Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Marseille – Landscaping that is selected, placed and maintained can provide excellent wind protection, or windbreaks, which can significantly reduce home heating costs. Additionally, the benefits of these windbreaks will increase as the trees and shrubs grow. To use windbreaks effectively, you need to know which landscaping options will work best in your local climate and microclimate. Check out the Landscaping Saver 101 infographic for the best landscaping tips for your climate.
Windbreaks reduce heating costs by reducing the wind chill near your home. Wind chill is the temperature it “feels” like outside and is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by wind and cold. As the wind increases, the body cools at a faster rate and the skin temperature drops. For example, if the outside temperature is 10°F (-12°C) and the wind speed is 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour), the wind chill is -24°F (-31°C). A windbreak will reduce wind speed by as much as 30 times the windbreak. But for maximum protection, place your windbreak at a distance from your home between two and five times the height of the trees. The best windbreaks block wind near the ground by using trees and shrubs that have low crowns. Dense evergreen trees and shrubs planted to the north and northwest of the home are the most common form of windbreak. Trees, shrubs and bushes are often grouped together to block wind from ground level to the tree tops. Evergreen trees along with a wall, fence, or earth berm (natural or man-made walls or raised areas of soil) can slow or lift the wind over the home. Be careful not to plant seedlings too close to the south side of your home if you want to collect passive solar heat from the winter sun.
Energy-efficient Landscaping: Gardening Tips For Lowering Gas And Electricity Bills In Marseille
If snow tends to drift in your area, plant low shrubs on the windward side of your windbreak. The bushes will catch snow before it blows next to your home. Snow fences can also help catch snow.
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In addition to further windbreaks, planting shrubs, bushes and vines next to your house creates dead air spaces that protect your home in winter and summer. Plant so that there is at least 1 foot (30 centimeters) of space between fully grown plants and the wall of your home.
Summer breezes, especially at night, can have a cooling effect if used for home ventilation. However, if the winds are hot and your home is heated all summer, you may want to keep the summer winds from circulating near your home.
Subscribe to receive updates from Saver, including new blogs, updated content, and seasonal savings tips for consumers and homeowners. 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 can also reduce your heating and cooling costs. A well-placed tree, bush or vine can provide effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce your bills. Trees in careful placement can save up to 25% of the usual household usage.
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How you landscape for conservation depends on where you live. The United States can be roughly divided into four climate regions – temperate, hot-arid, hot-humid, and cool. See the map to find your climate zone. Below you will find landscaping strategies listed by region and in order of importance. In all areas, be sure to select trees, plants, shrubs, and landscaping techniques and practices that are well suited to your climate zone and local conditions.
The climate around your home is called a microclimate. When landscaping for efficiency, it’s important to consider your microclimate as well as your regional climate.
Your home’s microclimate may experience more sun, shade, wind, rain, snow, humidity, and/or dryness than typical local conditions. If your home is located on a sunny south slope, for example, it may have a warm microclimate, even if you live in a cool area. Or, even if you live in a hot-humid area, your home may be located in a comfortable microclimate due to the abundance of shade and dry breezes. Nearby bodies of water can increase the humidity of your site or reduce the air temperature. Microclimatic factors also help determine which plants may or may not grow in your landscape.
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Landscaping For Energy Efficiency
While other energy efficient options may seem out of reach due to upfront costs and lack of access, federal and state tax credits and incentives make it much more affordable for people to purchase energy efficient home products.
We’ve compiled a list of energy efficient conversations and helpful tips that will reach a range of budgets and lifestyles. No matter where you stand financially, there are simple ways to preserve a loving, thoughtful home for yourself, your wallet, and our planet!
A well-designed landscape is not only pleasing to the eye, but it can also reduce your overall heating and cooling costs. Just by adding energy-efficient landscaping to a shade-free yard, the US Department of Energy (DOE) found it can save up to 25% of energy compared to other homes.
Before diving into big landscaping decisions, find out the general climate zone in which you live. This will help determine the best energy saving strategies for your home. (Check out this climate zone map provided by the DOE).
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The beauty of drought tolerant plants is that they can (as the name suggests) survive in drought – as they need much less water to survive. These plants also tend to be disease and pest resistant, and they attract essential pollinators.
Consider incorporating these drought-resistant plants into xeriscaping, a landscaping option that can help reduce outdoor water use by up to 50%. Gardener’s Path has a great guide to help you choose the best drought tolerant plants for your lawn.
Depending on where you live, a strategically placed tree can help conserve energy within your home and provide a natural cooling effect around your property.
The DOE recommends planting tall shade trees as the best way to protect your home from the heat of the sun and those cold winter blasts. In the south, evergreen trees can protect your home all year round, and usually, in northern regions, it is better to use deciduous trees.
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A good rule of thumb is to keep more emphasis on native plants and trees. This will help to reduce the amount of water used for their maintenance.
Water usage will vary depending on the type of lawn you have. However, in general, setting your sprinkler systems to water your lawn in the morning (preferably before 10 a.m.) when temperatures are cooler) allows the water to penetrate the soil before it can to empty it.
Instead of powering your outdoor areas with your home’s electricity, opt for solar lights to illuminate your landscape at night. From pathway lights to string and holiday lights, you can use free energy from our generous sun to power your lawn without draining energy!
While you’re more likely to find gas-powered lawn mowers marketed to consumers, more and more electric options are offering people an alternative to building the lawns. In fact, states like California are banning the sale of new gas-powered lawn mowers to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
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Remember, though, where your power comes from affects just how clean and efficient your electric mower is (we’ll talk more about that in the next section).
According to the Green Building Alliance (GBA), 90% of roofs in the US are poorly designed and built with dark, non-reflective materials that absorb rather than reflect heat.
Traditional roof temperatures can be 90 to 100 degrees hotter than the natural temperature outside—which usually transfers into your attic and, ultimately, your home—according to GBA.
While good insulation helps protect your home from absorbing all that heat, having a dark, heat-absorbing roof makes it easier to transfer heat. into the loft. However, there are ways to reduce excess heat transfer so your air conditioners don’t have to work harder than they should.
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Exchange your dark, heat-absorbing roof with a “cool roof”—roofing material designed and constructed to reflect more heat than it absorbs.
The DOE provides an overview of cool roofs, but in general, choosing a metal roof is one of the most energy-efficient options for residential homes. They can last more than 50 years, not to mention that they require very little maintenance.
If you prefer the look of traditional roof shingles, look out for Energy Star certified roof shingles. In addition to federal tax credits and other incentives for energy efficient home products, some states also offer grants, incentives or credits.
Alternative residential energy solutions such as solar are sustainable, renewable and efficient. Although not readily understood as an option for everyone, the cost of installing solar panels to produce electricity for your home has decreased each year, according to the DOE.
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