This is the single most important step you can take to reduce your utility bills, besides maintaining your furnace and air conditioner units properly. Trees can shade your windows, exterior walls, and the roof.
In the northern hemisphere, the best choice is to plant tall, deciduous trees on the south side of the house and shorter trees on the west side to block the sun’s rays in the late afternoon. That way, the tree will block the sun during the hottest part of the day in summer, but will allow the sun’s rays to strike the house in winter.
According to an Auburn University study, “two trees shading the west-facing exposure of a house and one tree shading the east-facing exposure reduced annual energy use for cooling by 10 to 50% and peak electrical use up to 23%.”
Remember to keep large trees, like oaks, at least 15 feet from sidewalks, driveways, and the house. Also, keep sewer line locations in mind to prevent root damage.
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