When it comes to a good landscape, your return on investment can go beyond curb appeal. A good landscape can also help reduce your power bills throughout the year. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reports shade trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually.
Atlanta is in a temperate region, which means we get all four seasons. An energy-efficient landscape plan maximizes the sun’s warmth during the winter and the cooling effect of shade during the summer. Here are some handy tips on how strategic landscaping can reduce your electric bill:
- Deciduous trees often provide more seasonal benefits than evergreens, as leaves create shade in the summer and bare branches let sunlight through in the winter. Evergreens planted on the south side of a house will block the sun’s warming rays during the winter.
- The most energy-efficient place to create summer shade is on the west side of your home. Choose a deciduous tree that will be planted approximately 30 feet from the window and will grow at least 10 feet taller than the window.
- Planting a line of shrubs 12-14 inches around the perimeter of your home helps insulate the house during the winter and summer months.
- Trees and shrubs planted on the north or northwest side of the house can create a windbreak, reducing winter drafts inside the home.
- Machines run better at cooler temperatures, including your HVAC unit. Consider shading your heating and air unit with trees, plants or hardscape so it will be less likely to overheat. Make sure not to overcrowd the unit, as the object providing shade should be at least three feet away.
There is a lot to consider when choosing the perfect tree for your landscape, including the function, placement and design. The lifecycle of the tree also needs to be taken into consideration, so the tree can provide benefits well into maturity. Need help selecting the right tree for your landscape? Click here for tips on selecting the perfect tree for your needs.
Once you’ve invested in the right tree, we’re here to keep it healthy. Consider our winter pruning to maintain the health and value of the trees in your landscape.