Earth Day is almost here, so what could be more fitting than planting trees and such that can help you save energy?
Planting the right trees in the right place can provide natural shade for your humble abode. This helps keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter without overloading your heating and air conditioning systems. The payoff? A healthier plant and wallet.
Landscaping for Shade
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, shading and evapotranspiration (the process by which a plant actively moves and releases water vapor) from trees can reduce surrounding air temperatures as much as six degrees! And because cool air rests near the ground, temperature directly under trees can be as much as 25 degrees cooler than surrounding areas.
With that in mind, you can use landscaping to shade your home, which will keep it cool the natural way and save you money in energy costs in the process. In fact, studies show that landscaping can reduce an unshaded home’s air conditioning costs by 15 to 50 percent.
What tree should I plant for the most savings?
Large deciduous trees create significant shade from the hot summer sun while also reducing cooling costs by an average of 35 percent.
While deciduous trees are best for blocking solar heat, dense evergreen trees and shrubs are best for blocking heavy winds.
Where should I plant them?
For the best results, plant tree on the east, west and northwest sides of your home. Deciduous trees with high, spreading crowns can be planted at the south end of your home. This will provide great shading in the summer months.
Trees with lower crowns work better when planted to the west because this is where shade is needed from lower afternoon sun angles.
What other tips should I know?
Make sure to plant trees far enough away from your home so their maturing root systems do not damage the foundation and branches do not damage the roof.
Other plants besides trees (think: bushes, shrubs and vines) can also provide natural shading for your home.
Learn More Ways to Cut Cooling Costs at Blair’s Air Conditioning and Heating
At Blair’s Air Conditioning and Heating, we love helping Florida homeowners keep comfortable for less. If you’re looking for more ways to reduce your energy costs without sacrificing comfort, check back with the Blair’s Air blog each week.