With Spring right around the corner, many of us are thinking about Spring Cleaning- both inside the house and out. Whether you want to spruce things up or save on energy bills, check out the Landscaping Tips to Save Money. Are you planning on landscaping this year? I was shocked to find out that proper landscaping can reduce household bills. A well designed landscape will pay for itself in less than 8 years.
Landscaping doesn’t only add beauty to your home, but it can also improve your home’s comfort and lower your energy bills. According Arbor Day Foundation, trees not only drop the temperature by about 20 to 40 degrees in the summer, but they also cut the amount of energy used for heating a household by 20 to 50 percent. Energy.gov offers money saving tips LANDSCAPING FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOMES. The energy-conserving landscape strategies you use depends on where you live. Pennsylvania falls into the category Cool Region.
- Use dense windbreaks to protect the home from cold winter winds.
- Allow the winter sun to reach south-facing windows.
- Shade south and west windows and walls from the direct summer sun, if summer overheating is a problem.
My husband owns a Landscaping Business, Lawn and Order, so I was able to use some of his photos as examples on landscaping tips to save you money.
3 Landscaping Tips to Save Money
Landscaping for Shade
Planting the right trees conserves energy and reduces your energy bills, while helping to fight climate change. But make sure you plan them in the right place. A study published in the journal Energy and Buildings found that shade trees planted on the south and west sides of a building lowered homeowners’ utility bills, while those planted on the east side had no effect and those on the north actually cost them money in the long run. Plant trees to shade your air conditioner to help keep it cooler and running more efficiently.
- Use less energy for yourself and your utlity company.
- Less fossil fuel is consumed by the utility to create the energy, which means less carbon dioxide emissions.
- Trees shade patios, sidewalks, and driveways, cool the concrete, the entire yard, and even the neighborhood
Below are pictures that my husband took while working on a job to plant Evergreen trees at a lake house to provide shade to the front of the house.
Landscaping for Windbreaks
A windbreak reduces heating costs by lowering the wind chill near your home. It also creates dead air space that insulates your home in the summer and winter.
Windbreaks also provide:
- A barrier from sounds, sights, and smells
- Protection for livestock
- An aesthetically pleasing landscape element
- Wildlife habitat.
Take a look at the image below of windbreaks being planted.
Landscaping for Water Conservation
According to the Agriculture Department, mulch offers many benefits such as protecting land from soil erosion and reduces compaction from heavy rains. Mulch also reduces your water bill by eliminating the need to frequently water and it protects your plants from weed growth and deter insects. Environmental Protection Agency suggests incorporating native lants into your landscaping plans since native plants also reduce the need for fertilizers, pesticides and water.
Here are some examples of native plants below.
–orchids: are native plants. They are known for the beauty and strong fragrance. These plants produce lots of seeds. Orchids can survive long without water.
–Bougainvilles: is a native plant. It grows in the form of a vine, shrub or tree. The colours of these plants can come in red, orange and white.
–Bengal Bamboo: is a native plant. it can grow between 40 to 80 feet in height and 3 inches in diameter. This plant reduces soil erosion and creates a shelter for animals.
–Figs: is a native plant. lots of animals such as gibbons, pigeons, fruit eating bats, hornbills and monkeys eat food from a fig tree.
Check out the before and after pictures of a landscaping job my husbands’ business completed last year.
Energy.gov explains how Xeriscaping, a systematic method of promoting water conservation in landscaped areas, can be used to help conserve water. Here are seven basic xeriscaping principles:
- Planning and design. Provides direction and guidance, mapping your water and energy conservation strategies, both of which will be dependent upon your regional climate and microclimate.
- Selecting and zoning plants appropriately. Bases your plant selections and locations on those that will flourish in your regional climate and microclimate. Always group plants with similar water needs together.
- Limiting turf areas. Reduces the use of bluegrass turf, which usually requires a lot of supplemental watering. Consider substituting a turf grass that uses less water than bluegrass.
- Improving the soil. Enables soil to better absorb water and to encourage deeper roots.
- Irrigating efficiently. Encourages using the irrigation method that waters plants in each area most efficiently.
- Using mulches. Keeps plant roots cool, minimizes evaporation, prevents soil from crusting, and reduces weed growth.
- Maintaining the landscape. Keeps plants healthy through weeding, pruning, fertilizing, and controlling pests.
More Landscaping Tips to Save Money can be found on on LANDSCAPING FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOMES
Getting Kids involved with Earth Day Activities
Celebrate Earth Day and get the kids involved in the planning landscaping planning process. The Arbor Day Foundation has a great website to teach kids about the life of a tree. Our school gives out tress in the Spring to the kids, but you can become a Member of the Arbor Day Foundation Memberships for only $10 and Get 10 Free Trees. Choose 10 trees that grow well where you live, and they will send them to you to plant in your yard. You can also choose to send the trees directly to someone else.
*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities. I am a Project Envolve Ambassador and have received product/compensation to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Visit PPL Electric Utilities Pinterest boards for more money and energy-saving tips!