How Shade Can Help You Lower Your Air Conditioning Bills
Trying to keep your home cool during the summer can be a real challenge. Cranking up your AC will help to keep your home cool, but it won't be enough on its own. The problem with AC is that it can only cool a house down once it starts to heat up in the first place. Over the course of the day little things like having a large number of people in your home, baking, and solar heat gain can really cause a home to heat up. If you want to keep your home cool, you need to do something to keep your home cool to begin with. Proper shade can do a lot to help.
Trees Trump Heat
Long before humans figured out how to use phase conversion in an AC unit to cool a building or automobile, mother nature had created her own perfectly green AC unit. Trees help to keep things cool in two ways:
1. When the sun's UV rays strike an object, they cause the object to heat up. Trees provide a block so that whatever is covered by the tree's shade receives less UV rays, and therefore, stays much cooler.
2. Trees utilize a process known as evapotranspiration. Through this process trees release water vapor into the air. The water vapor can then absorb heat from its surroundings. The air thus cooled can then settle down onto whatever lies below the tree.
A Proper Tree Planting Strategy
If you really want a little shelter from the sun, you can't just plant trees randomly around your yard. You need a plan for where you will plant your trees and what sort of trees you will plant. For the best protection from the sun, you will want to plant tall trees with a large crown to the south of your house.
Make sure these trees are close enough to provide shade and for you to receive the benefits of evapotranspiration. You can also plant trees along the west of your house to block the evening sun. Trees planting to block the westward sun can be shorter but should still have a wide canopy.
Trees are nature's air conditioning. Homeowners who utilize trees properly can save up to 25% on their HVAC costs. While trees will do nothing to help your home stay cool while you bake, trees will help to prevent heat from coming in from the outside. Anything you can do to cut costs is a good thing, and trees can be a very good thing.