shade trees cut energy costs

Keep Cool in the Heat

If you have ever escaped from intense summer heat by finding a shady spot under a tree, you know how a full tree canopy can help keep you cool. The same principal applies to your home. A well-placed, mature shade tree can block up to 90% of solar radiation, which could make your home more comfortable and translate to a reduction in your home cooling costs. Computer models devised by the U.S. Department of Energy predict that the proper placement of as few as three shade trees will save an average household $100 - $250 in energy costs each year.

Usually, the sun is most intense on the south and west sides of a building.  Planting trees in those locations can significantly lower the air temperature of your home in the summer.   Deciduous trees with high, spreading crowns offer cool shade in the summer, but lose their leaves in the winter allowing the winter sun to warm your home.  Trees with crowns lower to the ground are more appropriate to the west, where shade is needed from lower afternoon sun angles.

A landscaped yard can also help keep your home cool.  Shrubs and groundcover plants shade the ground and pavement around the home, reducing heat radiation and cooling the air before it reaches your home's walls and windows. Use a large bush or row of shrubs to shade a patio or driveway. Plant a hedge to shade a sidewalk. Build a trellis for climbing vines to shade a patio area.

Beyond energy savings and beauty, homeowners who take care of their trees and landscaping enjoy increased property values.   A research study from Clemson University found that maintaining a beautiful landscape is a cost-efficient way to increase the value of a home by as much as 7%.

Cagwin & Dorward’s Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) certified arborists can help you select and plant the proper tree you’re your yard, and help you keep it healthy and happy over the years.  Email an arborist, or call (800) 891-7710 to speak to a tree care expert.

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