The landscaping around your Sarasota, Florida, home can do so much more than add beauty and curb appeal. Landscaping can improve the efficiency of your home’s cooling system, which counteracts excess energy consumption that leads to high energy bills. To leverage landscaping as a way to achieve greater cooling efficiency, you must strategically position trees, shrubs, and flowers around your property and home. The goal is to add shade to certain parts of the house while reducing its exposure to wind.
When the sun shines on your home’s roof and through the windows and doors, this raises the indoor temperature. As a result, the AC system works harder to cool your home. It will cycle on more frequently to keep your house cool, which raises energy consumption and cooling expenses. To offset this problem, you can use landscaping to shade your home.
Using landscaping to improve cooling efficiency requires planting trees and shrubs around your home’s exterior structure, particularly in front of windows. This minimizes the amount of sunshine that makes its way inside your home. It also decreases its exterior structural temperature by up to 6 degrees. Planting deciduous trees around your home is an excellent way to achieve both of these effects.
To achieve maximum shading, you can plant deciduous trees that have high, spreading leaves and branches. These trees should go on the south side of your home. Meanwhile, on the west side of your home, it’s best to plant deciduous trees that have low, spreading leaves and branches. This is because the western side of your home experiences afternoon exposure to the sun, but it’s lower to the ground.
If there’s a particular window that constantly has a lot of sunlight coming through, you can build a wooden trellis in front that has annual vines growing on it. Scarlet runner bean or sweet autumn clematis growing on the trellis both work great at creating filtered shade when the sun is shining bright. Using a trellis and landscaping in this manner is especially beneficial when trying to shade a part of your home where you can’t plant large trees.
When strategically planted on the northwest and north sides of your home, your property’s landscaping acts as a form of wind protection. You’ll want to plant large trees and shrubs that don’t lose their needles or leaves, such as evergreen shrubs and trees, to achieve maximum wind protection for your home. Protecting your home from hot summer winds is especially important, as it improves cooling efficiency and decreases wear and tear on your AC system.
You must choose between slow-growing and fast-growing trees when using landscaping to shade your roof. Fast-growing trees, of course, provide quicker shading, but they aren’t as durable. This means they’re more prone to breakage, which can damage your roof. Slow-growing trees last longer, are more durable and tend to be more drought-resistant, making them an excellent choice for providing long-term shade coverage.
No matter the type of trees you plant, you should always take into account how they will mature. When planting them, make sure to leave enough room so their root systems have plenty of space to grow without damaging the foundation of your home. You’ll also want to consider how large the branches will grow. You don’t want the trees so close to the house that their branches will be sitting on your roof.
On average, a 6-foot to 8-foot deciduous tree will provide shading over your home’s windows within the first year. You can expect the trees to provide shade for your home’s roof within five to 10 years. Shrubs planted close to the outer walls of your home will provide shading to the exterior structure within one to three years. To avoid humidity control problems, keep dense foliage of any type from growing immediately next to the exterior walls.
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