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How Expert Landscape Design can Lower your Energy Bills during DC-area Summers | Olney, MD

Jul 10, 2014 | Pavement

According to an article published earlier this year in the Washington Business Journal, residents of Washington, DC pay an average of $258.21 per month for utility bills, the seventh highest amount in the nation. Included in these bills, of course, are electricity costs. If you live in the DC area you know how these can go up, especially in the summer when you’re relying more on AC.

There are a number of things you can do to cut your energy costs. These include maintaining your AC system so that it’s efficient, making sure your home is well-insulated, switching to energy-efficient lighting, and keeping the shades down to keep more sunlight out of your home. Another important tip is to use your landscaping to help keep your home cool.

The location of the trees and other vegetation you plants around your property can have a significant positive impact on your energy bill.

Trees and other vegetation placed on the east and west sides of your house, which get hit most heavily by the sun, can keep the interior of your home cooler. Depending on the height of the trees, they can also provide some shade to the roof of your house, which further reduces the extent to which your home heats up.

You can arrange trees and other vegetation to channel summer breezes towards your house; this helps you rely more on soothing breezes from an open window than on your AC, particularly when there isn’t a heat wave or when the hottest hours of the day have passed.

Vegetation can also be relied on to provide shade for any AC units on the exterior of your home. As long as the vegetation isn’t growing immediately on or against the AC units, which can interfere with their functioning, you can use vegetation to help your AC units work more efficiently.

There may be other parts of your property that heat up quickly too, such as your patio or your driveway. Again, the landscaping design you choose can help keep these cooler, allowing you to enjoy your property more and help keep too much heat from getting trapped and then radiated out into your home and the surrounding land.

Do you want your landscaping to look both beautiful and also help you cut down on your energy bills? Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your options and plan out your property to your satisfaction.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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