Landscaping and Your Regional Climate

The energy-conserving landscape strategies you use should depend on which region you live in.

The United States can be divided into four approximate climatic regions: temperate, hot-arid, hot-humid, and cool. See the map to find your climatic region. Below you'll find landscaping strategies listed by region and in order of importance.

Hot-Arid states include southern California, southern Nevada, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and western Texas. Hot-humid states include Hawaii and the region spanning from southern Texas east to southern Virginia, and north through Tennessee and parts of western Kentucky and southern Illinois. The temperate region spans from northern California and all up the west coast, through the mid-section of the country to the east coast from Maryland to Maine. The cool region includes Alaska and the northern states of Wyoming, most of western Montana, North Dakota, northern South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, northern Vermont and New Hampshire, and most of Maine.

Temperate Region

    * Maximize warming effects of the sun in the winter.
    * Maximize shade during the summer.
    * Deflect winter winds away from buildings.
    * Funnel summer breezes toward the home.

Hot-Arid Region

    * Provide shade to cool roofs, walls, and windows.
    * Allow summer winds to access naturally cooled homes.
    * Block or deflect winds away from air-conditioned homes.

extreme weather is common in the Hot-Humid Region
Hot-Humid Region

    * Channel summer breezes toward the home.
    * Maximize summer shade with trees that still allow penetration of low-angle winter sun.
    * Avoid locating planting beds close to the home if they require frequent watering.

Cool Region

    * Use dense windbreaks to protect the home from cold winter winds.
    * Allow the winter sun to reach south-facing windows.
    * Shade south and west windows and walls from the direct summer sun, if summer overheating is a problem.

It's also important to consider your home's microclimate in your landscaping strategy.

This site contains information produced by the US Department of Energy and compiled by the site owners.
 We are not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of this information.
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