Justin W. Hancock

Landscape to Save Energy

A little blizzard is rolling through Meredith headquarters (and much of the rest of the Midwest) as I write this; we’ve been blanketed with a good snowfall (it looked like about 18 inches as I shoveled this morning), there are strong 40-mph winds, and we have single-digit temperatures.

One consequence of this is it’s probably increasing my heating bill this month. Happily, though, I know some landscaping tricks that help save me money on my heating/cooling bills.

One is to plant a windbreak. While not a new concept (farmers have been doing it forever), an evergreen barrier on the north or east side of your property has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of heat that cold winter winds pull from your home.

If you don’t have the space for a windbreak, consider a berm. It can create a pocket of insulating air space around your home’s foundation. Plant on it and you’ve also created a little extra privacy in your landscape.

How much can it save you? Many experts say 5 to 25 percent, depending on a number of factors. Couple that with the fact that attractive landscaping adds to your home’s value, and it seems like a pretty good deal, eh?