Autumn is an excellent time of year to start working on a landscaping plan to maximize the efficiency of your home’s insulation. In fact, one of the best ways to boost the energy efficiency of your home involves what you do outside of your house.
As you design your yard and garden this year, keep the following tips in mind to significantly lower your heating and cooling costs:
- Shade your west wall. During the summer months, insulation against the sun's rays is the most important factor in boosting your home's energy efficiency. Though the east side of your house gets plenty of sun early in the day, it is probably not necessary to plant trees there since the air is not significantly heated in the morning. Neither is it worthwhile to block the sun’s afternoon rays to the south, since there is minimal heating at such a steep angle. The best strategy for home insulation is to plant trees along the west side of your house. This ensures that the summertime sun is blocked during the afternoon—the hottest part of the day.
- Keep the south side sunny. In the winter, the sun focuses its most intense rays on the south side of your house. If you plant trees or shrubs along this wall, choose varieties that are deciduous, or that lose their leaves during the fall. This strategy allows the sun’s rays to shine directly on your house during the coldest months, which raises the inside air temperature without raising your heating bill.
- Use wind breaks. Insulate your home against the chill of winter winds by planting trees or installing a slatted fence. If you choose to plant trees, however, remember to use evergreen varieties that keep their leaves during the winter.
- Prevent heat loss. Don’t leave your doors and windows unprotected from the wind! Erect a baffle fence or plant small trees and shrubs around windows and entryways to help keep heat inside, where it belongs.
Contact the professionals at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating to help you choose the best landscaping options to meet your home’s insulation needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about using landscaping for insulation and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.