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Simple landscaping techniques, such as using trees, vines, and shrubs to create shade in the summer or to block wind in the winter, can help cut heating and cooling bills. Summer Landscaping Creating Shade During summer, heat from the sun absorbed through windows and roofs makes air conditioners work harder. By using shade effectively in your landscape design, you can reduce this “solar heat gain” and lower your cooling costs. For example, simply providing shade for an air conditioner can increase its efficiency by as much as 10%.Selection and Placement of Trees Air temperatures directly under trees can be 25°F cooler than air temperatures above a nearby blacktop parking lot. Trees can be selected for almost any desired shading based on their sizes, densities, and shapes.Deciduous trees block the sun’s heat in summer, but let sunlight pass through in the winter because they lose their leaves in autumn. Dense evergreen (coniferous) trees and shrubs provide year-round shade and can block...