Beautifying the landscape of your home can also cut energy costs significantly through a well-planned thoughtful design. Planting trees, shrubs, vines, grasses and hedges can help your home’s energy efficiency through reducing the effect that wind, rain, and heat have on your energy bills.
Smart landscaping can: significantly cut your seasonal costs, protect your home from the elements, reduce the consumption and waste of water, chemicals and lawn maintenance, and help control pollution and noise.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a landscaping by your regional climate chart which has recommendations on how to landscape according to where you live. Primary ways that landscaping can affect your energy bills is by strategically placing trees for windbreaks and shading.
According to the DOE properly selected and placed landscaping can provide excellent protection, or windbreaks, which will reduce heating costs considerably. A windbreak can lower the windchill near your home. A windbreak will reduce wind speed for a distance of as much as 30 times the windbreaks height.
Heat projected by the sun absorbed through windows and roofs can increase your air conditioning use. Incorporating shade in strategically placed trees can reduce this heat gain, reducing your costs. Air temperatures directly under trees can be as much as 25 degrees cooler than air temperatures above nearby blacktop. Trees can be selected with size and density in mind to effectively protect your house.