Windbreak Your Home: Guide to Weather Protection
Your home’s protection is critical. There are many environmental factors that happy living situations. Today, we are starting the conversation about windbreaks., natural and artificial. Find out more information on how you can conserve energy and fight climate change at the same time!
Natural or landscape windbreakers often include a number of carefully placed trees and/or shrubs near a home. The strategic placement is used to reduce a home’s wind impact by redirecting the wind flow. This natural barrier cuts down the effect of wind chill, ultimately lessening the need to heat your home. You can save money on energy bills! The most common plants used are evergreen trees and shrubs. The trees are popular because once fully grown, they are high enough to block wind and send it over your house rather than a direct impact.
Shrubs are useful because of their small stature; they seal your home against potential airflow at the ground level. For most of these plant types, 2-3 rows should suffice for an effective windbreak. Additionally, the placement is severely important. You will want to place your windbreak rows 2-5 times the full-grown height of the trees away from your house. The distance puts your house in a pocket where airflow will circulate over and around.
- Plant at least two different species of plants to ensure survival in the event of pest infestation
- Plant your small shrubs at least 12 inches away from the exterior of your home for pest control purposes
Your region’s climate is also a great determinant of windbreak planning. The Department of Energy has great information on how to naturally landscape to create a better, energy efficient home. Check out their recommendations here.
For example, the United States has 4 major climate regions to keep in mind:
Each climate has different wind patterns and seasonal variations, so it is important to keep in mind, not all landscaping recommendations are universal. The tips include when to prioritize shade during which season, as well as the direction plants and shades should face.
Unnatural windbreaks are also another option to use! This can include getting fence screens, sun shade sails, or artificial hedges. These options are made to have the same result as landscape windbreaks. Additionally, they can serve as great aesthetic pieces to your home. Available to you are wind screens like the ones we see at tennis courts. Windscreens are made in a variety of ways. Some can roll up and down to protect the inside of your home from the sun’s rays. This allows you to enjoy the weather and keep your home’s temperature from rising to uncomfortable heights.
Another version of unnatural windbreaks are artificial hedges. These can be placed closer to your home than the previous recommendations since they do not attract pests in similar fashion. Moveable windscreens are available for purchase and should be a top consideration if you do not have a lot of yard space. These are great because you can change the placement at any time.
Windbreak source information (HGTV and the Department of Energy)