Energy Efficient Landscaping
A well-designed landscape not only adds beauty to your home but it can also reduce your heating and cooling costs. On average, landscaping for energy efficiency provides enough energy savings to return an initial investment in less than 8 years. If you were already planning to landscape, these tips provide an ideal way to beautify your home while saving on your monthly energy bill.
- Landscaping your home for energy efficiency can reduce your heating and cooling bills, the largest component of your home's energy use. Your overall landscaping strategy will depend on your regional climate.
- Plant trees to shade your home, reducing your cooling costs in the summer months. Typically, newly planted trees will begin shading windows in their first year and will reach your roof in years 5-10.
- Planting shrubs, bushes, and vines next to your house creates dead air spaces that insulate your home in both winter and summer. Plant so there will be at least 1 foot (30 centimeters) of space between full-grown plants and your home's wall.
- During winter, dense, low-lying trees and shrubbery on the north and northeast sides of your home can help protect your home against wind chill.
Consider how you can invest in future energy savings by landscaping your yard. And, for more information, check out these websites:
CONSERVING ENERGY WITH PLANTS
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
North Carolina State University
Department of Energy
Keep Your Cool and Save Money Too: Summer Energy-Saving Tips from the Department of Energy
Save 10 to 50 Percent on Utility Bills This Summer While Staying Cool