May 13 2016

The beautiful plants native to Allentown, Pennsylvania, can make handsome additions to your yard, and they can also help you control your energy costs. If you’re looking for ways to trim your electric bill, use these landscaping tricks and strategies to ease the burden on your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace.

Shade and Windbreak Trees

Large trees and shrubs can shade your home and outdoor living areas while also creating a windbreak. Pennsylvania’s state tree, the Eastern hemlock, works well for the latter purpose, especially if you plant several in a row along the edge of your property.

Other native Pennsylvania trees that can increase shade around your home include the chestnut oak and the sugar maple. Plant them close to your home (preferably on the west side to block midday sun), and keep them trimmed so they remain healthy for years to come.

You can also plant bamboo if you’re looking for a fast-growing source of shade. Trim it down during the winter so sunlight can enter your home, then let it grow over the summer for cooler interior temperatures.

Arbors and Trellises

You can also block the sun and keep your home cool with an arbor or trellis. These structures are perfect for Pennsylvania climbing vines, such as trumpet creepers and American wisteria. Place them around your backyard patio, for instance, to block the wind during frigid Allentown winters and to provide shade and privacy over the summer. They also can keep sun from streaming through your windows during the hottest months of the year, which will lower your utility bills.

Ground Cover

Ground cover can help lower the soil temperature during the summer and insulate it during the winter. Pennsylvania-native options include downy phlox and foamflower, both of which produce gorgeous blooms. Plant them around your house to beautify your yard and to take advantage of their insulating properties.

Landscaping offers an inexpensive solution for lowering energy bills. For other ways to cut heating and cooling costs, call Sullivan Oil and Propane at 610-813-6555 to schedule an HVAC consultation.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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