Trim Those Hedges and Your Electricity Usage
How you treat the outside of your home can affect how you use energy inside it – even if that means planting a couple of trees.
Planting shade trees not only improves the value of your house – those shady green leaves help you lower your electric bills.
- In addition to helping your air conditioner run less and use less energy, trees pull carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air, further reducing greenhouse gases.
- Shade the south and west sides of your house in Texas, where long, hot summers are the norm.
- Ask your plant nursery for deciduous trees. They’ll lose their leaves in the winter, giving you solar gain in cold weather and then provide cooling shade in warmer months.
- Select long-lived hardwoods with strong, durable branches.
- Once your trees are established, make sure you keep them pruned and trimmed. You’ll be glad for this advice the next time a big windstorm comes through!
Outside lighting such as porch and patio lights gets more use than you realize.
- Your yard is a great place to install compact fluorescent light (CFL) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. These options use far less energy and are more durable than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Save electricity with a plug-in light sensor to turn safety or guard lights on when it gets dark and off again when it gets light.
- Purchase motion sensors that turn the lights on only when they are needed.
Just think of it as mowing down your electricity bill with these energy savings for your yard.