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Landscaping Tips: Boost Energy Efficiency with Shading Trees

from: Carlo Morelli

Air conditioning for cooling homes consumes 5% of the
electricity generated in the U.S. With energy costs on the
upswing, many homeowners are looking for options to reduce their
cooling bills. Although your first thought on this matter may be
buying a more energy-efficient air conditioner, you might want
to consider using trees and other landscaped plants to shade
your home to help reduce cooling costs.

The heat from the sun which windows and roofs soak up can boost
your air conditioner use. Putting shading ideas into your
landscape plans can help lessen solar heat gain, thus reducing
your cooling costs. Shading and evapotranspiration (which is
what the process by which a plant moves and releases water vapor
is called) from trees can reduce temperatures of surrounding air
by up to 9 F (5C). In fact, air temperatures immediately under
trees can be as much as 25F (14C) cooler than air temperatures
above nearby blacktop surfaces, due to the fact that cool air
settles near the ground.

Trees can be chosen with appropriate sizes, densities, and
shapes for almost any shading application. You first need to
know size, shape, and location of the moving shadow that your
shading plant will cast. For blocking heat in the summer but
letting it in during winter, select deciduous trees. To provide
uninterrupted shade year round, use thick evergreen trees or

To provide maximum summertime roof shading, plant Deciduous
trees with high, spreading leaves and branches to the south of
your house. Trees with branches lower to the ground are better
suited to the west, since shade there is required from lower
afternoon sunlight. A 6-foot to 8-foot deciduous tree planted
close to your home will start to shade windows it's first year.
In 5-10 years the tree will shade the roof, depending on the
species and the climate. If you have an air conditioner, shading
the unit can raise its efficiency by up to 10%.

About the author:

Carlo Morelli writes for OnlineTips.Org, where you can read tips
on href="">radiant
heat flooring, href="">windo
wless air conditioners, and other home improvement topics.


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