1. Change your tune! Tune up your HVAC system annually and have a professional inspect your system to keep it running efficiently. Check out this handy maintenance checklist.

2. White window shades, drapes, or blinds actually reflect the sun away from your home. Shades or drapes can also provide additional insulation to help retain cool air and give your AC a break.

3. Keep the cool in and the heat out! Replace leaky windows with ENERGY STAR® windowsEnergy-efficient windows can reduce ultraviolet (UV) damage to carpet and furniture in your house while helping you save nearly $500 a year on your energy bill.

4. Watch those filters! A dirty air filter can make your system inefficient or even damage your equipment. Change it every month!

5. Don’t leave unfinished areas unattended! Seal and insulate heating and cooling ducts in attics, basements and crawl spaces.

6. Become a big fan of attic fans! They draw cool nighttime air in and force hot air out. This makes it easier on your cooling system and, when combined with good insulation and ventilation, can even help protect your roof shingles.

7. Get with the programmable! By using a programmable thermostat properly (with the four pre-programmed settings) you can save about $180 every year in energy costs. Set your thermostat to 85 degrees when you’re out and about and 78 degrees when you’re chilling at home.

8. Have it made in the shade. Because your central AC condenser works better at cooler temperatures, providing shade helps it work more efficiently and can knock about 3% off your cooling costs.

9. Go ahead! Hug a tree! By positioning deciduous trees (the ones that grow leaves in the spring and lose them in the fall) to provide shade for your house in the summer, you can reduce your energy costs up to 8%. Plus, planting low shrubs around your house can reduce the amount of heat that radiates from pavement, sidewalks and patios onto the sides of your house, which can increase the temperature of your home and demand on your cooling system.