Glacial Energy Blog

Tips for Energy Conservation with the help of Plants

No matter the time of year or what season it is, our energy bill is always a major concern for many of us. We are concerned about saving energy costs, and never before have home owners been so focused about savings through landscaping. Growing plants around the house might be a hobby or a way to grow your own fruits and vegetables, but growing them with purpose and design can help modify the climate in and around the house. By placing trees, vines, bushes and landscape structures strategically, homeowners can reduce the electricity required to keep homes comfortable during summer and winter. Along with the reduction of power bills, a well-planned landscape beautifies your home and increases property value.

Though landscaping may cost a lot initially, you will have a return on the investment. Three basic landscape applications proven to save energy are:

  1. Using the shade of trees
  2. Using the foundation of plants
  3. Using Windbreaks.

While it sounds simple, if done properly, these techniques can help you reduce summer temperatures indoors significantly. If trees are shading the outside of your home, your indoor home temperature can decrease by 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Trees not only shade your roof, but can also beautify your house, bear you fresh fruits and provide you with some privacy from prying neighbors.

Heard of a green roof? Growing shrubs and plants on your roof can provide you with some shade and decrease the indoor temperature significantly. You can also reduce energy consumption with shrubs and trees by providing shade for the outside protection of a split system air conditioner. A study by the American Refrigeration Institute shows that shading of this type can reduce the temperature inside the home as much as 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Just make sure that shrubs planted near the compressor don’t obstruct the airflow or access for service. Another way to reduce energy consumption is by screening outdoor air conditioning equipment with plantings. This enhances the aesthetic value of the home. In addition to shading roof areas, plants can protect walls from cold and heat. Shrubs, vines and certain trees can be used as espaliers (plants trained to grow flat against walls). This foliage cover insulates the wall against summer heat and cold winter winds. Trees, shrubs and vines can also be highly effective in reducing dust and pollution.

Even though hedges have been used for many years as wind breakers, their value has increased more recently due to the rise of higher fuel costs. Winter winds usually have a huge temperature difference between a house and the outdoor environment. Summer winds impact human comfort. Tall trees on the south and west can reduce temperature while allowing breezes to pass beneath and through the foliage canopy. The difference between an exposed home and a home landscaped effective could likely mean a big difference in energy savings.

Reference: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-631.html

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

 

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