You can increase your home’s comfort and reduce your air conditioning bills significantly with smart landscaping. When outdoor temperatures rise in the summertime, your home’s indoor temperature rises with it. Air conditioners also increase your carbon footprint. Below are some ways you can cut down the costs of your air conditioning with simple proper landscaping.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can reduce a household’s cooling energy consumption by up to 25 percent by positioning trees properly. You can find trees in different sizes, shapes and densities to meet your shading needs. Deciduous trees, planted on the west and south sides of your home, are great for blocking out the sun’s heat in the summertime and keeping the heat in during the wintertime. You can block heavy winds and provide your home with continuous shade by planting shrubs and evergreen trees.
Install a Ramada, awning, pergola or other type of structure on your home’s west side to provide shade. Not only will you filter out the heat and light during the hotter part of the day, it’s also attractive. Vine-covered pergolas are open structures that don’t trap in the heat but allow a cool breeze to get in making them pretty ideal.
Take groundcovers into consideration. Granite mulch, concrete and light-colored stone make things hotter since they reflect the heat. Heat is absorbed with wood chips and darker stones. And, for the most cooling effect, you can add in ground cover plants to your expanse or lawn although you do have to water them often.
Water features give off a cooling effect both psychologically and physically. You can cool the air of your entire landscape with a large pond. A fountain or smaller pond cools smaller areas.
Insulate your house in the summer and winter and create dead spaces by planting vines, shrubs and bushes. You will want to leave a foot of space between your home’s wall and full-grown plants when planting.
When you are making your landscape plans, consider how the wind and light moves around your house all day to maximize efficiency. You want to figure out which side of your home gets the most shade and which gets the most light when you are planning your landscape options. By practicing smart landscaping, you can reduce your costs of air conditioning and increase efficiency more effectively. Not to mention, it adds to the beauty of your home and its exterior appeal.
Did you know that a whole house fan can also reduce your air conditioning bill? A whole house fan helps people drop their AC usage by upwards of 50 to 90 percent!