Let’s face it: Winter can be expensive. Between the snow, the icy gusts, and the frosty air, it is difficult to keep your house warm and comfortable. Good insulation helps, as do reinforced windows, but there is another solution that can drastically cut your heating bills: improving your yard and garden. By planting trees and bushes as windbreaks, many have seen their winter bills decrease. How does this work, and what is the most effective way to implement it?
The Why and How
Windbreaks decrease the amount of wind chill that is able to come in contact with your home. To many this may seem small, but wind chill can make a 50 degree day feel like a 25 degree one. This difference dramatically affects the internal temperature of structures. The outside of the home becomes cooled, and your furnace must work harder to keep you and your family comfortable.
By strategically landscaping your home’s exterior, however, the wind is kept from your external walls and thereby from your living space.
Depending on your climate, your landscaping needs may be different. Here are some ideas of what to plant to deal with specific weather patterns:
Snowy Regions. Planting shrubs near your home that live low to the ground can help prevent snowdrift. Snow gets caught in the bushes and is unable to reach the sides of your home.
Windy Climates. In these areas it is good to plant windbreaks further from your house. A more distant shade tree will change the wind’s pattern and prevent it from reaching your door in ways that a tree directly beside your home cannot.
While some solutions are tailored more specifically to certain regions and their weather patterns, there are a few universally applicable solutions:
Plant Vines. Planting these natural insulators near your home will create still air in both the winter and summer, preventing excess cold or heat from touching your external walls. Winter snow will have more difficulty sticking, and the summer sun will be partially absorbed by these guardian plants.
Avoid Nearby Pines. Thick and lush pines are beautiful, but can be detrimental if placed too close to the home. The large area of the tree shields sections of your house from passive solar warmth, and can actually prove counterproductive to keeping the interior warm.
No matter the nature of your climate, strategically placed flora can assist in keeping your home comfortable through seasonal fluctuations and reducing the annual strain on your wallet. If you are interested learning how insulating products such as replacement windows or doors, insulated siding, trim, gutters or roofing in addition to windbreaks, contact Tri County Windows and Siding.