Land­scap­ing can save en­ergy

The Enterprise - - Real Estate - Metro Cre­ative

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Department of En­ergy, well-de­signed land­scapes can save home­own­ers enough en­ergy to make the projects pay for them­selves in less than eight years. The DOE notes that home­own­ers’ land­scap­ing strate­gies should be dic­tated by the cli­mates in which they live. For ex­am­ple, home­own­ers who live in hot, arid re­gions should em­ploy land­scapes to shade their homes’ walls, win­dows and roof, while those who live in cool re­gions should make sure their land­scapes are not block­ing the win­ter sun from reach­ing their homes’ south-fac­ing win­dows.

The DOE also ad­vises that shad­ing is the most cost-ef­fec­tive way to re­duce so­lar heat gain in a home, not­ing that well-planned land­scapes can re­duce pre­vi­ously un­shaded homes’ air con­di­tion­ing costs by as much as 50 per­cent. The DOE also notes that, in tree-shaded neigh­bor­hoods, the sum­mer day­time air tem­per­a­ture can be up to six degrees cooler than the air tem­per­a­ture in tree­less ar­eas.

Home­own­ers con­sid­er­ing adding trees to their land­scapes should know that de­cid­u­ous trees shed their leaves an­nu­ally, which means they will block so­lar heat in the sum­mer but al­low sun­light into the home in win­ter. That’s ideal for home­own­ers who live in re­gions where tem­per­a­tures climb in sum­mer­time but drop con­sid­er­ably in win­ter. Home­own­ers who want year-round shade might con­sider ev­er­green trees and shrubs.

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