Did you know that you can reduce your home’s energy consumption for heating and cooling with a well-designed landscape? When you think of reducing your heating and cooling costs, most homeowners naturally think of installing energy efficient air conditioning and heating systems and improving their home’s insulation and weather stripping. However, according to the Department of Energy, landscaping is one of the most cost effective ways to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling while providing other benefits to you and your community.
As few as three properly placed trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption by up to 25%. With a savings of up to $250 per year, the average well-designed landscaping plan can pay for itself in less than 8 years and continue to provide savings for 20 to 30 years or more.
Deciduous (leaf shedding) trees are effective energy savers year round. In the summer, the trees provides shade and evapotranspiration to keep the area around the trees cooler. Studies have shown that well placed trees can reduce a home’s air conditioning costs by as much as 50%.
In the winter, the trees shed their leaves and admit sunshine and light to reduce heating and lighting costs. The trees also block the wind which helps reduce the wind chill effect and reduces heating costs. The combined beneficial effects of sunlight and windbreak can reduce heating costs by up to one third.
Proper landscape design is important for maximum energy savings. Trees and other elements have to be placed where they will provide the most benefits. Talk to your landscaping professional about designing an energy efficient landscape for your home