landscape for shade

How to Landscape for Shade (And Lower Your Energy Bills)

Is your yard looking a little…well, boring? You might want to consider adding some shady dimension. In addition to jazzing up the look of your area, it will also keep you cool on those hot, sunny days.

However, landscaping a few shady spots outside your home can do more than just add beauty to your yard and cool you off. It’s also a sneaky way to save some money by fighting off sunlight and thus lowering your energy bill.

Here are a couple different landscaping tricks that can save you a few bucks. (Thank us later!)

1. Shade Your Outdoor AC Unit

If you place your AC unit directly out in the sun, it will heat up quickly. This constant heat will cause your system to work harder.

Luckily, some landscaping can help alleviate some heat from the sunlight. Because your unit needs sufficient room for airflow, you don’t want to suffocate your unit with bedding plants. However, it is a good idea to plant a tree or shrub nearby to add some shade (1).

2. Make the Breeze Come to You

Did you know that you can redirect outdoor airflow to cool down your home? Trees and plants can provide shade and usher in cool breezes. Shrubs planted underneath windows can bring air upward with the help of a nearby tree. Rows of trees and shrubs on each side of your home can allow cool air to enter your home as well (1, 4).

3. Add Some Greenery to Cover Your Roof and Walls

As you might guess, your roof absorbs the most solar heat because it takes in the most direct sunlight. But did you know that tall shady trees that block this sunlight can cut your energy bill by nearly 20% in the summer? That’s quite a bit!

The best way to do this is by planting tall trees on the south and west sides of your home. Deciduous trees with broad leaves and high, spreading crowns are an excellent pick if you’re looking to improve your energy bill for two reasons: they’ll shade your home in the summer, and they’ll allow sunlight to heat your home in the winter once the leaves fall. Win, win.

If you’re too impatient to wait for trees to grow, a great alternative is to opt for a pergola or trellis, draping it with fast-growing vines. Although this won’t provide as much shade for your roof, it will certainly provide ample shade for the walls of your home (and it will look nice!) (1,2).

4. Cool Off with a Splash

Okay, so this one doesn’t add any shade to your yard, but it does help cool down your area. Adding a water feature adds some fun dimension and can help lower your energy bill. If you have room for a fountain or pond, the evaporation from the water can actually help cool your yard (1).

5. Play Around with Bushes and Shrubs

In addition to adding a little style to your yard, bushes and shrubs strategically placed around your walls and windows can reduce some of the solar heat that creeps into your home. Try planting some alongside the walls of your house, switching up the heights and type each plant for lots of shade. Get creative with this! (3)

Give us a Call for Your HVAC Needs

We’re pretty well versed in the world of HVACs; that’s why there’s more where this article came from. In addition to helping you save on your energy bill through some neat landscaping tricks, we can help you save in lots of other ways.

If you have questions about your HVAC, or would like to schedule a regular maintenance visit, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Call the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure that your home is as comfortable as possible this summer: 859-491-4915.

Sources:

  1. http://www.improvenet.com/a/top-5-ways-landscaping-can-lower-your-energy-bill-in-the-summer
  2. https://energy.gov/energysaver/landscaping-shade
  3. https://colmanair.com/landscaping-tricks-for-lower-electricity-bills/
  4. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/351-cool-your-house-with-smart-landscaping/#.WZEAejOZP6Y
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