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Make your home eco-friendly and keep your cool in heat of summer

It's the eco-friendly way of staying cool in the heat of summer
It's the eco-friendly way of staying cool in the heat of summer 03:56

DANIA BEACH - In the heart of Dania Beach just off Federal Highway, there is a tropical paradise.

"My dad loved trees and I grew to love trees too," says Terrell McCombs. 

McCombs and his wife Jennifer have a historic home that sits under a canopy of live oak trees. The shade is enormous. 

"These trees are over 50 years old and my parents planted them," said McCombs.  

The canopy is only the starter. The house is surrounded by shrubs, fruit trees, and plants.

It's not only cool outdoors, but the inside of the home is comfortable year-round. There is no central air. 

"As soon as you walk in the Door it's cool because of the trees" Said Jennifer McCombs 

There's a science behind this cooling effect. Dr. Kimberly Moore is a professor of horticulture at the University of Florida Davie. 

Using a handheld temperature gauge, Dr Moore showed the vast difference in temperatures between asphalt and grass. As well as a building shaded by trees, "Our landscape is part of the cooling effect of our homes," she says. 

Dr. Moore says plants pull heat out of the environment. "Plants are always losing water and it goes from a liquid to a vapor and when that happens it pulls heat energy away." 

Use native plants. Think wild tamarind and oak trees, coco plum and silver button shrubs. Consider spacing, how fast it grows, and water needs. 

Plants thrive indoors too, but there are a lot more ingredients to consider when choosing how to make your house cooler inside. 

"The idea is how do we construct a home that had the best building materials but is eco-friendly," says real estate developer Josh Dotoli.

He built a totally green home on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale. "Eco-friendly is about controlling the temperature, reducing our carbon footprint," he says. 

Besides the concrete block construction, all the walls and attic are insulated with spray foam. 

"It fills gaps and reduces heat. You want to control the heat in your home and attic."

Other built-in cooling techniques include large porcelain tile on the floors, LED lighting, extra thick high-impact windows and doors to cut UV rays and sunblocking shades. 

"I think everyone wants to live greener and have less of an impact in the state we live."

The Mccombs have been living green before it became trendy. 

CBS News Miami asked what advice they would give to Broward homeowners who want to emulate what they've done.

"Plant trees as a foundation and surround them with shrubs," Terrell McCombs said.  

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