Attractive landscaping can turn your yard into a peaceful haven, but did you know it can also lower your heating bills, cool your house naturally and filter your air? Todays tip tells you how to conserve energy with eco-friendly landscape design.
Your landscape can save you money! Because higher fuel bills are due to heat gains in summer and heat losses in winter, a good landscape design can mitigate these problems. Basic planting techniques include planning for shade, wind reduction, minimization of reflective heat in summer and maximizing solar gain in winter.
What to use in your energy-saving landscape design
Plants are natural air filters and reduce carbon dioxide in the air. They also produce aerosols that collect moisture out of the air and cause clouds to form, bringing needed moisture! Use trees, vines, ground cover and shrubs in your energy-saving landscape design.
I think that I shall never see an A/C cooling as a tree…
A well situated shade tree is just as effective at cooling yourhome as an air conditioner and costs much, much less.Shade trees reduce heat gains up to 60% and can reduce roof and wall temperatures by 40%. That is a significant savings in energy!
For the best shade effect, plant 25′ trees or taller to the east, south and west of your home, at least 10 to 15′ from the house foundation. Use deciduous trees in cooler climates so you can preserve solar gain during the winter months. Plant evergreen shrubs at the base of the foundation to create dead air space that cools walls in summer and insulates in winter. Foundation shrubs also protect your home from damaging winds and snow in winter.
Romantic arbors shade patios and porches and eliminate reflective heat
Patios and porches are wonderful places to socialize and play, but if they are not shaded they become solar collectors that reflect heat into the home and discourage use during the day. Vine-coveredarbors not only provide shade and make your seating area more inviting, they also reduce the temperature below up to 60%. The greenery provides a sense of privacy, romance and seclusion and flowering vines such as wisteria add color and floral scents for you and your guests.
Windbreaks provide shelter from winter winds
Our prevailing winds come either from the west/south west or, in the case of an “upslope”, from the north east. A solid planting of trees can reduce chill factors from winter winds up to 80% by directing them over or around your home. If you have a large property, plan windbreaks of 3 to 5 rows of different varieties of trees, including some deciduous and some evergreens. Begin with shrubs on the windward side to help protect the taller trees which should be in the leeward row. Stagger your plantings so you do not create gaps.
Boulder Landscape and Design designs and installs energy saving plans. Let us know if you would like to save on your heating and cooling costs by optimizing your landscape.