Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Bordeaux – The map below shows the four broadest categories of climate zones for the 49 United States. Understanding your climate zone can help you determine the best landscaping strategies for your home.

A well-designed landscape can not only add beauty to your home, but it can also reduce your heating and cooling costs. A well-placed tree, shrub, or vine can provide effective shade, act as a windbreak, and lower your bills. Carefully placed trees can save up to 25% of typical household usage.

Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Bordeaux

Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Bordeaux

How to maintain a landscape depends on where you live. The United States can be roughly divided into four climate zones—temperate, hot-dry, hot-humid, and cold. Look at the map to find your climate zone. Below you’ll find landscaping strategies listed by area and in order of importance. In all areas, be sure to select trees, plants, shrubs, and landscaping methods and practices that are appropriate for your climate zone and local conditions.

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The climate around your home is called its microclimate. When landscaping for efficiency, it’s important to consider your microclimate as well as your regional climate.

Your home’s microclimate may receive more sun, shade, wind, rain, snow, humidity, and/or dryness than average local conditions. If your home is on a sunny south slope, for example, it may have a warm microclimate, even if you live in a cool area. Or, even though you live in a hot humid area, your home may be in a comfortable microclimate due to plenty of shade and dry breezes. Nearby water can increase the humidity of your site or lower its air temperature. Microclimatic factors also play a role in determining which plants will or will not grow in your landscape.

Sign up to receive updates from Saver, including new blogs, updated content and seasonal savings tips for consumers and homeowners. Homes are responsible for about a quarter of all the energy used in the US today. Energy-efficient home improvements are becoming more popular as people realize that the choices they make have an impact on their environment. Of course, there are also savings when you use less energy. What many homeowners don’t realize is that landscaping choices can improve a home’s energy efficiency.

Knowing how to make your home more energy efficient​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​with the world, it is useful to know how to make your home more energy efficient​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ The location of plants around the house can change the hyperlocal climate, retain heat, block sunlight and protect from wind. As one example, blocking the cold draft can save a homeowner up to 25% on heating costs.

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Energy landscaping techniques vary depending on the type of climate. The US Department of Energy allows homeowners to make smart landscaping choices by dividing the country into four main climate types:

Knowing how to improve climate-friendly energy efficiency will help you get the most out of your landscaping.

For a cold region, the primary goal is to reduce heating costs in the winter. Learn the main winter wind direction and use plants as windbreaks to keep colder air out of the house. Keep the south side of the house clear of tall plants so you can get warm from the winter sunlight.

Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Bordeaux

Cold states have hot summers, so consider adding plants that shade the house. You can use deciduous trees along south-facing walls to block the summer sun but let in heat in the winter when they have lost their leaves.

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Most of the cold rules also apply in temperate regions, although winters are not as cold. While blocking winter winds, you can also use plants to block warm summer winds. Use tall plants to shade the roof to reduce air conditioning costs in the summer.

The Southwest can get very hot in the summer, so shade is essential. Use tall plants and trees to shade the walls and roof. Use lots of plants near the house to take advantage of the release of water that creates a cooler microclimate. For a cooling effect, use plants to move breezes into the house or vice versa if you rely heavily on air conditioning.

In the southeast, you can keep the house cooler in the summer by directing the winds towards it. Shade also helps keep the house cool, but use trees that allow some light to enter the house in the winter to reduce heating costs. Avoid planting too many beds too close to the house, as this can make it even more humid and uncomfortable.

Some rules apply to most areas regardless of climate. For example, if you have an air conditioner, use plants to shade it. This can increase efficiency by 10% or more. If your home gets too hot in the summer, use plants to shade the windows. Homes absorb more heat through windows than through walls. If you have a black driveway, shade it with plants. Heat absorbed by the driveway can return to the house.

Gardening In The Shade

When using plants as winter windbreaks, choose evergreens or shrubs. Where you plant is also important. The distance from the house should be about two to five times the height of the plants. The most effective windbreak covers the windward side of the house, but also covers the corners for more building protection. Want to lower your utility bills? Energy-efficient landscaping can make your home more comfortable while conserving vital natural resources. Landscape water use accounts for about 30 percent of residential water use. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that approximately 50 percent of outdoor water is wasted due to over-irrigation, runoff, and evaporation. In addition to making your property more attractive, growing the right trees, grasses and plants is good for both your wallet and the planet.

Shade landscaping is the most cost-effective way to reduce your home’s air conditioning costs. Adding energy-efficient landscaping to a shade garden can create significant savings — anywhere from 15 to 50 percent. Daytime temperatures can be up to 6 degrees cooler in areas with shady trees than in shaded areas.

But which trees should you plant? Consider your shade needs. Deciduous trees shed their leaves in the fall and are dormant in the winter. Thus, deciduous trees, such as oak, maple, and hickory, block the sun’s energy mainly during the spring and summer months. Evergreen trees never shed their leaves and provide shade throughout the year. If you live in a hotter and/or drier part of the country, evergreen trees may be more desirable than their deciduous counterparts.

Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Bordeaux

Trees of sufficient height and age can provide enough shade to reduce the temperature of your walls and roof by up to 20 degrees. To shade your exterior walls and windows, the trees you plant should be 6 to 8 feet tall. If cared for, these trees should shade your roof for five to 10 years.

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Plant shade trees in the south and southwest of your home. So your home will reflect 70 to 90 percent of the summer sun. Trees with crowns lower to the ground are best for shading the west side of your home from the afternoon sun.

Finally, if you need more shade, consider an arbor or arbor planted with shrubs and vines. Planting shrubs and groundcover plants around your home’s foundation will also cool the air around your home’s foundation.

Xeriscaping – landscaping with plants that use less water – can reduce your outdoor water use by up to 50 percent. You can reduce the amount of yard and lawn real estate taken up by thirsty weeds by considering alternatives such as planting beds, wildflowers, and bark mulch beds. Adding a deck, patio, and/or a series of stone or gravel walking paths are all great xeriscaping solutions for your yard.

If you’re just weeding, replant with drought-tolerant grasses like Buffalo or Bermuda. Be sure to aerate your soil to improve water flow to your plants’ root systems, promote absorption, and prevent overwatering. Combine plants that need water. Virtually any plant can be part of a xeriscape if it is grouped appropriately. Finally, remember that the best plants for xeriscaping vary by region, so check with your local nursery or cooperative extension for expert advice.

How Much Does Landscaping Cost?

Changing your landscape is just one part of making your lawn and yard more efficient. Homeowners also need to start caring for and maintaining their landscaping differently.

Water wisely and water deeply—that is, water only when your plants need it. During the growing season, most grasses only need about 1 inch of water per week. Water in the morning or evening when the temperature is cooler and evaporation is less likely. Consider replacing your sprinklers with sprinklers that deliver water directly to your plant’s root systems. Mulch around the base of your trees and shrubs to retain moisture. Finally, reduce watering in the fall and start again in the spring if needed.

Mow higher and more often. Raise the blade of your lawnmower and avoid scratching your lawn. Areas of taller grass shade each other and retain more water. Grass cut too short dries quickly. For healthy growth, mow your lawn once a week during the growing season.

Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Bordeaux

Apply mulch.

Energy Efficient Landscape Designs That Can Cut Power Bills

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