5 Ideas For An Energy-Efficient Backyard

Amazing-outdoor-dinner-party-decorVia Tucson Electric Power

Nothing says summer like firing up the grill, enjoying the night’s breeze and hanging out in the backyard with friends and family. While you’re enjoying the outdoors, you can also be energy efficient. Use these affordable and easy tips to reduce your energy usage while you relax in your yard.

1. Replace outdoor light fixtures with weather-proof CFLs or LEDs. No matter which you choose, you’re sure to reduce your energy usage, and they’ll last longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs.
A CFL bulb uses up to 75 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb, lasts up to 10 times longer and emits up to 70 percent less heat. LEDs use up to 90 percent less energy than regular bulbs, last up to 25 times longer and emit 90 percent less heat.

2. Use motion sensors or timers with your outdoor lights. This will help ensure that you won’t leave them on and waste energy.

3. Or, use solar-powered lights to illuminate walkways and spaces in your backyard. The soft glow from these small solar lights is enough to light up paths and provide ambiance without disturbing your neighbors. •

4. Plant shade trees to decrease cooling costs indoors. Shading reduces the radiant energy absorbed and stored by surfaces, including walls, pavement and gravel yards. You can also reduce energy use by planting trees and shrubs to keep your air conditioner’s outdoor component in the shade, yet still allow air to circulate.

5. Replace your old pool pump with a variable-speed pool pump and enjoy a refreshing dip in your energy expenses. Standard pool pumps run at high speeds all the time, wasting energy and money. Variable-speed pumps can be programmed to operate at the right speed for the right task, which saves you energy.