Landscaping around your home to work with the climate of Northwest Arkansas, as well as the conditions around your building, can help insulate against solar gain and winter wind. While it may seem like it could take years to reap the benefits of landscaping, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average home will start seeing long-term energy savings in fewer than eight years.
The weather conditions particular to your residence may vary slightly from those of Northwest Arkansas overall. This is your home’s “microclimate.” For instance, a home surrounded by trees receives more shade and less solar gain than a home in a dry, treeless area.
When landscaping, you are essentially trying to insulate against the hot summer sun and cold winter winds, while not obstructing the sun in winter or cooling breezes in summer. We’ve got a few tips to help you make the most of your landscape all year:
- The south wall and west wall will need to be protected the most against summer solar gain.
- Deciduous trees with high, leafy branches insulate your roof against solar gain, especially on the south side of the building. When the weather gets cooler and the leaves fall, the sun’s energy can shine through.
- In the latter half of the day, the air is warm enough to cause significant heat gain on your west wall. Thick, deciduous shrubs or low trees can block the brunt of the sun’s heat during summer, and allow for it during winter.
- Dense evergreen shrubs or trees are perfect to insulate against chilling winter winds. However, you don’t want to block cooling breezes in the summer. A low, thick hedge can block winter energy loss where it’s worst, around windows, while still allowing the home to benefit from summer breezes
While landscaping to insulate against the sun and wind eases the strain on your HVAC equipment, you’ll see the most benefit by also keeping your equipment well-maintained. You won’t have to wait years to see the savings maintenance provides, either. Call Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal today. We’ll be happy to help you save energy!
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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