Landscaping is another great way of letting mother nature help out. Planting shade trees and shrubs can be a great energy barrier.
Just remember to plant the trees far enough away from the house so when they are fully grown and making the best impact, that they do not have to come down. Their are lots of low maintenance desert varieties to choice from.
As in this photo below, once the tree was fully grown it can begin to do physical damage to the home with leaf debris or roots.
A strategically placed 15-year-old Rio Grande Ash.