How a Well-Landscaped Yard Can Cut Your Home’s Heating and Cooling Costs

We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about how you can improve your Southern California home’s energy efficiency. But, did you know that a well-landscaped yard can cut your home’s heating and cooling costs.

But one topic we haven’t yet covered is how properly landscaping your yard can actually cut your heating and cooling costs.

That’s right – the what you plant and where you plant in your yard can make a huge difference. We’ll show you how.

Plant Deciduous Shade Trees

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The sun transfers heat into your home through walls, windows and the roof. So one of the best ways to use your landscaping to decrease air conditioning costs in the summer is by strategically planting shade trees around your home.

Carefully planned shade trees can cut your energy bills by as much as 25% a year. Here are three places shade trees can make a big dent in your cooling costs.

To the west of your home:
By planting deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves in the winter) to the west of your home, you can shade your home from the setting sun in the summer and still allow it to heat your home in the winter.

The trees should be planted far enough from your home that the branches won’t touch the roof and the roots won’t interfere with your foundation when they are full grown.

To shade your roof:
While the trees planted to the west of your home should be lower-growing so they can block the setting sun, you can also plant larger trees to the south of your home.

These trees should be taller so they can shade your roof from the summer sun during the day.

Near pavement:
Concrete, blacktop and other pavement absorbs heat and radiates it back toward your home. Shading these areas can help reduce the heat gain to your home.

Consider a Trellis

Vines on a trellis can also shade and cool your home while still allowing adequate airflow. And the Southern California climate can be great for many different kinds of vines.

You can use a vine and trellis:

  • On or over a patio
  • Covering a concrete or block fence

Look at Your Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner functions more efficiently if it is shaded. You can also use a vine and trellis, tree or shrub to shade the area around your air conditioner.

However, for proper airflow, you should also make sure all shrubs and plants are at least three feet away from your air conditioner.

Save Even More

Properly landscaping your home will give you the most return on your investment when your heating and air conditioning equipment are already efficient. So make sure you are also keeping them properly maintained.

Have you planted trees or other landscaping to improve your home’s energy efficiency? Tell us how it worked out for you on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Service Champions serves the air conditioning and heating needs of the residents of Orange, LA, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Contact us for more information.