In the United States there are four climate regions. The four regions are Temperate, Hot-arid, Hot-humid, and Cool.
In the Temperate region you should maximize the warming effects of the sun in the winter, and shade in the summer. In the summer it's recommended that you utilize funneling techniques for the wind which will help cool areas around your home.
In the Hot-arid climate you'll want to provide shade to cool the roof and windows of your home. This will help reduce the use of your air-conditioner. You will also want to block the wind away from air-conditioned homes.
The Hot-humid climate region is exactly what it sounds like, humid. Because of this you will want to channel the summer breeze towards your home to help cool. This is also where you will want to maximize landscaping shading techniques. If you have plants in your yard, avoid placing them near the home if they require frequent watering.
Last but not least is the Cool Region. If you have south facing windows you will want to allow the sun to penetrate them in the winter, and shade the south and west facing windows from the sun in the summer. Protect your home from wind breaks in the winter as well.