Beat the Heat with Energy Efficient Landscaping
Keeping your home cool without breaking the bank is the ultimate goal for many homeowners who are feeling the heat not only from the summer but the growing bills. If this is you, we have great news!
Cooling Things Off from the Outside
While most of you may know about the countless ways to be more energy efficient inside your home, have you ever thought about what you can do to keep things cool inside by making wise choices outside your home? For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, carefully positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of the energy a typical household uses. Research also shows that summer daytime temperatures are reduced 3-6 degrees in tree-shaded neighborhoods than in treeless areas.
Saving energy by creating just the right amount of shade outside and utilizing your irrigation system effectively are two ways you can effectively cut your summer energy expenses. Let’s take a look at simple ways you can lower your bill with energy efficient landscaping:
Covering Your Home with Shade
- Avoid planting trees haphazardly. Strategically plant trees to provide the best shade coverage for your home. Whether the tree covers the side of your home or the roof, any shade you gain from a tree will make a big difference in the temperature inside the home. Plant trees with high, spreading leaves and branches to provide the best shade.
- Add decorative vines to your landscaping plan. Vines are great sources of rapid growth and they can be used to cover windows to shield the inside of your home from direct sunlight. Select from numerous varieties and keep them groomed to ensure curb appeal. You might want to add a decorative lattice or trellis for climbing vines, or a planter box with trailing vines.
- Build a covered outdoor living space. Decks and patios are great gathering spots, especially in the summer. If you are planning on building a new deck, consider placing it on the east side of your home to protect it from the afternoon sun.
- Install window canopies or shades. Shade provided from a window canopy is an excellent way to block direct sunlight into your home while offering a great way to cool you, your guests and your home.
Watering Your Lawn
- Quit wasting water and energy. Updating your irrigation system can make a big difference. If your irrigation system adequately covers your lawn, the system will be more effective and require less time to run. This can save you both water and energy and as a result keep your dollars in your wallet instead of spending them on excessive bills.
- Keep your foundation cool. When the exterior of your foundation is damp, it will be cooler and can help lower the temperature of the ground under and around your home. You might place small sprinklers or a soaker hose around your foundation to ensure cooling moisture during the summer.
- Take care of your lawn. While outdoor living areas made of concrete, brick or stone are effective and convenient in some cases, if you want to lower the temperature in your home, natural green grass is best. Hard surfaces can heat up the air around your home or air conditioning unit causing a spike on your cooling bill.