10. Get your chimney swept in the summer for an off-season price.
Cost: Just a little forethought.
Savings: $50 per flue.
Bonus: Get the job done at your convenience because sweeps' schedules are wide open.


11. Use your microwave instead of your range; it consumes half the power.
Cost: $15 for the Microwave Gourmet cookbook at Amazon.com.
Savings: $40 or more per year on electricity or gas.
Bonus: Having dinner ready in a fraction of the time.


12. Use your laptop. It runs on batteries, which use 80 percent less electricity than a desktop computer.
Cost: Being vigilant about unplugging the battery charger once your computer is juiced so it doesn't sap unnecessary energy.
Savings: $30 per year off your electric bill.
Bonus: You can relax on the sofa while perusing coupon sites.


13. Insulate hot-water lines. Preformed foam tubes fit right around the pipes, thanks to a slit along their length.
Cost: 29 cents to 35 cents per foot of insulation, depending on pipe dimensions, at Energy Federation.
Savings: $50 per year on energy.
Bonus: Halving the wait for hot water to reach upstairs faucets.


14. Set up a makeshift kitchen when a remodel project temporarily leaves you without a cooking area. All you need is a prep surface, micro-wave, coffeemaker, and fridge.
Cost: Nada. (Get the work crew to help move your fridge.)
Savings: $50 per day on take-out and Starbucks coffee.
Bonus: You won't pack on extra pounds from stuffed-crust pizza.


15. Choose a light-colored roof. Using pale shingles, particularly if you live down south, will reduce the solar heat your roof absorbs, reducing the need for air-conditioning. Up north, the cooling benefit is offset somewhat by the loss of solar warming in the winter.
Cost: The same as dark roofing.
Savings: $40 per year or more on summer cooling costs.
Bonus: Your "cool roof" may earn you a utility company rebate.
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