Landscaping around a home is usually designed to be both pleasing to the eye and a relaxing space to be surrounded by but, could it be more than that? Can it be designed in such a way that it also helps with the home’s energy costs? How is that possible you may ask? Well, this is done by landscape shading. Landscape shading is where trees and shrubs are positioned in specific locations so that they provide shade to areas of the home that see the most sun. This is a method that has been shown to reduce a home’s indoor temperatures by as much as 9 degrees.
To make a success of landscape shading it needs to be planned out extremely well. Its important that trees are planted in just the right place so that they cast shade on the home at the time it is required most. Another factor to have in mind is the type of trees you use. You will get more shade the denser the tree. You will also want to consider if you wish to benefit from the sun’s warmth on the home during the winter months, if so, make sure you select deciduous trees which will provide full shade during summer but lose their leaves during winter.
You may also want to think about the rate that trees grow, if you are looking for quick results, why not choose vines instead? You can grow them to wrap around a fence or trellis positioned in the area you would like shade. Shrubs are a good option for areas like pathways or driveways.
So, as we can see, the smart use of landscape design can not only look beautiful but can also work for you by helping to cut down on the home’s energy costs.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL