
1. Bleed your radiators
If air bubbles get into your radiators, it can stop them from heating up as much.
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So you could be blowing money by not having them running smoothly.
To stop this from happening, you can "bleed" them, which means letting all the water and trapped air out.
It's relatively easy to do, but thousands of millennials don't know how to.
Essentially, you'll need a key which you use to turn the radiator bleed valve which then releases the water.
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We previously explained the process, and it should be easy to do without having to call an engineer.
Emily said: "Radiators that need bleeding won’t heat up fully and need to be left on for longer, driving heating bills up."
2. Make use of auto settings
We all live incredibly busy lives, so anything that saves us time is a bonus.
But you might not know a lot of household appliances have auto settings that can make them more efficient.
Emily advised switching them on where you can.
She said: "If your dishwasher has an automatic door opening setting, make sure to use it.
"This will allow your dishwasher's door to open slightly at the end of a wash to aid drying and reduce energy use.
“Auto settings on your tumble dryer can also help you avoid over-drying clothes and wasting energy.”
3. Eco modes
Again, you might not know running some appliances on eco mode can reduce your energy bill without any extra cost.
They're usually found on dishwashers and washing machines.
Emily said: "Lowering the temperature of washing machines is an eco-friendly way to save money.
“Which? found that even a 20°C wash can do the trick in some cases, particularly when using liquid detergent rather than powder.”
4. Insulate for less
The winter weather is drawing in which means cold draughts potentially filling up your home.
To avoid chilly breezes gusting throughout the house, Emily recommended designing your own draught blockers.
She said: "Although controlled ventilation is important to prevent damp and condensation, uncontrolled draughts waste heat and energy.
“A draught excluder acts as a seal at the bottom of your door when it’s closed.
"You can make one yourself by filling a large piece of fabric with old clothes or rice.”
5. Try a different kind of dry
Tumble dryers are one of the most energy-guzzling appliances you can use in the home.
Which? tests have revealed condenser tumble dryers can add £260 to your energy bills a year.
Heated air dryers are cheaper, but you'll still end up forking out more than you should on your energy bills by using one.
Instead, Emily said to try hanging your clothes outside, if you can, or inside your home.
But, she added: "Keep an eye out for signs of damp or mould caused by frequently drying laundry indoors and open windows where possible."
6. It's all in the timing
There's no point in having the heating on if you're not in, so if you've got a timer on your boiler, you should use it to minimise wasting heat.
A programmer or smart thermostat will let you set different times and temperatures throughout the week as well.
We looked online for smart thermostats and found one at B&Q on sale for £30, one at Screwfix for £58.99 and one at UK Radiators for £35.
Emily said: "When you're setting up your heating schedule, consider setting it to switch the heating off 20 minutes before you usually go out, as there will still be residual heat in your home."
7. Use those smart radiator valves
An alternative to adjusting your boiler is using your smart radiator valves.
These allow you to adjust the heating to different temperatures, giving you what Emily called "zonal heating control".
She said: "Turning radiators down in rooms you don't need to be as warm, such as bedrooms, means your boiler doesn't have to work as hard.
"Smart radiator valves give more timed control.
"For example, you might want the radiator in your living room to turn on when you come home from work, your bedroom to stay cold until later in the evening, and your kitchen to warm up in the morning.”
If you don't have these on your radiators, you can get them relatively cheaply.
We found one on sale for £3.97 at Toolstation and another for £6.37 at bes.co.uk.
8. Make use of grants and funding support
There's a range of targeted government support for households and families who need help with their bills.
Energy suppliers are currently in the process of rolling out the first instalment of the £400 energy rebate, announced by the government in May.
The remaining five instalments are due to be paid from November through to March next year.
You can read our guide for the full list of ways the payment will be made.
On top of that, there's the warm home discount scheme, which is worth £150 a year and is available to those who get pension credit and receive the "guarantee credit" top-up.
The money is not paid to you but is a one-off discount on your electricity bill between October and March.
Plus, Emily added: “Pensioners who currently receive the government’s winter fuel payment will be given an extra one-off sum of £300 in the autumn.
"Or, if you want to replace your current gas or oil heating boiler with a low-carbon alternative, the boiler upgrade scheme offers grants of up to £5,000.”
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We previously revealed the full list of energy-guzzling appliances in your home.
Plus, an extra 30 ways to cut your energy bills.
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