Count Up to Earth Day: Tip 4 Tap the Cooling Power of Plants

April 7th, 2012

This post is part of a series counting up to Earth Day on April 22. Check back for the rest of the 22 tips!

Trees may be strong and grand, but little plants can also make a difference for you. When landscaping for energy efficiency, don’t forget that plants, vines and shrubs have real cooling power.

Shrubs shade windows, reducing the amount of solar heat entering your home in summer months. And plant power comes in the form of shade lent to the ground and pavement. That shade lowers heat radiation and chills the air before it reaches your home’s walls and windows.

If you’re a fan of the lovely look of climbing vines, you’ll be happy to know that they also shade walls, though you may want to use a trellis for stubborn vines like ivy. If you aren’t a trellis-type person, then go for some cute plant boxes with trailing vines for wall shading.

Check out the USDA’s hardiness map to research¬†which plants will work best in your area.

Have you considered how your landscaping can help lower your utility bills?

(image via flickr)