You can reduce your energy bills all year round by planting suitable trees in appropriate locations around your home.
Trees are nature's own cooling system. They can reduce the heat load in your house by more than 70%, lower air temperature by as much as 10C, reduce ground temperatures around your house by up to 30C, and lessen heat loss from your house in winter by up to 25%.
Trees generally need only minimal maintenance and care, yet can add thousands of dollars to the value of your property.
Most people don't take full advantage of the ability of trees, shrubs, ground cover and vines to modify the effects of weather on their homes.
Using trees to naturally shade a house can dramatically increase levels of comfort by:
- Shading buildings from the hot
summer sun (especially the
- Providing outdoor shade during
Deciduous trees around your home, particularly to the north, will shade it in summer and keep it cool. When their leaves have fallen they will let the sunshine through to warm your home in winter. Plant them near the house, in the sun's path, but not right up against the wall.
Cloudy skies give rise to considerable glare. The ground also reflects a lot of heat and light, especially from paved areas, car parks and fields of dry grass. Therefore, it is desirable to shade surrounding grounds as well as your house.
Planting For Ventilation & Windbreaks
Rows of evergreen trees should be located where they will screen the home from cold winter winds. However, plant them away from the house to prevent shadows and root damage to foundations and pipes.
As well as providing windbreaks, thick rows of trees or shrubs can help to deflect cooling breezes into the house in summer.
Insulation & Evaporative Cooling
The air space left between the walls/windows and vines forms an effective insulation against the summer heat. In addition, you get the added cooling effect of the leaf transpiration process - the method by which leaf moisture is converted to vapour.
In warm, dry climates, sheltered courtyards, adjacent to the house and containing gardens, enable you to take advantage of the cooling effect of the leaf transpiration process.
Cooler air can be drawn into the house from openings facing the courtyard and expelled through high wall or roof vents.