Staying Even Cooler Through Landscaping Choices

The summer heat in the Tampa area can get pretty intense, and so can the cost of cooling your home.  Smart landscaping choices can provide energy savings and save you money in the long run.

In our hot, humid climate, look for shade trees that block the summer sun, but allow winter light to filter through.  This means using deciduous trees that will lose their leaves in winter.  A well-placed shade tree can provide up to 25 percent in energy savings, which can add up very quickly and more than pay for the cost of landscaping in a short period of time.

When selecting trees in Florida, it is important to find types that are resistant to drought, mildew, insects, and disease.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Flowering dogwoods: Native to Florida, these are both hardy and fast-growing.  However, fast-growing trees do not typically live as long as their slower-growing counterparts.
  • Oak, ash, and tulip poplar: These broad-leafed trees are best for shading the bright summer sun.
  • Weeping willow: If you prefer a more distinctive look and have more space, this tree is an excellent choice and grows well in Florida.
  • Fruit trees: We all know that the orange tree does well here, along with other citrus fruit trees.  You can have the benefit of energy savings and enjoy the fruit!

If your property is not suitable for trees, you can also grow vines on a cleverly positioned trellis that will also allow cool breezes to flow through.  Ground cover, shrubs, and ornamental plants also help to cool the air before it reaches your home by reducing heat radiation from walkways and driveways.  Take care not to plant shrubs or other greenery too close to your home, as this can cause humidity issues.

Whatever landscaping solutions you choose to improve energy savings, it is still important to have well-functioning, energy-efficient equipment to keep your home cool and comfortable.  Check out our free ebook for more home comfort ideas or call us to discuss how we can help you get even more energy savings from your heating and air conditioning system.