Everybody loves saving money around the house. This Old House has fifty ways to do just that.
1. Shorten your dryer-vent hose. First, disconnect it and vacuum it out. Then trim the hose length so that it's just long enough for you to pull the dryer a few feet out from the wall. A short and unobstructed line makes your dryer run more efficiently.
Savings: $25 a year on electric, gas, or propane.
Bonus: Your clothes will dry about 20 percent faster.
2. Borrow specialized tools—gas-powered post-hole diggers and table-mounted routers—from a DIYer in your area for a small fee. Go to Zilok for far better deals than rental retailers offer.
Cost: $1 to $100 per day.
Savings: $50 or more for the same tool at a rental center.
Bonus: Getting to know fellow renovators in your neighborhood with whom you can swap tips.
3. Close closet doors to lower the square footage you're heating (and cooling). Shuttering closets along exterior walls also helps to insulate the house.
Cost: Zilch—although it may take a few minutes for your clothes to reach room temperature before you put them on.
Savings: About $50 per year off your energy bills.
Bonus: You and your guests won't see closet clutter.