Turn Off Your Dryer
Next to the refrigerator, the clothes dryer generally uses more energy than any other appliance in your house. And, unless you live in the Pacific Northwest, you don't necessarily even need one. So go ahead and put up a clothesline; on dry, sunny days your clothes will dry almost as fast. And when you do have to use your dryer, cut your energy use by keeping it in a warm part of the house; dry like fabrics together (a polyester shirt dries in a fraction of the time that a terry-cloth bath towel does), run back-to-back loads to take advantage of leftover heat, and periodically clean the lint filter. If you do this last, you'll also help prevent a house fire.
This story appears in the December 25, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.