Close this search box.

Use Landscaping to Save Energy


Well-planned landscaping is efficient and attractive. A little curb appeal can help you lower your utility bills and increase the value of your Johns Creek, Georgia, home. When your landscaping works for you, your air conditioning and heating system won’t have to work as hard, which means it will last longer. Plant trees, add shrubs, use trellises and fences, and minimize paving to save energy with landscaping.

Plant Trees

Some extra shade can help you keep your home cool in spring and summer by getting rid of uncomfortable warm areas near windows. Plant trees on the west and south sides of your home for the most shade. Smaller trees, like dogwoods and crepe myrtles, are a good choice because they will mature faster than bigger species, they block the afternoon sun well, and they have beautiful flowers in spring and summer.

Larger trees can add shade to your roof, but you’ll need to trim them occasionally to keep leaves and branches from falling on your roof and clogging your gutters or causing serious damage.

Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter so the sun can still heat your home in cold weather. You can also enjoy colorful fall leaves. Have an awning installed over your air conditioner to add even more shade, protect it from debris like leaves, branches, and grass clippings, and make cooling more efficient.

Add Shrubs

Grass, shrubs, trees, and other plants lower air temperatures near your home in summer through evaporative cooling. Shrubs near your walls will shield your home from cold winter winds and provide insulation all year. Plants like azalea and holly are popular, but they take a few years to mature. After that, you’ll need to trim them every few years.

Avoid trimming your shrubs into shapes like cubes or spheres since this damages leaves and branches you could use for insulation. Also, keeping plants in specific shapes takes a lot more maintenance. Before you add a shrub, check to see how big it will grow and make sure the mature plant will match the rest of your landscaping.

Use Trellises and Fences

Even fast-growing trees take a few years to get large enough to give you good shade. While you’re waiting for trees to grow, you can add fences or trellises with vines to add shade and block the wind in winter. Many vines make attractive decorations and can also add privacy. However, you shouldn’t let vines climb wooden fences or the outer walls of your home because they could cause damage or moisture problems. A trellis will let vines grow close to your home without touching the walls.

A large arbor with vines on the roof is a great place for a picnic or a party, and smaller arch-shaped arbors can shade doors or sidewalks. Like trees, some vines lose their leaves in winter and others grow all year. Deciduous vines are best for letting the sun warm your home in winter, and you can use evergreen species to help block the wind.

Minimize Paving

Paved areas like sidewalks and driveways absorb heat from the sun, making them warmer and increasing your cooling bills in summer. Many experts call this the heat island effect, and it can make urban areas several degrees warmer than surrounding places. You can’t stop this effect completely since paved roads and driveways are a necessary part of modern life, but you can reduce it.

Make paved areas as small as possible and avoid dark materials like asphalt. Instead, choose a reflective material that absorbs less energy from the sun. Porous or permeable pavement lets rainwater pass through it, so it stays cooler than standard paving. It also reduces runoff from storms and prevents erosion that could damage your lawn.

E. Smith Heating & Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 50 years of experience. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of HVAC equipment, and our energy savings experts can give you lots of helpful tips to lower your utility bills. Call us at 678-369-8866 for excellent service from our technicians.

Image provided by Shutterstock

Compliance Settings
Increase Font Size
Simplified Font
Underline Links
Highlight Links