Landscape smart. A line of fast-growing trees, like poplars, or tall shrubs can serve as a windbreak. Planting evergreen trees on the north side and deciduous trees on the south side of a home can block winter winds and summer sun. Shrubs along the house can help, too, but don’t let them interfere with heat pumps or air conditioners.
Humidity is a factor. To avoid raising the humidity indoors during summer months, take baths or showers and wash dishes early in the morning or in the evening instead of during the day, and use an outside clothesline rather than a dryer. Replace old or worn-out bathroom exhaust fans with humidity-sensing units.