Cooling

Awning or Canopy
The most common and effective way to cool a home is by preventing the sun from hitting the window. Installing an awning or canopy is the most common way.

Trees can provide shade to cool the house when needed, but need the sunlight go through during the heating period. Even deciduous trees that loose their leaves in the winter obstruct the sun. Unless deciduous trees on the south side of a passive solar home are located close to the house and the lower branches are removed, they will obstruct the sun. Trees, shrubbery and grass provide not only shade, they also can cool the air surrounding a home by as much as 9F by the process called "transpiration". This is why rural areas with a lot of trees are usually cooler than urban settings. Cooling for a house is best done with deciduous trees. On the east and west sides of a house the sun strikes from a low angle early and late in the day, so it's best to plant bushes, smaller trees or evergreens, such as pines and spruces, there. On the south side of a home, however, it is best to have high-crowned deciduous trees that grow tall with few low branches. In the summer they shade the roof and south-facing wall. When they lose their leaves in the fall, they permit sunlight onto south-facing windows for solar gain.

An Earth-Shelter Home is the ideal home from an energy efficiency standpoint.
-Walls have minimal exposure to extreme temperatures.
-The deeper in the ground, the more stable the temperatures.
-Most ES homes are built of 12" concrete walls for heat storage.

A radiant heat barrier, usually aluminum foil coated to a reinforcing material, in the attic can block the flow of radiant heat from the roof to the ceiling.
-A radiant heat barrier reflects radiant heat and does not emit it from its surface when its temperature increases.
-The foil is stapled to the underside of the roof or along the rafters, with the shiny side facing down. It will not emit radiant heat from its surface. The facing air space must be at least an inch deep.