Everyone wants to live comfortably and save money. Did you know that strategic landscaping can do the trick?
A well laid-out landscape around your home is a measure that can be taken to solve two prevalent homeowner problems: appearance and affordability. You want your home to appear desirable while, at the same time, wanting your home to be energy-efficient and, ultimately, cost less to maintain. Depending on the climate your home falls in, choosing a suitable landscaping strategy can be the difference between loving your living space or loathing it…
Know your Regional Climates
In the same way that you wouldn’t bake a cake without knowing the proper ingredients or process, you shouldn’t begin a landscaping project without having the proper strategy in place. A key component to energy-efficient landscaping is understanding the regional climate, the average temperature and weather behaviors, that your home is located in. The United States can be broken down into four main regional climate types: temperate, hot-arid, hot-humid, and cool region.
Having this knowledge not only allows you to better understand the temperature and seasonal changes around your home but also how best to respond to those seasonal changes and make the appropriate decisions for your home. To learn which regional climate your home belongs to, view this climate map.
As you take your regional climate into account, here are some general energy-saving tips when it comes to landscaping:
Maximize Shade (during warmer temperatures)
In regions that get a large amount of sun exposure, like the hot-arid state of Arizona or even temperate regions like Maryland and Virginia, maximizing the amount of shade covering your home is vital. Heat from the sun can get absorbed through windows, roofs, and walls, causing the internal temperature of your home to increase significantly. This causes an increase in cooling bills, as your cooling system attempts to offset this rise in temperature.
Shading is a method used to block solar heat from making direct contact to your home and can reduce temperatures surrounding your home by as much as 6 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Trees are a great tool for shading, as they not only provide shading but also come in various sizes and densities to cover the amount of space you feel needs to be protected from the sun. However, it is recommended that deciduous trees be planted in most regions, as their behavior (seasonally growing and shedding leaves) effectively blocks solar heat during warmer seasons but allows greater sunlight in during cooler seasons.
Consider Adding Windbreaks (during colder temperatures)
Planting trees and shrubs around your home (as well as at a distance from your home) can form strong windbreaks and be an effective landscaping strategy that helps cut heating costs when temperatures outside begin to drop. A windbreak is something that blocks lowers windchill, the temperature that it may feel like outdoors based on the rate of heat loss from skin, traveling at high wind speeds. By blocking these wind chills, your home is less exposed to colder temperatures and allows your heating system to do its job without outdoor effects.
Understand your Micro-Climate
Another factor that can contribute to the landscaping methods taken at your home is the micro-climate. This differs from regional climates, as it describes the climate conditions specific to the area closely surrounding your home. Micro-climates take into account a smaller amount of space and are specific to your home only, meaning that they can differ from the average conditions in your region. For example, you could live in a region that is mostly hot-arid (more sun exposure and drier land), however your home may be situated next to a large lake, thus, allowing for a greater amount of cool breeze to make its way to your micro-climate.
Micro-climates are influenced by a variety factors (e.g. the amount of sun, rain, shade, moisture, wind and snow you experience) and should be taken into account when considering any of the above landscaping tips.
Great landscaping can help make your home more energy-efficient and cost-efficient. However, understanding the best ways to maintain your home can be hard…let Cameron Home Insulation give you a hand! Our professionals have been serving homeowners for over 100 years and are dedicated to helping you get it right. For more information about home energy efficiency and savings, here are some Cameron resources!
For more tips on how to keep your home cool while also saving energy, give us a call today at give us a call today at (443) 459-5800.