Greenscapes: Energy Efficient Landscaping

 


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When you landscape cautiously, you can save money by maximizing the energy efficiency of your home. This means that you can save money on heating and cooling costs by carefully planting trees, shrubs and even some grasses and vines. Landscaping can not only help decrease the amount of energy you use in both winter and summer, but can also provide an eye-pleasing surrounding for your home. This means that you can have an attractive home environment and save money on energy costs. And that is of interest to just about everyone.

When you carefully position your trees, you can save money in both summer and winter. Large deciduous trees are great additions to any home for this purpose. These trees have large leaves and create shade during the summer. They block the sun, and this reduces how much money is needed to cool the home. Vines growing on the house and shrubs near the home (protecting basement windows) only help further. Now, here is the great thing about deciduous trees: they lose their leaves in the fall. This means that as the leaves fall of during autumn, they let more sunlight in. This means that natural light and even some warmth from the sun will filter into your house during the winter, lowering heating costs. And the best part about these trees is that an eight foot tall deciduous tree costs about the same amount as a window awning for one large window. You can have the beauty of nature protect you and save you money in a way that an awning very could.

Another reason that landscape design with special attention to tree placement is a wise choice is the fact that they act as windbreaks. Without the wind whipping around the house, there is less energy used for heating. There is not even a need to place trees all around the house to achieve energy savings in windy areas. Simply plant trees on the windward side of the house. This will act as a barrier and can result in you spending a quarter less for your energy bill if you live in an area with high winds. In some areas, the savings increased to one third. Fences can also act as windbreaks, as do some other landscape elements.

The United States Department of Energy estimates that energy savings due to the proper placement of just three trees can be between $100 and $250 for the average household. This means that with a properly designed landscape your initial investment can be returned in less than eight years. If you are buying a home, it is a good idea to choose one with energy efficient landscaping. Then you can experience that savings, and still add other features to make the landscape your own.

Proper landscaping also results in other benefits that many people associate with types of conservation. You can reduce air and noise pollution around your home with landscape. Greenscape elements actually absorb sound, and so if you have plants around your house you can actually help block the sound of a nearby road. Additionally, plants are natural air cleaners. While they will not completely rid the air of harmful pollutants, they can create a little pocket of cleaner air around your home, and that can reduce costs due to respiratory illness.

Energy use related to caring for a landscape can also be reduced with a carefully planned out landscape. When you have features that reduce lawn space, you do not have to use as much water to keep it healthy. Additionally, if you set up an automatic sprinkler system, you can save money in electricity to run it and water used by sensibly setting the times for two or three times a week for fifteen minutes at each station.

Carlo Morelli is an author and contributer to OnlineTips.Org , where you can find info on Organic Landscaping .

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