Buildings and Trees—Natural Partners. Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides will help keep your house cool in the summer and allow sun to shine through the windows in the winter.
Landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home cool in summer and reduce your energy bills. A well-placed tree, shrub, or vine can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce your energy bills—see landscaping illustration. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses. Research shows that summer day-time air temperatures can be 3°–6° cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods than in treeless areas.
A lattice or trellis with climbing vines or a planter box with trailing vines shades the home while admitting cooling breezes to the shaded area. For more on landscaping for energy savings and water conservation, explore our Energy Saver 101 infographic on landscaping.