Save energy from your landscaping: Identifying your climate region

We’ve covered lots of ways to save energy around your home and office, but what may come as a surprise to some is that your landscaping could make you all the more energy efficient too! There is more to how your yard is laid out than purely aesthetics if you are an eco-minded folk, but if you aren’t sure of how to best maximize your potential in this area then here are a few tips. There are a few different key points to keep in mind when structuring your landscape and because of that this is going to be an ongoing post topic. The first element to address is going to be the climate you live in and tailoring your yard to where you live.

The four different climate sectors are: temperate, hot and arid, hot and humid, and cool. Think about what kind of weather you experience and from there you will best be able to use these tips to save energy. This first post is going to help you to identify the methods you will instill and the subsequent posts will go into further detail of what each of them mean and how you can go about implementing them. For those of you in the temperate region you want to take advantage of the warm sunshine when it is there so that you can keep that heating bill down in the winters; conversely come summer time you will want to take advantage of strategically placed trees and foliage to give you ample shade in the summers. When those winter winds come ablowing you want to have a yard that will work to deflect those gusts from your house, and in the summer you can plant so that any available cool breezes are funneled to help cool your home.

Those living in the hot and arid regions will also take advantage of shading techniques to keep their windows, roofs, and walls at a lower temperature. When it is the hottest time of the year during summer you want to allow a free flow of any winds or breezes to also keep your in-home temperature cool; yet at the same time if you are blasting that air conditioner (and hopefully not, but if you are then try to at least keep using it as minimally as possible!) you should aim to deflect any winds because this could work against you. When it comes to the hot and humid regions a key point here will be to keep any plants that need lots of water as far from your house as possible and make your trees work to your favor. This means selecting and placing those that give you that ample shade in the summers but are still at an angle to allow any sunshine present in the winter to come through your windows. Finally in terms of that wind in the summer you want to help funnel that towards your house.

The last region is the cool one and here you want to do your best to block your house from the biting winter gusts. That will then include setting up windbreaks in the form of higher trees and an abundance of shrubs; here you also want to keep in mind that during this time you should aim to allow what little sun there is into your house via the windows that get it. (For instance that will be the windows facing the south for those in the US.) If you are met with higher temps in the summer you will then want to keep in mind shading tactics to cool the windows that get plenty of heat from the sunshine. Once you have done this first step in identifying which region you live in and the best tips you want to adhere to you can effectively save energy, and keep your property looking beautiful too, by select landscaping measures. Be sure to check back for the ongoing posts in this theme for more specifics and details into what each method entails.

Photo credit: Mind's-eye