Sitting under a shaded tree on a hot day makes you cooler right? It seems pretty obvious, but what’s less obvious is that you can landscape your yard to offer your home the same energy-efficient cooling techniques. It just takes a bit of planning in the way you plant trees, place fences, and place other elements. According to an article posted by Better Homes and Gardens, here are some ways to maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency by executing these landscaping techniques throughout the hot, Atlanta Summer.
- Build a pergola, awning, or other shade-giving structure on the west side of your house. It’s an attractive way to filter light during the hottest part of the day. An open structure, such as a vine-covered pergola, is ideal as it allows cool breezes through and doesn’t trap heat.
- Position porches, decks, and patios on the east side of your home. They’ll become an ideal gathering spot because of their early morning warmth. And they won’t be sauna-like during the late-day heat. A shade tree will keep the area even cooler.
- Think about your groundcovers. Light-colored stone or granite mulch and concrete will reflect more heat, making things hotter. Darker stone and wood chips will absorb the heat. A lawn or expanse of groundcover plants is the most cooling of all, but may require lots of water.
- Place trees where they’ll shield your windows, especially those on the south and west sides, from direct sun. Deciduous trees are a great option as they block sun during hot weather but allow sunlight to filter through during cooler weather once their branches are bare.
- Funnel breezes through your property. Plant a row of trees on one side of the house and a wall on the other side of the house, to create a wind tunnel, for example. This will encourage stronger cooling breezes through the property and around the house.
- A water feature is cooling both physically and psychologically. A large pond upwind will noticeably cool the air of your whole landscape. A small pond or fountain can cool a smaller area.
- Plant a cluster of trees to act as a low-tech air conditioner for the entire property, creating a cool zone which breezes can then distribute throughout the property and around the house.
Now is the perfect time to implement these landscaping techniques to keep your comfort level high and your energy bill low. If you would like some help completing these energy-saving enhancements to your yard, we would be happy to help! If you have any questions about landscape management, contact us today.