A few properly placed shrubs and trees can significantly cut winter winds – and home energy costs.
Wind affects the temperature inside your home by pushing the air you’re paying to heat out of cracks and openings in your home — a process called air infiltration. Sealing those cracks inside your house can help, but so can trees and shrubs outside the house.
Dense evergreens planted on the north or northwest side of your home can help slow and deflect these winds. An understory of densely-branched shrubs can help to fill any gaps.
The U.S. Department of Energy says that just three properly placed trees can save $100 to $250 in energy costs per year. The Arbor Day Foundation estimates a windbreak can lower your heating bills by 10 to 20 percent. Research conducted in the Great Plains region puts the savings as high as 25 percent!
Landscaping can also help with cooling costs in summer. Research compiled by NICH (National Institute for Consumer Horticulture) shows a 25-foot tree reduces annual heating and cooling costs for the typical home by 8 – 12 %.
More findings on the environmental benefits of plants can be found in the infographic, “#PlantsDoThat for Cities and Suburbs,” available for download, reprint, or adaptation at ConsumerHort.org. When posting on social media, please use the hashtag #PlantsDoThat.
The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) is a consortium of industry leaders who are promoting the benefits and value of horticulture. NICH brings together academia, government, industry, and nonprofits to cultivate the growth and development of a healthy world through landscapes, gardens and plants — indoors and out.