While we love home solar systems for saving money and reducing energy demand from the grid, it’s not the only way to lower the impact of your home and reduce your cost of living. There are number of other energy saving solutions, both solar and non-solar, that fall under the scope of home improvement projects, but sometimes, it’s the most down-to-earth strategies that can end up putting money back in your pocket.
Well-designed landscaping is one example of a potentially energy saving tactic for homeowners, but all too often, the default choice of landscaping is, well, default. The landscaping design of an older home is inherited with the house, and is probably based on archaic notions of beauty and meant to fit in with the rest of the neighborhood when it was built. And many new homes come with a bare-bones “default” landscape, which isn’t usually designed and installed with an eye toward saving energy and reducing utility bills, and is usually one of the last things people consider when looking at buying a home.
But by establishing a well-designed landscape that is suited to the regional climate and local weather conditions, homeowners can end up saving money on home energy costs, reducing the amount of water use, buffering their home from noise and air pollution, and staying more comfortable inside and out of the house. According to Energy.gov, a smart landscape design can reduce a home’s air conditioning costs by as much as 50%, planting windbreaks on three sides of a house can cut fuel consumption by 40%, and well-designed landscaping can pay for itself in less than 8 years.
Here’s a great infographic from Energy.gov that illustrates some energy saving landscaping tips:
Installing suitable energy saving landscaping as part of a home energy makeover can end up putting money back in your pocket, especially in conjunction with a solar energy system, because by reducing overall home energy demand, those solar panels will end up being much more effective in meeting your home’s energy needs.
April 9, 2014
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