4 ways to cut winter energy bills

These four home products can let you burn less cash when temperatures crash.

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Remote programmable thermostat
Remote programmable thermostat
Typical cost: $200
Annual energy savings: $220
Pays for itself within: 1 year

Programmable thermostats are a no-brainer. They let you automatically bump the heat down at night and when you're out, thereby shaving 10% off your energy costs.

The latest wave of these products goes one step further: They link to the Internet so you can adjust the temperature remotely.

Say you're stuck late at work. Go online and tell the system to stay at 60° F for a few hours longer, thus saving even more.

The most advanced models, such as Honeywell's Prestige 7-Day Programmable (available from contractors starting at $300 installed), let you make adjustments via iPhone or iPad app (Honeywell's app hits the iTunes store in 2011). That's great, because the easier it is to control your energy use, the more likely you are to save money.

NEXT: Storm windows that go inside, not out

Last updated September 23 2010: 2:43 PM ET
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