Energy-efficient Landscaping: Tips For Homes And Businesses – Whether you realize it or not, decorating can affect your home’s energy efficiency. Colorado Springs has a cool climate, although it borders a hot arid region. Strategic plant selection can affect your home’s energy efficiency, as well as smart irrigation practices, soil quality, and more.
The location of your plants can actually reduce cooling costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter. For example, planting trees or shrubs that shade your home’s windows during the hottest part of the day has the potential to reduce solar gain, ultimately resulting in lower energy bills. However, you don’t want these shades to be cast during the winter, as the sun’s rays can help naturally warm your home. To achieve this, choose deciduous trees that shed their leaves during the colder months.
- 1 Energy-efficient Landscaping: Tips For Homes And Businesses
- 2 Energy Efficient Landscape Designs That Can Cut Power Bills
- 3 Energy Efficient Landscaping — Ideas For Your Yard
Energy-efficient Landscaping: Tips For Homes And Businesses
Consider also the rate of evapotranspiration – the total evaporation of plants and soil transpiration and its effect on soil – their surface area, which according to Colorado State University is increasing. Evapotranspiration (ET) can reduce the temperature directly around plants by as much as 9 degrees, so shrubs near your home can potentially reduce both cooling and heating costs. However, the trade-off is that the homeowner needs to compensate for this rate of evapotranspiration when watering plants. An area with a higher ET rate and season requires more watering, and a lower one requires less.
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Planting trees as “windbreaks” also has the potential to drastically change the temperature of one’s home in the winter, especially in areas like Colorado Springs where the winters get very cold. Planting trees in the wind path around the house blocks some of the cold air from hitting the outside of the house and dropping the temperature inside the house. Ultimately, a homeowner should plant sturdy wind-blocking trees on the north/northwest side of their home. Residents of cold climates should leave the open area of their home facing south to allow winter sun to reach that part of the house, as advised by the US Department of Energy. By using bushes and trees as windbreaks, a person can potentially reduce the speed at which the wind hits the house by 30 times.
The home above is positioned in such a way as to maximize its energy savings. In a “sunlight access zone,” the home would receive full sun during the cooler months.
Certain types of trees can also block wind from reaching the house from the ground. In general, evergreens, including pines and hollies, are the best option as they will stay green and bloom through the winter. Not to mention, many evergreens are lower to the ground, which is an ideal location for blocking the wind.
Low bushes have the ability to not only block wind, but can also block snow on the side of the house where the wind tends to blow. Due to the coldness of snow and the fact that it can be retained for a long period of time, it has the potential to significantly lower the temperature in the home. For those who worry about the danger of a falling tree or branch and don’t want to deal with regular pruning: walls, fences and earthen berms are other options to protect the exterior of the house from the wind.
How To Beat The Summer Heat With Trees
According to Brian Darr, landscape designer for Timberline Landscaping’s residential division, “The best thing anyone can do is improve soil that lacks nutrients and water-holding capacity. It’s the best thing you can do to help grow and use water and resources properly.”
The composition of the soil in your home will determine the ways in which you can improve it. Professional landscapers can help test your soil and give it the nutrients and treatments it needs to be effective.
For Colorado residents in particular, efficient water use is extremely important. In the past, Colorado Springs has experienced droughts due to a lack of snowfall in previous years. This has caused many seasons of limited watering restrictions and conservation needs. There are many ways residents can lead effectively:
Aerating lawns, gardens, and all other areas affected by irrigation can reduce the amount of runoff and increase the level of water absorption received by the flora. Ultimately, this means homeowners won’t have to use as much water for plants. Aeration consists of creating small holes in the soil to allow air, nutrients and water to progress more efficiently to the roots. The roots are then grouped deeper and have the effect of making the lawn look better, in addition to helping to reduce the amount of water required for growth.
Energy Efficient Landscape Designs That Can Cut Power Bills
Although short grass like a golf course may look great for a week, longer blades of grass retain more water and shade each other to prevent burns. Keeping the spades a little longer will make your yard look more lush and prevent you from watering as much. It can also reduce the number of times a resident needs to mow, which saves time. Longer grass is a win-win-win situation.
Xeriscaping is a buzzword for a concept that professional landscape designers have been using for decades. Xeriscaping originated in Colorado and essentially provides a guide to landscape design with water efficiency in mind. Contrary to popular belief, Xeriscaping doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your lawn entirely – it’s simply a way to plant and design that creates the most efficient use of water. Learn more about Xeriscaping on our blog.
There are many different ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency and lower your utility bills, and a professional landscaper can help you design and maintain your home’s landscape to be efficient year-round. Contact Timberline today for a consultation!
Timberline Landscaping is part of the TimberlineOne family of companies, which fosters better places to live, work and play.
Tips To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Timberline Landscaping is part of the TimberlineONE family of companies, fostering better places to live, work and play. Trees, shrubs and landscaping not only beautify your home, but can help you save on energy costs. But you have to plant the right plants in the right place.
For example, a well-planned landscape can reduce air conditioning costs in an unshaded home by 15 to 50 percent. If you don’t quite have a green thumb, you can visit the OPPD Arboretum to see dozens of trees and shrubs that can beautify your property and save you money.
The infographic below provided by the US Department of Energy shows planting and location suggestions for optimal savings.
Laura King-Homan is supervisor, brand and communications operations, at the Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of experience in print journalism and design, including at the Omaha World-Herald.
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September is National Preparedness Month. By simply including items from around your home in a basic kit, you can rest assured that your family will be prepared for an emergency.
Learn more about the steps you can take to ensure you and your family are safe and healthy in your home.
Phantom load, the power used by an appliance that is plugged in but not turned on, can increase your electricity bill. Should you turn off everything you’re not using? Read on. Air conditioning energy efficiency is an important topic for several reasons. Not only does it help the environment, but it also reduces the burden on your wallet. Proper landscaping around your home can make a noticeable difference in energy consumption and help you achieve better air conditioning energy efficiency. In our temperate climate, you need to adapt your landscape to the seasons. Try these tricks for a more efficient home.
Place deciduous trees such as oaks and maples on the south and west sides of the house. This will shade your house from the harsh summer sunlight, so your space will stay naturally cool during the summer. These large flowering plants provide plenty of cover in the summer months, but lose their leaves in the fall, so sunlight can still stream in when it’s cold outside. Due to its dual function, this planting is ideal for year-round energy efficiency.
Energy Efficient Landscaping — Ideas For Your Yard
Summer breezes usually come from the south. Direct them toward your home with well-placed windshields to help keep things cool. Windshields on the north and northwest sides of the house will protect you from harsh winter winds, keeping things cozy when it gets cold. These windbreaks can also keep snow drifts away from the house when you plant dense shrubs along the base of the trees.
Keep the air conditioner cool by placing it in the shade. Shaded areas are even 25 degrees cooler than those exposed to the sun. The simple act of planting a well-placed tree or shade structure above your air conditioner can lighten the load on this unit, reducing your utility bills. Make sure anything you plant is at least two meters away from the unit so air can circulate freely.
Combine these handy landscaping tips with regular AC maintenance and you can keep your home running at peak efficiency all season long. If you’re overdue for a tune-up, call Griffith Energy Services today to schedule an appointment. You can contact our technicians at 888-474-3391.
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Use Landscaping To Increase A Home’s Energy Efficiency
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