One of the more commonly asked questions on internet message boards these days is how people living in hot, arid areas like Arizona can save money and improve their monthly energy bills. It’s seems that everybody has an opinion on this matter, and no matter who you ask, you’re likely to get the traditional answers. However, did you know that by making a few simple changes to the landscaping around your home – it’s highly possible to improve energy bills each month?
Believe it or not – this is a statement of fact. So, here are a few of the best ways you can use the landscaping around your home to help reduce your monthly energy bill in Arizona.
Step #1 – Plant Trees Strategically
It’s said that the number one way to reduce energy consumption inside your home in the desert is to reduce the temperature inside your home by blocking the sun. And even if you’ve got window shades on every window – simply planting trees in strategic locations can help reduce the sunlight and heat from entering your home. In fact – it is estimated that you can save as much as 25-percent on your monthly energy bills by simply planting trees in locations that help block the sun.
The US Department of Energy used computer-generated modules to determine whether or not this method actually works. And based on their findings, it was confirmed that by simply planting trees in such a way as to block direct sunlight on large windows can save homeowners between $100 -$250 per year on energy bill cost.
Step #2 – Make Sure your AC Unit is Covered
Another easy way to use landscaping to improve your energy bill is to make sure your AC unit is not in direct sunlight all day. It is estimated that simple shading of any AC unit for two hours during peak operation can save you up to 15% on your monthly energy bill. This prevention measure does come at a bit of a risk however. If you use your landscaping (like trees for example) to shade your AC Unit, it is very likely that your AC Unit will be covered by falling leaves and debris. And if this debris is not cleaned frequently, some leaves can get caught inside the filtration system and reduce the AC Unit’s ability to ‘Breathe’. The direct result of this is that your AC unit will use more energy. So, if you’re going to cover your AC unit, make sure you check it frequently for falling debris.
Step #3 – Install Windbreaks to Reduce Hot Air from Entering the House
Another easy way you can use landscaping to reduce your energy bills is to install windbreaks, or shelters like rocks walls, fences and other large items inside your back yard or side of the house. These windbreaks will deflect hot, blowing air from hitting your windows, doors and other entry ways. And since it’s very possible for warm air to enter a home through tiny cracks in any entry, when you can reduce this air, it has been shown to reduce your monthly energy bill a staggering 25 percent.
There are many ways that landscaping can be manipulated to save energy in Arizona. The key is knowing what steps you can take to affordably do this – and whether or not the reward is worth the time and effort. However, if you have time – and resources, consider following these three simple steps for improving energy bills in your home town. You’ll find that your home will be much more comfortable in the long term.