Turn Summer Landscaping into Energy Savings
Posted by: Claire M | 07/15/2019 at 11:46 AM
Everyone knows that a well-landscaped yard makes your house more appealing. But smart landscaping is as functional as it is beautiful, helping to reduce your energy and water bills during even the hottest summers. Here are a few tips you can use to turn yard and garden features into money-saving home enhancements.
- Trees – they really are the answer. A well-positioned tree can reduce your cooling bills by up to 25 percent and make your yard about six degrees cooler than an unshaded one. Also, a single shade tree has the cooling efficiency of 15 air conditioners!
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Use darker stone, wood chips and other materials for flower beds, patios and walkways. Unlike concrete and light-colored materials, they’ll absorb heat instead of reflecting it back toward your house.
- Feature a water feature. Fountains and small pools help keep temperatures lower.
- Create a wind break. Plant shrubs, bushes or vines near your home to keep hot (and during the winter, cold) winds at bay. Keep about a one-foot gap between full-grown plants and your home’s walls for maximum effectiveness.
- Less water, more beauty. Landscaping for water conservation, or Xeriscaping, is a great way to save water and minimize your environmental impact. Xeriscaping includes choosing local plants and grasses, improving the soil to better absorb water, using mulches and careful planning for energy and water conservation.
These are just some general guidelines to get you started. You’ll want to follow up with specific research about weather and plants in your area of the country to maximize savings. The U.S. Department of Energy website is a great place to start. So, get growing!
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