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Energy Efficient Landscaping

A pretty backyard can only go so far. Many experts have proven that energy efficient landscaping that takes into consideration energy needs, may well save a family more then 30% of their

usual heat or cooling costs - either in the winter or summer. These savings could tangibly translate to almost $250 worth of savings in a year.

So how does one accomplish energy efficient landscaping? There are various things that can be considered in both existing and soon-to-be-developed landscapes.

What About the Sun?

One of the key considerations in energy efficient landscaping includes the various weather conditions that prevail in the area. This means taking into consideration where the sun shines and what path the sunlight takes. A house's walls and foundations, when hit directly by the sun, will absorb almost 90% of the sun's heat, thereby increasing the burden on the air-conditioning or cooling system to keep the house cool.

Plant large, deciduous trees and evergreens on the south-west side of your home this will create a natural shade landscaping design and a wall of protection from the sun's pounding rays. The deciduous trees will lose their leaves in the winter allowing the sun's warming rays to heat your home.

You will also want the warm rays of the sun to heat the hardscape surrounding your home this will also increase the heat levels inside the home.

Create A Wind Break

One of the primary contributors to lowering home temperatures is the wind that blows through the house. Especially in the winter, this wind is particularly sinister as the wind chill is much colder than the normal atmospheric temperature in the area.

Plants that serve as effective windbreaks include evergreens or trees in general. In fact, even fences placed in strategic locations can serve as windbreaks.

Keeping Your Home Cool or Warm

One of the most important ways comfortable home temperatures can be achieved is by making sure the attic, walls, windows and doors are properly insulated. Having double pained windows and gaskets around openings such as vents can also help. By keeping up on home maintenance this will help decrease the possibility of giving away valuable warm or cool air.

Another way to help is through your energy effecient landscaping with thick shrubbery close to the home creating a natural barrier. This barrier should be close but leave a small space between the walls and the plants creating a dead air barrier. By communicating with your landscape architect your intentions he will know the best distance between home and shrubbery for this dead air barrier to be the most effective.

The end result of your planning should be not only a beautifully landscaped yard, but one that is also energy efficient. Energy effiecient landscaping will save you money and one you can enjoy for years to come.