Landscaping Choices That Improve Energy Savings
Energy savings inside your home may depend upon what’s growing outside. Careful landscape design and selection of plants on your property directly influence how your home interacts with the local climate. Factors such as heating and cooling costs, consistent interior comfort and environmental impact are all to some degree affected by landscaping. The climate zone of your home, in turn, influences the landscaping choices that will result in maximum energy savings.
In Delaware’s northeastern climate, you benefit from planting deciduous trees on the south and west sides of the home. These trees shade the house in summer to reduce the load on your air conditioner but lose their leaves in winter and admit solar warmth to reduce heating costs. Trees, hedges or large shrubs are helpful on the north and northwest edge of the property to serve as a windbreak and minimize heat loss to winter winds.
Here are some statistics, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, to make the case for landscape choices that improve energy savings:
- One tree correctly positioned for energy savings can reduce heating and cooling energy consumption by as much as 25 percent.
- A yard shaded by trees will be as much as 6 degrees cooler than an unshaded yard and up to 25 degrees cooler than pavement.
- The efficiency of your home’s air conditioner can be increased by over 10 percent by shading the roof.
- Three trees properly positioned to shade your house can reduce your cooling bill by as much as 50 percent.
- Winter heating costs can be cut by as much as 30 percent by an effective windbreak.
- Bushes and shrubs planted approximately a foot from exterior walls of your home create an insulating air space that prevents heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
- Grass and other groundcover cools by evaporation from the plants, keeping the immediate environment including nearby walls of the home up to 15 degrees cooler.
Sobieski Services puts creative ways to maximize energy savings and interior comfort at the forefront. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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