Your new landscape design might check all the boxes with its striking colors, compelling textures, and native plants, but does it save you money? Make your landscaping work for you and check out how these landscaping ideas can lower your energy bills, green up your wallet, and encourage a more eco-friendly home.

1). Planting deciduous trees (like beech or oak varieties) on the sunny side of your home shades it in the summer and allows light and heat in the winter when the trees lose their leaves. Avoid deciduous trees that have a cone-shaped crown, such as pin oak. Why? Because they don’t provide as much shade as a round, wide-spreading canopy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, carefully positioned trees can save up to 25 percent of a typical household’s energy use. Proper use of trees, shrubs, vines, and structures may reduce summer cooling costs by 50 percent or more.

2). If you rely on a municipal water supply, then the amount of water you use may not impact your electricity bill (but it will affect your water bill). On the other hand, if your water comes from a well, the energy needed to run the pump will affect your electricity bill. The more water you use from the well, the more electricity you’ll need to run the pump, and the higher your electric bill will be. A simple way to reduce the amount of water you use in the landscape is to apply mulch in your garden and flower beds. Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, which means the irrigation water won’t evaporate as quickly. The more you mulch, the less you water.

Another easy way to lower your landscape’s water needs and save energy is to rely on a drip irrigation system for your gardens, shrubs, and trees. Drip irrigation is a network of plastic pipes that slowly and accurately delivers water to the plant’s root zone. Sprinklers and garden hoses often result in wasted water due to evaporation, scattered spray, leaching, and erosion. Drip irrigation maintains the ideal soil moisture levels without wasting precious water (and tiring out your pump).

3). Another landscaping idea is to design a xeriscape instead of your typical landscape. A xeriscape is a type of landscape that requires little to no watering. A well-designed xeriscape can usually thrive off the region’s rainfall levels without the help of your garden hose.

4). Cool down faster by shading your AC unit with plants, shrubs, and bushes. The hotter your outdoor air conditioning unit, the harder it has to work. When the summer heat radiates off the unit, the unit uses more energy to cool itself down.  By shading your outdoor air conditioning unit with shrubs and bushes, you can reduce indoor temperatures by up to 3 degrees Fahrenheit, increase its efficiency by 10 percent, and lower your air conditioning costs.

5). Outdoor lighting is a tasteful way to showcase landscaping at night, but to save energy, only use outdoor lighting when it’s necessary. Install a timer, daylight sensor, or choose a motion sensor for extra security and savings. If your lighting runs on a timer, plan ahead to keep up with Daylight Savings Time. When you choose solar-powered outdoor lighting, you won’t have to hook the lights up to a power source, and you’ll save on your electricity bill each month.

So, what are you waiting for? Start saving money, energy, and water with these energy-efficient landscaping ideas. 

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