Using vegetation as thermal insulators for your home

Using vegetation as thermal insulators for your home

For a long time now there has been a lot buzz about using natural vegetation as thermal insulators for your home. In this post we will be discussing how to correctly use native or deciduous trees and other landscaping elements, not only natural beauty but also for regulating your home in the winter.

Vegetation as a thermal insulator

Studies have shown that in most parts of Australia, using vegetation around the periphery of your home can affect its overall thermal performance by up to 3°C. In addition, using vegetation as a thermal insulator can have the added benefit of buffering your home against the elements such as direct winds, rain and hail.

How to go about it:

Perth, Mid-west and SW Australia –

  • Use dense windbreaks to protect the home from cold winter winds. If possible, plant your windbreak at a distance from your home of two to five times the mature height of the trees
  • Shade northern and western facing windows and walls from the direct summer sun if summer overheating is a problem

Brisbane and SE Queensland –

  • Maximise the use of vegetation which sheds its leaves during the winter to allow sunlight to warm windows and walls
  • Due to higher humidity levels, try and make sure overabundant mulch is removed from the base of taller plants to minimise excess moisture build up that can cause damage to nearby walls

If used properly, vegetation can not only greatly enhance the visual appeal of your home, but also increase its energy efficiency as an ideal thermal insulator.