Trees properly placed around a house can save you money and help cool your house in the summer. This is according to the U.S. Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research, but the concept is easy for everyone to understand. Go outside sometime this summer and stand in the sun for a few minutes. Then walk over to your nearest tree and stand in the shade. I bet you will notice that the shade the tree provides is much cooler than standing in full sun. This same concept can be replicated by planting trees in the right places to cast shadows on your house during different times of the day. Find out where to plant around your house and what trees are best.
Trees provide many benefits to all of us, every day. They provide cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife, purify our air, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add grace and beauty to our homes and communities. Planting the right trees in the right places conserves energy and reduces your energy bills, while helping to fight global warming.
Plant Deciduous Trees on the East and West Sides of Your Home
Large deciduous trees planted on the east, west, and northwest sides of your home create soothing shade from the hot summer sun and can reduce summer air conditioning costs by up to 35%.
Use: Deciduous trees (ones that lose their leaves) cool your house in the Summer and allow sun to heat your house in the winter (because they lose their leaves).
Planting Location: On the east, south, and west sides will keep your house cool in the summer.
- East Trees cast shadows on your house in the morning sun. The temperature is cooler so they don’t have as great of an impact on your electric bill.
- South Trees cast shadows on your house in mid-morning and early afternoon. Research done by US Forest Service has shown that you should plant these trees 40 feet or closer to your house to have a large enough shadow to cast. (Of course it depends on how tall your tree is. The taller it is, the larger shadow it casts).
- West Trees cast shadows that block the afternoon sun when temperature is hottest. These trees will have the most impact on your summer energy bills. But together East, South and West will create the most energy savings in the summer. Watch animation of how trees cast shadows
Other Ways to save energy with trees. Plant Deciduous Trees to Shade High-Heat Spots
Trees or shrubs planted to shade air conditioners help cool a building more efficiently, using less electricity. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
And trees that shade patios, sidewalks, and driveways cool the concrete, the entire yard, and even the neighborhood.
Ultimately planting tall, dense deciduous trees on the west, south, and east sides of your house or around your air conditioner will:
- – Cause you to use less energy
- – Create less demand on the energy grid because the utility company uses less energy, especially at peak demand times with West Trees
- – Use less fossil fuel, because the utility consumes less to create the energy
- – Reduce carbon dioxide emissions because less fossil fuels are consumed
- – Absorb greenhouse gases through the tree itself helping to reduce climate change
- -Absorb stormwater creating cleaner water
- -Create cleaner air