How much do you spend per month in residential utility bills? While energy prices vary drastically from one state to the next, the average U.S. homeowner spends approximately $2,200 on home energy per year!
You can reduce these costs by upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, but a lesser-known technique involves landscaping.
Landscaping and Energy Usage
No, that’s not a typo. Landscaping really can reduce your home’s energy usage. Most homeowners maintain a well-manicured landscape for aesthetic reasons, as it promotes a vibrant and attractive curb appeal. But it may also have a positive impact on the home’s energy usage, blocking out sunlight and wind (among other things).
According to the government-run website Energy.gov, growing the right type of trees in the right locations can save up to 25% of the energy used in a typical home. Over the course of a year, those savings can easily add up to several hundred dollars.
Deciduous vs Evergreen Trees for Energy-Efficiency
One of the decisions you’ll have to make when adding trees to your landscape is whether to choose deciduous or evergreen specimens. Evergreen trees offer continuous shade throughout the year, as they don’t shed their leaves. Deciduous, on the other hand, work to block solar heat during the summer while allowing sunlight in during the winter. This makes deciduous trees the preferred choice in terms of energy efficiency.
Of course, the effectiveness of your landscape’s trees in blocking solar heat relies heavily on where they are grown. Deciduous trees are generally best grown in the southern end of your home. Here they can block out 70-90% of the summer sun. And when the fall/winter seasons roll around, they will shed their leaves to allow sunlight in.
Trees do more than just block out sunlight; they can also block out wind. Certain varieties of trees are particularly effective at blocking out the wind, such as pine, oak, cypress, and camphor. Consider growing a “windbreak” of these trees around your home.
You might be wondering how long it will take a deciduous tree to grow? Depending on the particular variety, you can expect a young sapling to reach the roof of a single-story dwelling within 5-10 years. Once it achieves this height, however, it will constantly work to lower your home’s energy usage, assuming it’s grown in the right area.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or