Landscaping

A well-designed landscape can help protect your home from winter wind and summer sun, and effectively reduce your energy costs year-round.

Smart Landscaping

Smart landscaping is an easy, cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing way to lower your home energy costs. Strategically positioned trees can save up to 25% of a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling. Shading an air conditioning unit can increase its efficiency by up to 10%. On average, a well-designed landscape creates enough energy savings to pay for itself in less than 8 years.

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  • Climates & Microclimates

    Climates & Microclimates

    Climates & Microclimates

    Specific landscaping strategies and planting tips will vary by region and microclimate. A microclimate is a small or large area where the climate differs from the surrounding area, and impacts the type of plants that can grow in your landscape.

  • Windbreaks

    Windbreaks

    Windbreaks

    A windbreak reduces heating costs by lowering the wind chill around your home. It also insulates your home in the summer and winter.

  • Shade

    Shade

    Shade

    Planting trees, bushes or shrubs to shade windows, roofs and air conditioners helps reduce solar heat gain in your home, surrounding air temperatures and overall energy costs.

You probably welcome the heat from the sun on those cold winter days, however, in the summer that solar heat can cause air conditioners to work harder and contribute to higher costs on your energy bill. Planting trees, bushes or shrubs outside your home to shade windows, roofs and air conditioners can reduce surrounding air temperatures and help keep energy costs down. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, shading an air conditioner can increase its efficiency by as much as 10%. The best type of tree to use will depend on your shading needs and the size, density and shape of the tree.

front of suburban house with large tree in front yard

You can block the wind chill from your house and reduce heating costs in the winter by planting trees and shrubs around your home to create windbreaks. The most common type of windbreak is planted to the north and northwest of the home using dense trees with low crowns that block wind close to the ground. Windbreaks planted two to five times the mature height of the trees away from the home will provide maximum wind chill protection. You can also plant shrubs, bushes and vines closer (leaving at least 1 foot of space between the full-grown plant and your house) to create dead air spaces that insulate your home in both winter and summer.

front yard of house with bushes and trees in yard
Start designing your energy-saving property.