Did you know your landscape can help your house to be more energy efficient? This could make a big impact on the amount you save a year. Another way you could save on bills is through researching different energy providers to see if your needs could be met for a cheaper price. If this interests you then you might like to compare energy prices here. But I have also come up with some tips to improve the efficiency of your house, to cool it down in the summer and warm it in the winter.
1. Plant trees. 3 trees in the right places can reduce your heating and cooling bills up to $250, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Planting desert adapted trees will shade your house without making a large impact on your water bill. Trees provide shade and also release water in the air to help cool the area. Temperatures under a tree can be up to 25 degrees lower then surrounding areas. You can save up to 10% of your AC costs by shading your roof. Some desert adapted trees include Palo Verde, Mesquite, Sissoo tree, Vitex tree (aka Chaste Tree, Monk’s Pepper, Arizona Lilac, Hemp Tree, Sage Tree), Willow Acacia, Desert Willow, Ironwood, Cascalote, and Texas Ebony.
2. Keep plants that need frequent watering away from the foundation of the house.
3. Trees and hedges can be planted to channel wind toward the house in the summer.
4. Consider Deciduous trees. Deciduous trees block the sun but allow the wind to go through. They loose their leaves in the winter to allow the sun to warm the house and the new leaves block the sun in the summer.
5. Short bushy shrubs near the house protect the foundation from the wind and snow in the winter. Not that we have much snow to worry about in the Desert but the wind can be a factor.
6. Taller trees on the windier side of the house closer to the house can direct the wind up and over the house.
7. Keep south facing windows clear of obstruction so the sun can warm the house in the winter. Ideally, provide shade in the summer by using a deciduous tree.
8. Use the right designs and plants that are drought tolerant and slow growing will save you tons in watering and maintenance.