Several design elements will allow you to let Mother Nature help you make your home more energy efficient, achieving long-term savings on utility bills. Passive solar designs are design elements that use nature to achieve greater energy efficiency. If you live in a colder climate, incorporate design elements that use the heat of the sun to warm your home and reduce the work required of your heating system. Install skylights, larger east-facing and west-facing windows, or solar windows to bring sunlight into the house to both brighten your home and provide some natural heating function. Alternatively, if you live in a warm climate, position trees (particularly deciduous trees) in your yard where they will block direct sunlight and shade your home. Trees also make excellent wind breaks in any climate.


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