We all know planting trees is a good thing. They give us shade. They help absorb carbon emissions that are warming up the earth. They are beautiful to look at. But did you know that planting trees — done the right way — can actually help you save money?
Trees that shade the home in just the right way can reduce your need for energy, and lower your utility bill. Learn how planting trees can boost your HVAC savings.
Shade Trees Block Solar Radiation
Shade trees provide most of their cooling benefits by shading your home from solar radiation that falls on the roofs and walls and enters through windows. But shade trees also block the sun from heating up your HVAC’s outdoor condenser. This helps the condenser run cooler and more efficiently, and can even make parts last longer.
But trees also can actually cool the air around them through the transpiration process. Trees absorb water through their roots, which is released as vapor through the leaves. When the liquid changes to vapor, it can cool the nearby air by as much as 6 degrees. Plant lots of trees around the home and you can lower the ambient temperature significantly.
Choose Trees Wisely
If you’re not very learned about trees, you could probably use some advice from an arborist or a nursery professional. Get the lowdown on how tall trees will grow, their growth habit and whether or not they are drought tolerant. Find out about potential disease or insect problems. It’s best to avoid trees that shed seeds or fibers that may be sucked into the air conditioner’s condenser unit.
Careful Where You Plant
Trees should be located from 10 to 20 feet away from the home’s exterior. You don’t want branches damaging the roof in a storm, or roots cracking your foundation.
Plant shorter shade trees on the east and west sides to block the sun from windows; plant taller trees on the south to shield the roof at midday.
For more on trees and HVAC savings, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing of Cleveland.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.