Regional Tactics for More Energy-Efficient Landscaping

People living in different areas of the country require different tactics for leading more energy efficient lives. This is particularly true when it comes to coming up with effective landscaping ideas for energy efficient homes.

Northeastern U.S.
Winter packs a wallop in this region of the country and summer is no lightweight either. Landscaping with large deciduous trees provides adequate shade in the summer, when planted on the south and west facing sides of the home. When they shed their leaves in winter, these trees play the energy saving role of wind breakers protecting the home from the chilling winter winds that would otherwise rob their homes of warmth.

Midwestern U.S.
The summer can really bake the earth in the Midwest, while the winter winds can take your breath away. Just as your neighbors in the Northeastern part of the country, you want large leaf-bearing trees planted along the southern and western sides of your property to provide shade in the summer and break the wind in winter. Also make sure you take advantage of the south-facing windows for warmth in winter by keeping southern windows unobstructed by trees and other forms of shade.

Hot and Humid Southern States
In these states you want to maximize shade by planting tall evergreen trees on the south and southwestern side of the home. These trees provide adequate shade during the summer while still allowing low-angle light in the winter to penetrate to provide that little burst of warmth when it’s needed.

Hot Arid Regions
These regions need plenty of shade reaching the roof, walls, and windows of the home. The goal is to allow summer winds full access to homes that use natural breezes for cooling while deflecting these same winds away from homes that rely on air conditioning for coolness during the summer.

High Plains and Western Mountain States
Take advantage of the sun in winter at every possible opportunity. Don’t forget the biting sting of the winter winds on the plains though and plant windbreak shrubs and trees on the northern side of the home. Use deciduous trees on the sunny side of the home in the summer to cast a much-needed and welcomed shade.

Anyone not able to take advantage of the sea breezes available on the coast knows that it can get unpleasantly warm in summer. That’s why it’s so important to consider planting large shade trees on the south and southwestern sides of the home to help keep things cool. Also consider planting shrubs in order to deflect warmer winds in summer that you don’t want coming through to your home too.

While each region has slightly different landscaping needs in order to keep things cool and comfortable throughout the year, a whole house fan will up the ante and add a new degree of energy efficient comfort and coolness to homes in most areas of the country.