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Landscaping for Energy Savings

With gas and electricity costs increasing greatly in 2023, many homeowners are seeking ways to reduce their utility bills. People often think about solar power systems and other sustainable energy innovations when considering power-saving solutions for their homes. However, did you know your landscaping can also provide energy savings for your household costs? Let’s explore some of the top energy-efficient landscaping ideas.

Landscaping for Energy Savings

Plant Trees to Shade Your Home

Deciduous trees planted close to your home can cast shade on hot days. Plant in an arc around your property’s west, south, southwest, and eastern sides to block out the blazing sun in the morning and afternoon.

Shade trees provide substantial shade because of their size, and dense foliage. Oak, Maple, and Pine trees can enhance the landscape, and create comfortable outdoor spaces.

Carefully positioned trees can save households on their seasonal cooling costs. Proper use of shrubs and vines can further insulate the home and cut cooling costs.

Keep the Sun Off the Air Conditioning Unit

Is the A.C. unit in your home outside in the sun? If the chassis and cover of the air conditioning unit get warm, it must work harder to cool down. That means it uses more electricity or gas for the same task and increases your energy bill.

Planting shrubs and bushes around the unit, without obstructing the airflow from the fan, blocks the sun and keeps it cool. Research shows it can drop air conditioner power consumption by up to 10%.

Plant Evergreens to Block Winter Winds

The deciduous trees around your yard lose their foliage in winter. Strategically planting evergreens around your property can block the cold winter winds, dropping your seasonal heating costs.

Windbreaks around homes can help reduce wind speed, decreasing the demand for heating and cooling. This can potentially lead to energy savings. Windbreaks can save up to 25 percent in energy costs. This of course depends on factors such as the design of the windbreak and climate conditions.

However, don’t go too far with planting the trees, as the warm winter sun peaking into the room can reduce your heating costs. To get a good balance of heat and wind protection, plant the evergreens on your home’s western and northern sides.

Mulch & Irrigate to Save Water

Water is another huge cost for homeowners. The droughts in the Midwest and California saw sweeping water restrictions across many states. Conserving water is as important as saving electricity and gas.

Install a drip irrigation system to feed the plants and trees in your yard. These systems release a slow, steady flow of water that penetrates deep into the ground. They’re easy to set up and cheap to purchase.

Mulch around the flowerbeds, especially at the base of trees and shrubs. Mulching reduces evaporation from the soil and holds moisture in the ground for longer. Mulching means less water is required to sustain the garden.

Landscaping Safety Considerations

Wildfires are a particularly dangerous threat. Don’t plant trees too close to the home where they may present the risk of spreading flames to the house if they catch on fire. Keep the trees at least 30 feet from your home to prevent catastrophe.

Distance the edges of mature tree canopies 10 feet apart horizontally. Trim all branches that look too close to the roof.

With climate change shifting the weather patterns in many states, it’s important to landscape intelligently to avoid risks to your home.

Energy Saving Landscaping

Landscaping is effective at helping homeowners drive down their energy costs and plays a crucial role in energy conservation and environmental sustainability. Well-designed landscapes, incorporating shade trees, windbreaks, and strategic vegetation, enhance the beauty of our surroundings and contribute significantly to energy savings.

Additional Reading: Plant Right to Save Big

Antler Country Landscaping Omaha

Antler Country Landscaping was incorporated in 1997 and over the years has grown to offer professional landscape services, lawn care, and outdoor living spaces. Our mission is to enhance your outdoor experience. Contact us to learn more about our Omaha landscaping services.