Believe it or not landscaping is a method that can be used to reduce heating and cooling costs. Here are some questions you should ask yourself and potential solutions to these problems.
Does your home overheat in the summer? Are some rooms hotter than others? You might be able to reduce your cooling costs by planting trees or shrubs so that they will shade the hottest parts of your home.
Is your home located in a region where it is hot and windy in the summer? By planting hedges, you can direct cooling breezes toward your home.
Is your home located in a region where it is cold and windy in the winter? You could plant a wind-break to shelter your house from cold winds.
Where is the sun’s daily path over your home and does it vary over seasons? You could design plantings that shelter your home from the hot summer sun, while still allowing the winter sun to reach your home.
Does the ground slope away from your home or toward it? Depending on the direction of the slope you should design your landscaping accordingly to protect your home’s foundation from water.
For more info on the subject check out the book The Homeowner’s Handbook to Energy Efficiency by John Krigger and Chris Dorsi.