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Landscaping For Winter Energy Savings

by Perry Chapman

When it comes to altering a home's landscape in order to save on energy costs, much of the time the focus is on savings during the summer season. There are a lot of ways that landscaping can help save on energy costs during the summer. Just planting shade trees can save up to 35 percent on cooling costs during the warmest months of the year. While saving during the summer months is great, there are also ways landscaping can help homeowners save when temperatures drop. Here are three ways landscaping can help create winter energy savings.

Create A Windbreak

Windbreaks are usually composed of dense evergreen trees and shrubs that are planted to the north and northwest of a home. These trees and shrubs can reduce the impact of the wind on a home and thus are able to also reduce energy costs. A mature windbreak can reduce heating costs by as much as 30 percent during winter and should be situated between 50 and 100 feet away from the home. There are plenty of evergreens to choose from when planting a windbreak. For example, the eastern white pine works well for this purpose and costs about $150 for a 12 foot tall tree.

Plant Deciduous Trees

While evergreens make for great windbreaks on the north and northwest side of the home, deciduous trees work well on the south side of the home. These trees can do double duty. During the summer they can provide ample shade. During the winter these trees lose their leaves and allow the winter sun to come through. The sunlight on the south side of the home can help reduce energy costs by heating the home during the daytime hours.

Plant Shrubs Around The Home

Another way landscaping can help reduce energy costs during the winter is through the use of shrubs planted around the home's perimeter. Shrubs planted around a home can create a dead airspace that acts as insulation. Well groomed shrubbery can actually help a home retain heat during cold weather. For optimal insulating effects, it's recommended that shrubs be planted about 1 foot from the wall of the home. Shrubs planted around the home can also act as a mini wind break which can also help save energy.

The right landscaping can help homeowners save on energy costs, as well as the right landscaper like Campbell's Nurseries & Garden Centers Inc., no matter the season. For those who are looking to save when temperatures dip, there are a few different options. Using trees and shrubs to create a windbreak can lower costs. Deciduous trees can provide savings during warm and cold months by providing shade in the spring and summer and then allowing sunlight to filter through during the winter. Shrubbery planted around the home can act as natural insulation.