Even with an Energy Star rated machine, there are improvements you can make around the house to save energy and boost the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. For some immediate savings, try these five small tips.

1. Window Treatments

During winter, a simple sheet of window plastic has a huge effect. It traps a layer of air between the glass of your window and the air of your room, increasing insulation against the cold exterior. If you have curtains or shades, you can also manipulate them to save a few bucks. Open curtains to let in sunlight, which will help heat your home. Once the sun has moved away from the window, close the blinds to keep warm air inside.

2. Seal Ducts

Frequently inspect your air ducts for deterioration. Make sure to seal any holes you discover with metal tape. If you have ducts in a basement, attic or other unheated spaces, make sure they’re insulated. You don’t need them acting like radiators for your attic, after all.

3. Weather-strip Doors and Windows

Before the weather gets too cold, do an internal and external inspection of your doors and windows. Old caulk and weather-stripping can separate and fall away from the home, so you should take the time to replace it. Every crack you seal saves you energy. You can even invest in temporary window caulk for your windows during the winter; it’s easy to remove when spring returns and you want to open the windows again.

4. Inspect Insulation

Attics are a primary source of heat loss. Poor insulation may have been perfectly fine ten or twenty years ago, but it may need replacement over time. Don’t forget to check wall insulation; shut off power to an outlet and poke around behind it for a good glimpse of what’s behind the wall.

5. Inspect and Maintain your HVAC System

Always replace your furnace filter on a regular basis. This is the easiest bit of maintenance you can perform, and it saves an immense amount of energy. Dirty filters have to work harder to force air through your ducts. For other maintenance tasks, call in a qualified HVAC professional.

These 5 simple tips will save you money over time. Don’t forget to talk to your energy company; they may offer rebates to help you find more ways to save on energy.