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Saving energy in the great outdoors

low-voltage lights over deck

Building a deck, patio or other outdoor living project is a great way to expand your home and take advantage of the beautiful Maryland weather. While your outdoor living space may not be the first part of your home that comes to mind when considering ways to save energy, you can do a lot with the area to improve efficiency.

Consider your lighting options

One of the easiest ways to save money and energy is with efficient use of lighting. Instead of traditional floodlights or path lights that stay on all night, consider other solutions. Solar-powered lights absorb sunlight during the day to illuminate your outdoor space at night. There are variety of solutions using solar, from path lights to deck accent lighting that can improve your space. Energy-efficient LED lighting can replace traditional incandescent lighting to reduce costs as well.

Improve your water features

Have a pool, fountain or other water features? There are several actions you can take to lower your energy and water usage here as well. Regularly covering your pool and using a solar blanket will reduce heating (and cleaning) costs.

An energy-efficient pool pump and filtration system, while costing more on the front end, can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. For smaller water fountains or ponds, a solar-powered or hybrid pump offers a more eco-friendly solution.

Water-conserving fixtures

For any outdoor water fixtures, such as an outdoor shower or faucets, you want to use the same strategies you would to conserve water indoors. Consider low-flow showerheads and faucets, and be sure to repair leaky fixtures to reduce water usage. See more about water conservation in the home here.

Choose energy-efficient appliances

//blog/If your outdoor living space includes an outdoor kitchen, efficient appliances can make a big difference in your energy consumption. Again, the considerations for choosing an efficient outdoor appliance are similar to the factors when choosing them for your indoor kitchen. If your outdoor appliances, such as a refrigerator, are not used on a regular basis, consider unplugging them during the down times to save on passive energy costs. (Most appliances draw energy even when they’re not in use.) See more about choosing energy-efficient appliances here.

Incorporate shade

Planting trees in your yard offers multiple benefits. The shade can make your outdoor living space more enjoyable, and require less usage of ceiling fans or other cooling elements. Other shade solutions, such as awnings or pergolas, can also help achieve those goals. Well-developed shade can also offer the dual benefit of helping block sunlight from your home, reducing energy costs there as well during the hot summer.

Ready to get started on that dream outdoor space and reduce your energy bills? Contact T.W. Ellis today!

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