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Landscaping Ideas to Lower Your Utility Costs

Landscaping is usually considered a way to increase home value and improve curb appeal. Many homeowners don't know energy efficient landscape designs can help slash their utility costs and help them save money - but it's true. The following tips and will not only make your yard appear as if a professional landscape designer planned it, but you'll also have the added bonus of saving money.

Landscaping Idea #1 - Choose a low-water-usage ground cover

One way to keep your home cooler during the summer and cut costs on your utility bill is by planting ground cover close to your house. What is ground cover? It is usually a type of plant, grass or gravel. Try to keep the size of your lawn to a minimum. This reduces the need for watering and mowing. By watering and mowing less, your water and gas bill will be lower.

Landscaping Idea #2 - Plant trees
Most homeowners like to plant trees to improve the curb appeal of their home, but they don't understand that by planting them strategically will save them money. By planting a combination of evergreen trees and deciduous trees, your utility bill will benefit all year. Evergreen trees are those that don't lose their leaves during the fall and winter. Plant these trees along the northeast side of your house to block cold air and keep your house warmer.
Deciduous trees, those that lose their leaves during the winter, work to shade your home in the spring and summer. Use deciduous trees effectively by planting them everywhere except the northeast side of your home and where they will shade your house.

Landscaping Idea #3 - Use vines to your advantage

You might want to think about planting some climbing vines if you live in the hotter areas of the country. Many people don't realize it, but vines work just as hard as trees to shade your house from the hot summer sun. Vines also have the added benefit of being quick growing, so you get the shade benefits faster than you do with trees. Plant vines against your home on the east and west sides where the most heat enters.

If you plant deciduous vines, they will lose their leaves in the winter. This lets the sun can shine through and help warm up the house.

Landscaping Idea #4 - Plant dwarf shrubs near your home
Shrubs not only make your home look better, but they also work well to help block those cold winter winds. The less your home gets hit by cold winds, the warmer it will stay allowing you to use your heating unit less often. Most people don't realize their house foundation lets more cold 
air leak in than any other part of their home.

Protect the foundation and keep cold air out by planting small shrubs around the foundation. The shrubs also work to direct the winds up and away from your home.

Dwarf shrubs are small and very seldom grow more than two to three feet tall. They also require little upkeep and watering.

Take these landscaping ideas into consideration, before you buy plants or make any landscaping plans. Choose plants that are low maintenance, require little water, and work to protect your home from the weather. Put your landscaping to work for you. Ground cover, dwarf and full-size shrubs, trees, and climbing vines, can easily lower the cost of your utility bill and save you money.

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