Did you know that you can grow your own home energy savings? Planting landscaping with an eye toward energy conservation can pay off in a few short years, as reduced utility bills make up the cost of the new landscape. It also enhances the aesthetics of your home, creates a more natural environment and boosts curb appeal and property value, too.
Most of landscape’s contribution to home energy savingsresults from shading. Trees and other vegetation, strategically placed, can cool surrounding air by approximately 9 degrees. Cooler air settles to the ground or on the roof, reducing the heat gain on the home. A tree between six and eight feet tall will begin shading windows within a year of planting and will shade the roof in five to 10 years, depending on the species of tree.
Here are some energy-saving factors to take into consideration when deciding on what to plant and where:
- When choosing a location to plant a tree, consider the moving shadow the tree will cast as the sun progresses across the sky. For maximum home energy savings, you want the shadow on the roof or windows during the hottest time of the day.
- Deciduous trees sprout leaves in the spring to absorb solar energy all summer, then shed the leaves in fall to allow sunlight to warm the house in the winter. For year round shade, consider evergreen trees.
- Slow-growing trees will take longer to provide meaningful roof shade, however they’ll provide it for more years than a fast-growing tree with a shorter life span. Trees that grow slowly are more robust and drought-resistant, as well.
- Vines growing up a trellis can shade walls and absorb heat. Large bushes or hedges can shade a patio or driveway. Shading ground and pavement surrounding the home decreases infrared heat energy before it can penetrate the walls of your home or the windows.
Blanton’s Heating & A/C offers key environmental systems expertise to homeowners in Fayetteville and surrounding communities. Contact us for more guidance on landscaping to beautify your home and increase home energy savings.