With spring fast approaching, now is a great time to start planning your new landscaping this year. And what is better than good-looking landscaping that also can save you money on your energy bills?
That’s right, the way you arrange your outdoor plants can have a major impact on your home’s energy use. It’s always nice to have a beautiful home, but now you can do so while saving money and reducing your impact on the environment.
Here are our top 5 ways for saving energy through just by how you landscape:
Plant Shrubs and Groundcover Plants
Not only is this option aesthetically pleasing, but it also aids in cooling the air that reaches your home, reducing costs coming from your air conditioning. Make a plan of which types of shrubs would go best with your home and then decide where you are going to put them. (Tip: local succulents will have the added bonus of saving water!)
Plant Climbing Vines with a Trellis or a Lattice
Climbing vines are a fun and original way to conserve energy. Setting up a trellis with a climbing vine adds shade to your home from the sun, and can thus lower the need for air conditioning. This is a great way to save energy while also adding to your home’s awesome outdoor aesthetic.
Plant Deciduous Trees on South or West side of Your Home
Deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves in the winter) can save you hundreds of dollars a year on your home energy bills if planted on the south or west side of your home. During the summer they provide shade, reducing air conditioning costs. In the winter, they no longer have leaves, exposing your home to warming sun rays. Deciduous trees help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Set Up Evergreen Trees and Shrubs to the North and Northwest of Your Home
Evergreen plants work most effectively as windbreaks, making them a great, natural option for keeping your home warm during the winter. This is no small job–one South Dakota study found that windbreaks can cut household fuel consumption by an average of 40%. Check out this infographic to find out which evergreen plants would work best for your home.
Install Solar Lighting Outdoors
Did you know that solar powered accent lighting exists for walkways, gardens, and driveways and are a reliable and affordable alternative to regular outdoor lighting? Rather than installing fully wired systems that will only add to your energy bills, this solar lighting option comes in a variety of styles, features a photosensitive element that automatically turns off when lighting is no longer needed, and oftentimes comes with a high-capacity rechargeable battery that can keep your walkway lit for a full 12 hours of darkness!