How a cool garden can cool your home

Homeowners are increasingly looking for inexpensive ways they can keep their home cool, (i.e. without having to keep the air-conditioning running all summer long) and an often overlooked way of doing this is by making the most of gardens.

A well-designed garden can help make a property far more bearable on a scorching hot day, while a bad design will have you reaching for that air-conditioning remote.

Make some shade

Try to find trees and plants that will provide adequate shade for you and your home.

Tall mature trees can be great for blocking out the sun and if they have narrow trunks they will still let any breezes through. Depending on the property however, medium or smaller trees and shrubs planted close to the property might be useful to prevent the sun from radiating in through windows or glass doors.

As well as trees it can be a good idea to install awnings, roller shutters or shade sails over windows to block out any harsh sunlight.

Be careful of adding heat sources

Concrete patios, brick walls and dark rooftops can be the biggest sources of heat. While it is better to try and avoid having large heat sources like this in your front or backyard, there are ways to subdue their affects.

Hedges and shrubs can help block reflected heat from the ground and vines can be used to help cover pavers or large areas of concrete.

For the roof you may like to consider painting it a lighter colour, or using a reflective paint that won’t absorb so much heat.

Choose the right plant types

Think carefully about the trees you plant in your garden, because the wrong types can lead to problems down the road.

First of all make sure that you don’t choose a tree with invasive roots, as this could affect your underground services. Also check that trees will be the right height when fully grown. Ideally a tree will be tall enough to provide the shade you need, while not blocking out things like solar panels or scenic views.

If you want your garden to be able to let in light in wintertime then choose a deciduous tree.

When planting trees don’t forget to also consider how they might affect your neighbours as well as local wildlife. It’s often best to choose native trees as they will have a better chance of thriving in your garden and will attract local fauna.

 

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