Shandy Heil, Reichel, Claudette H.
Even with roof overhangs, a great deal of solar heat gain on the west, east, southwest and southeast sides of a house can occur from the rising and setting sun. Cooling demand can be greatly reduced by providing shade structures, trees and shrubs on these sides of a house. Deciduous trees (ones that lose their leaves in winter) are preferred to provide shade in the summer and let in winter sunlight.
Pavement reflects and radiates heat that it absorbs from the sun. Avoid unshaded pavement near the house. Small shrubs, ground cover and non-reflective mulches keep the area around the house cooler and reduce reflected heat.
In winter it can be helpful, especially in north Louisiana, to deflect cold north winds over or around the house with an evergreen barrier.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture