If your home has a boiler system, avoid covering radiators with screens or blocking them with furniture. It's also a good idea to add a reflecting panel behind radiators - you can purchase one at a home center or make one yourself with a plywood panel and aluminum foil.
Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
When filing in a lathe, don't hold the file rigid, but use a slight gliding motion. This will help the file clear itself and also prevent ridges. When filing metal, vary the speed according to metal. Generally use 150 surface feet per minute for cast iron; 175 for annealed tool steel; 350 for machinery steel, and 500 for soft yellow brass. Also, don't run your hand over the work. Resulting oil and moisture will make it harder for the file to take hold.
When hiring a contractor, insist on a complete written contract. Know exactly what work will be done, the quality of materials that will be used, warranties, timetables, the names of any subcontractors, the total price of the job and the schedule of payments.