Using Landscaping Vines and Structures to Reduce Home Energy Costs

Reviewed and Revised on 10/17/20

Vines, shrubs, and some trees can be used as espaliers (plants trained to grow flat against walls) can be used to protect home walls from heat and cold. The plant foliage provides a sort of insulation against summer heat and cold winter winds. It can also help to reduce noise. Vines like English ivy are not recommended because they cling to masonry and wooden surfaces and can damage your house. Vines that twine and that …

Using Landscaping Shade to Reduce Home Energy Costs

Reviewed and Revised on 10/17/2013

The correct selection and placement of trees and plants can help reduce summer heat and allow for heat gain in the winter. Shading the roof of a house can reduce the inside temperature by as much as 8-10 degrees Fahrenheit. Deciduous trees (trees which shed leaves in winter) provide summer shade. When the leaves fall, they allow the warmth of the sun to enter the home during the cold winter weather. Landscaping can also provide

Using Greywater for Home Gardening

Reviewed and Revised on 10/17/2013

What is greywater and how can it be used?

Greywater is the domestic wastewater from all sources except the toilets. As per the EPA wastewater sources can include water from:

  • laundry

  • shower/bath

  • washing machines

  • dishwasher

  • kitchen sinks

Greywater can be used for home gardening and landscape irrigation. This can have two major benefits.

  • It reduces the need for fresh water and hence is a great way to conserve water as well as energy. Large amounts

Questions and Answers about Shading Your Home for Energy Efficiency

Reviewed and Revised on 10/17/2013

In hot, humid climates, home designs should aim to reduce summer heat gain as the first priority. Walls facing east and west receive the greatest amount of heat, because they receive the direct morning and afternoon sunlight. Some of that heat is transferred (through conduction, convection, and radiation) into the home, which means your air conditioner has to operate longer and harder. It’s much more energy efficient to stop the heat from entering your home