Good landscaping will increase the value of your home, enhance your enjoyment, and boost energy efficiency. Correctly positioned trees and shrubs can save up to 25% on your heating and cooling costs, and pay dividends in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. (1)
Here are some tips for landscaping around new and existing homes:
- Plant evergreen trees on the north side of the house to slow winter winds. (2)
- Plant deciduous trees (7-9 m) on the south and west sides to provide shade in summer and sun in winter. Place trees 4.5-6 metres from the house.
- Plant shrubs around the foundation to help insulate in winter. Make sure they’re at least 60 cm from the foundation.
- Plant shrubs on the east, west and south sides of an air conditioner unit to provide shade and reduce its workload.
- Vines on trellises can help insulate walls in winter and provide shade in summer. (3)
- A low retaining wall on the north side will act as a windbreak. (4)
- Shelterbelts, (in rural areas) consisting of one or more rows of strategically planted trees around the edge of a property, can significantly reduce heating costs. They not only cut wind and moderate the microclimate around the shelterbelt, but also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. (5)