Landscaping around your home improves the aesthetics of your property and creates a more pleasant outdoor living environment. But did you know that, when utilized properly, landscaping also can help lower your energy costs? Heat energy entering your home through windows and your roof is a major contributor to your home’s heating load, as well as your related energy consumption. Shading and natural air cooling that landscaping provides is an excellent way to reduce heat infiltration into your home.
Here are a few tips about using landscaping to provide energy savings:
- Reduce temperatures on roof areas and walls of your home by as much as 9 degrees by planting trees to provide shade. Additionally, in those areas around your home that have trees or shrubs, the ground temperatures where cool air collects can be 25 degrees cooler than areas without vegetation. This reduces heat reflected back into the exterior walls from the ground.
- Optimize your energy savings during the summer by planting trees or shrubs within 25 feet of your home’s west wall, which takes the brunt of summer sun in the afternoon hours. In Florida, planting trees to shade your home’s east and south walls will provide cooling benefits during other seasons, as well.
- Plant short shrubs, vines and ground cover close to your home to create a shady, dead-air zone immediately next to the exterior wall. This functions the same way as insulation, retarding heat transfer and air infiltration in and out of the house all year round.
- Plant a tree that is at least 6 feet high next to your home to provide window shading. In five to 10 years, it will mature sufficiently to provide roof shading and reduce attic temperatures. Slow-growing trees take longer to reach full shade potential, however, but they typically have longer life spans and root more permanently.
Since 1979, Robert R. McGill Air Conditioning is the name Palm Beach area homeowners associate with dependable, old-fashioned service and expertise. Call us for more advice on how landscaping can help keep your South Florida home cooler all year round.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Palm Beach County, Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Filed under: Landscaping
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