Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses less electricity.
Grown on trellises, vines such as ivy or grapevines can shade windows or the whole side of a house.
Avoid landscaping with lots of unshaded rock, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides because it increases the temperature around the house and radiates heat to the house after the sun has set.
Deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides will keep your house cool in the summer. Just three trees, properly placed around a house, can save between $100 and $250 annually in cooling and heating costs.
Daytime air temperatures can be 3 degrees to 6 degrees cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods.