Year round, your solar panels can continue to produce electricity that will lower your electric bill as well as other benefits consumers seek with solar energy.
However, to get the maximum value from your solar investment, you need to make sure that you take action to keep your panels productive.
One of the opportunities for greater solar production that homeowners sometimes neglect is their landscaping.
In a hot, humid climate such as the one here in Central Texas, landscaping can contribute both shade and cool summer breezes.
Trees are an important element in landscaping your yard. When you have solar panels, the selection and placement of trees is critical. They need to be placed properly to provide valuable shade without blocking sunlight from reaching your panels for maximum benefit. Choosing the right size and type of tree is also important to gaining both aesthetic value and climate control from your trees. Your goal is to reduce your homes interior temperature without diminishing the amount of sunlight available to generate solar electricity.
In addition to shade, trees have other functions in managing the heating and cooling of your home. A strategically placed row of trees can serve functions such as directing cooling breezes in summer and providing a windbreak in winter.
While we usually think about trees when we think of cooling shade, there are other ways to incorporate plants into your plan to keep your home more comfortable, reduce cooling costs and beautify your surroundings, too.
For example, a vine covered trellis can be used to shield southern facing windows from bright sun. Such an arrangement reduces cooling cost and creates an attractive landscaping feature, too. This and similar well-placed landscaping elements can have a surprising impact on the amount you pay to cool your home in summer.
Shrubs, groundcover and bedding plants all play a role in a beautiful, functional residential landscape, too. Studies show that well-designed landscaping can help reduce summer cooling costs as much as 50%. Working with a landscaper who knows how to utilize plants to help cool your home in summer and reduce heating cost in winter is an investment that will pay for itself in a fairly short time.
Savvy homeowner today are looking for home improvements that deliver value by helping them save money, reduce maintenance costs, increase comfort and aesthetic appeal.
Have you scheduled a solar consultation? It’s the first step to managing your electric bills!