How To Save Money on Energy Bills With Trees and Shrubs

How To Save Money on Energy Bills With Trees and Shrubs

Using mast-producing trees and shrubs in the home landscape can lower your heating and cooling bills by up to 25%. Here’s how:

Plant large deciduous trees on the south, west, and east sides of your house.

Well-placed deciduous trees can lower your cooling bills by up to 50% in some regions because they shade the roof, walls, and windows of your home in summertime, keeping them cooler and reducing the amount of time and effort your air conditioner needs to spend cooling your home. Shading the roof is especially important if you wish to reduce cooling bills, so if you don’t already have trees large enough to shade your roof, plant trees that will grow large enough to do so. As a side benefit, studies have found that large, mature shade trees in the yard can increase the value of a home by up to 10%.

In the winter, deciduous trees lose their leaves, allowing the sun to stream through the bare branches and warm your home, reducing heating bills.

Plant deciduous trees to shade driveways, sidewalks, patios, and streets.

Unshaded asphalt absorbs huge amounts of heat, raising the surrounding air temperatures and contributing to the urban heat island effect. Air temperatures directly under shade trees can be as much as 25 degrees lower than air temperatures above unshaded blacktop, and studies have found that summer daytime air temperatures are an average of 3-6 degrees lower in neighborhoods with many large shade trees than in neighborhoods with few trees. This reduces cooling bills for the entire neighborhood

Tree-lined streets offer a number of other surprising benefits as well. Property values in neighborhoods with tree-lined streets increase by as much as 20% over comparable neighborhoods with few trees. Other studies have found that drivers are more likely to drive responsibly down streets that are lined with trees and that families who live in tree lined neighborhoods are more likely to take regular walks and play outside. Finally, trees improve air quality in the neighborhood and reduce noise.

Plant trees or shrubs to shade your air conditioning unit.

Studies have found that shaded air conditioning units use up to 10% less energy than unshaded ones.

Plant a mix of conifer trees and shrubs on the northwest side of your house as a windbreak.

Windbreaks can reduce heating bills by up to 20% and are effective for up to eight times their own height. Plant them in an “L” or “U” shape for best results. Planting a mix of trees and shrubs shortens the period before the windbreak becomes effective and ensures that wind will be blocked both close to the ground and higher in the air.

Use evergreen shrubs as base plantings on the north wall of your house.

Planting a dense hedge of evergreen shrubs about 1-5 feet from the north wall of your home creates an insulating pocket of still air against the wall of your house, reducing heating bills.

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