When it comes to keeping their homes energy efficient, people generally consider installing better insulation, replacing old doors or windows, laying down weatherstripping, buying an attic fan or investing in an Energy Star certified heating and cooling system. While all of these options are effective in both lowering utility bills and reducing energy consumption, there’s another option very few people consider – landscaping.
In addition to making your yard more beautiful and improving your home’s curb appeal, expert landscaping can work to your benefit in a whole other way – helping to improve your property’s energy efficiency.
You can maximize shade by planting trees in areas of your yard that will create shade during the hottest parts of the day. In order to determine where this landscaping needs to go, you’ll have to find out exactly where shadows fall in your yard during these times. Also, keep driveways, walkways and sidewalks in mind. In addition to keeping walkways cool enough for bare feet, shading these areas will reduce heat transfer into your home.
Finally, look for trees with spreading crowns as these will offer the largest amount of shade in a homeowner’s yard, and remember that slower-growing trees are usually sturdier and live longer than fast-growing trees. However, keep in mind that only certain species will thrive in our San Joaquin Valley climate – so do plenty of research before you invest in new landscaping.
Simple rule of thumb – try to shade west and south facing walls, but be sure to plan ahead, as you don’t want trees that grow too tall if Solar is in your future!
If you have any additional questions about seasonal home comfort and energy efficiency, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the Fresno area for over four decades and would love to assist you with your home cooling needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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