Beat the Heat -- Shade
Tip #1: Shade, shade, shade
Okay, we realize that planting a tree today will keep you nice and cool in ten or twenty years. So while you're waiting for that sapling to grow, consider planting bushes and vines, which take less time to fill out. Invest in a green roof, which can reduce a building's air conditioning bills by 21 percent. An easier solution: Place an awning over your air conditioning unit; the shade can increase your energy savings by 10 percent.