5. Turn off the computer. When you're done surfing the Net and updating your Facebook status for the day, shut down your computer. Better still, activate its system standby or hibernating feature to save power when the computer is on during the day.
Of course, you don't want to turn off the computer if you've scheduled automatic maintenance checks that happen at night.
6. Rearrange the furniture. A forced-air system works best when air can flow freely from registers and into cold-air returns. Make sure your furniture isn't blocking these vents.
The same thing applies to radiators. If you block them with furniture, you block their heat.
7. Change the furnace filter. The filter's primary purpose is to trap dust and other gunk before it gets to the furnace. Dirty filters impede airflow, causing the furnace blower to work longer.
Dirty parts also wear out faster. By keeping them clean, you'll cut down on furnace repair costs and reduce the chance of a furnace failure -- which, of course, always happens on the coldest day of the year.
Change the filter monthly, or clean it if it's a reusable type.
8. Turn down the tank. For most homes, a setting of 120 degrees is plenty hot for a water heater. The only exception is if you have a dishwasher without a booster heater. Check the user manual to find out whether you need hotter water.
When the water isn't as hot, mineral buildup and corrosion slow. That helps your water heater run better and last longer.
9. Let the sun shine in. The sun is a powerful heating source, even in winter. Opening window coverings on sunny days lets you take advantage of that free heat, reducing the amount your furnace needs to produce.
Close those coverings at night to help keep the heat inside.
10. Avoid the range. As much as possible, skip using the stove or oven and opt instead for smaller cooking appliances -- slow cookers, microwave ovens, toaster ovens and the like. They use less energy than that big appliance.
Come to think of it, saving energy sounds like a great excuse for eating out.
There go the savings.