Cleaning Up Your Own Backyard

3 Landscaping Choices That Will Decrease Your Summer Cooling Costs

by Warren Garcia

When you plant out your landscaping choices this summer, be sure to take into consideration how they will affect the cooling costs of your home as well. Here are three landscaping choices that can impact how cool your home feels.

#1 Locate Trees So They Cover Up Your Windows

When thinking about where to plant trees, you should place them so that they cover up your windows and provide them with shade. The sides of your house that you should cover the windows the most with trees are the west and south sides of your home, where they will get the most direct sunlight. The best trees to plant near your windows are deciduous trees because they will help keep sunlight away from your trees during the summer and keep your house cool, and in the winter when their leaves fall off, they can help to keep your house warm by allowing sunlight to pass through your windows more easily.

#2 Think About Where You Want Your Outside Relaxing Space To Be

Think carefully about where you want to locate your outside relaxing space. A great place to put your deck or patio is on the east side of your home. This will provide your deck or patio with lots of sunlight during the early morning when it is coolest outside, giving you a nice place to eat breakfast or lunch. It will also provide you with a cool spot in the shade to hang out in the late afternoon or early evening when it is the hottest outside.

#3 Add Some Water Features To Your Yard

Next, consider adding some water features to your yard. Installing fountains or a big pond in your yard can actually help keep your home cool. The air that comes off the water will be cooler than the air surrounding it; this cool air will help cool down that entire area and can help cool your home off a little if it is located relatively close to your home.

Additionally, water features can provide a psychological effect that will help your body feel cooler as well when you are out near them.

#4 Use Your Groundcover Wisely

Think carefully about what type of groundcover and mulch you want to put out among your landscaping. If you use really dark woodchips and/or stones in your landscaping, they will help to absorb the summer heat from the sun, making them great colors to use up close to your home. Light colored stones and woodchips tend to reflect the heat away from them, which when used right next to your home, could help heat it up.

Think carefully this summer about how your landscaping choices affect your home's energy costs.