Redoing your backyard? These tips could save you A LOT of energy in the future

03 July 2024- School is out and hotter temperatures are here to stay. That means you’re likely spending more time working and playing outdoors. There’s also a chance you’re running your air conditioning or turning on a fan inside to cool down after. Did you know there are more ways to cool your home?

Sprucing up your outdoor space with well-placed landscaping can help you control the temperature inside and save money on your energy bill. On average, a well-designed landscape can provide enough energy savings to return your initial investment in less than eight years. 

Here are a few ideas to help get you started: 

1. Plant some trees

Trees planted in the right spot can save up to 25% of household energy consumption, according to the Department of Energy. That’s between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually. Plus, they can reduce surrounding air temperatures by as much as six degrees.

It’s important to know what kind of tree to plant and where to plant it to get the maximum benefits. If you’re looking to block the summer sun but let it shine in during the winter, use deciduous trees. In the summer, they’ll provide shade from their leaves and in the winter the leaves will fall and allow sunlight to help warm your home while blocking the wind. It’s best to plant them on the south side of your home to shade your roof and the west side to block the lower late afternoon sun.

2. Consider other plants

Other plants, like shrubs, bushes and groundcover, can also be effective. These plants reduce heat radiation and cool the air before it reaches your home. A trellis or lattice can also serve as a great way to shade walls along your home and patio.  

3. Shade your equipment

Providing shade around your air conditioning unit can help it run more efficiently by at least 10%. Be sure to keep plants at least three feet away and keep the unit free of debris to ensure good air flow around it. 

More Tips for Around the Yard

In addition to taking energy-saving steps for your landscaping, there are ways to keep energy use in check around your yard. Keep these ideas in mind:

1. Check your irrigation system

Did you know an irrigation system that has a leak about the thickness of a dime can waste almost 6,500 gallons of water each month? That’s why a little maintenance goes a long way. 

Be sure to water during the coolest parts of the day and only water when your lawn needs it. Move any sprinklers that are watering something unnecessary, like the driveway. 

2. Save with lighting

Consider using LEDs to light up your space instead of traditional bulbs. Photoelectric controls or timers can help ensure outdoor lighting is turned off during the day.

3. Invest in an efficient pool pump

Do you have a pool? Your pool pump could be costing you as much as $270 in energy costs each year. Check out pool pumps that have earned the ENERGY STAR®. They use 18% less energy than standard pool pumps and can save you more than $300 in energy costs over the pump’s lifetime, according to ENERGY STAR.