Can the way you landscape around your home really make a difference in your energy bills? It’s hard to believe but true. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, carefully positioning just 3 trees will save the average homeowner $100-250 per year in energy costs. An energy-efficient landscape design can keep your heating and cooling systems from working overtime to keep you comfortable. If you’re thinking about creating an energy-saving landscape, there are some things to consider.
First and foremost, the kind of landscape that will give you the biggest benefits depends on your climate. Here in Northeast Ohio we live in a temperate zone. In this zone, you want to direct summer breezes toward the house during the night, when they’re cooler, and shade your home during the day. Deflecting winter breezes away from your home is also important.
Try these tips for energy-efficient landscaping:
Create shade- Shading and transpiration (the moving of water vapor) from trees can lower the air temperature around your home by as much as 9 degrees. Deciduous trees block sun in summer and let it in during the winter months, while evergreens provide continuous shade in all weather. The shape and size of tree you want depends on where and when it will cast its shadows during the day. Remember, too, that the air directly beneath a tree can be as much as 25 degrees cooler than air surrounding asphalt surfaces! So, creating shade with trees can significantly affect temperatures around your home in hot weather.
Also, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, planting around an outdoor A/C unit can increase its efficiency by as much as 10%. There’s a lot of information available about how shading your yard is important to energy savings, so ask us about the right way to do it.
Create a windbreak- A windbreak reduces wind speed around your home, thus lowering the wind chill. In winter, this keeps your home protected from bone-chilling temperatures. In summer, a windbreak keeps hot winds from blowing against the house so your air conditioning doesn’t have to work harder than necessary. Dense evergreens are a good choice for blocking heavy winds and providing a windbreak all year long.
When you install an energy efficient landscape, you can get enough energy savings to pay for your initial investment within 8 years! So consider landscaping in your plans to create a more energy efficient home.
P.K. Wadsworth services the Greater Cleveland, OH area including cities Chagrin Falls, Shaker Heights, Eastlake or anywhere in between. To get started, check out our website.