Homeowners are always looking for ways to reduce their home’s energy consumption. Did you know you can actually reduce the amount of energy your home uses by making some strategic landscaping decisions.
Trees Reduce Energy Consumption
You probably have systems installed in your home to help keep it cool during the hot weather months. Air conditioners can use a lot of energy to operate during the hotter months of summer. Shade trees planted in close proximity to your home will work to keep the interior rooms cool. The inside of a house heats up as the rays of the sun beat down upon it. Trees that produce wide leaves create a cover of foliage which acts as a barrier against the harsh rays of the sun.
Trees can also help shelter a house from the cold winds of winter. If your home is located in a region that experiences changes seasonal in temperature, you can create an insulation barrier by planting Evergreen trees close to the exterior walls of your house. The branches and needles of this tree create a packed, dense shield against the cold, which can reduce the amount of energy your home uses to heat the interior rooms.
Spruce Up Hard Surface Areas
Very few people realize the hard surfaces in their yards actually absorb the hot and cold temperatures. If you have an exterior driveway made of asphalt, you probably know how hot this surface gets during the summer. Adding small shrubs or other types of foliage along the sides of the driveway will help disperse the heat collected by the asphalt. The heat is dispersed or cooled through the release of water the plant roots give off.
Plants can also be placed around patios to provide the same type of cooling effect during the summer. Planting grass around patio areas or around sidewalks and outdoor gazebos will also help keep the surfaces of these areas cooler. When the ground area around your home is cooler, it works toward keeping the inside temperatures cooler as well.
When choosing plants for your yard, it is helpful to select items which are native to the region. These plants will be better suited to living with the amount of rainfall in the area so you will not need to water them as often. Planting large hedges can also reduce the amount of wind your house receives in the winter.
Energy Efficient Lights
There are a number of lights designed for outdoor use which operate on solar power. Solar lights can be placed over door entrances to provide illumination in the evenings. These lights are available in ceiling and wall sconce styles with solar collector cells located inside the bases.
Solar lights can also be used to light up your driveway or front walk. There are some decorative lantern styles available with posts that can be inserted into your lawn. Your driveway can be illuminated with a set of ground lights wired to a solar panel.
If you and your family enjoy spending time outside in the evenings, there are useful solar lights designed especially for outdoor decks. These include lights you can place on top of deck posts as well as lights which can be placed into the deck flooring. To reduce the energy your home uses during the holiday seasons, you can also purchase solar powered string light sets for decorating the outside of your home.
Additional energy saving tips include composting leaves and grass clippings for use as garden mulch and collecting rainwater for outdoor watering. A little bit of outdoor planning can make a big difference in the amount of energy your home consumes during the course of a year.
Ben is a writer for http://www.arvernebythesea.com/ blog, where he shares some of his most useful house tips. Some of his additional energy saving tips include composting leaves and grass clippings for use as garden mulch and collecting rainwater for outdoor watering. A little bit of outdoor planning can make a big difference in the amount of energy your home consumes during the course of a year.