Think spring: Time to plant!

[D]id you know your landscaping could help you save on your energy bill?

Key Points

  • Good landscaping can save a lot of energy.
  • Use trees as wind breaks and shade.
  • Shrubs and groundcover plants can cool the air around your home. 

Happy first day of spring! Time to put away the snow shovels (fingers crossed) and get out the gardening tools.

As if playing in the dirt and getting outside weren’t motivation enough, did you know your landscaping could help you save on your energy bill? Before you dig in, check out these tips to use your landscaping to save energy.

  • Trees — According to the Department of Energy, carefully positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of the energy a typical household uses by providing shade and acting as a windbreak. In tree-shaded neighborhoods, the summer daytime air temperature can be up to 6 degrees cooler than in treeless areas. And windbreaks to the north, west and east of houses cut fuel consumption by an average of 40 percent. Check out this handy guide to decide which trees to plant where.
  • Shrubs – Groundcover plants like succulents and shrubs can cool the air before it reaches your home in the summer. Low shrubs on the windward side of your windbreak can also help trap snow before it blows next to your home in the winter.
  • Climbing vines – Consider shading your patio or deck with a trellis covered in climbing vines. It will help keep your outdoor living space cool, and cut down on the warm air that sneaks inside.
  • Now go enjoy the first day of spring. Picnics and bike rides encouraged. 

Sarah FolslandSarah is mom to the two cutest little girls in the world. Before choosing to make changing diapers and reading bed time stories her full time gig, she earned a degree in political science from The University of South Dakota, worked in the governor’s office as a policy analyst and dabbled in communications at her local utility. Follow Sarah on Twitter @EnergyMommy.

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