How Do Trees Conserve Energy at Home?

Trees provide shady spots to relax on hot summer days, add beauty to our yards, and even increase property values! But did you know that they also help regulate your home’s temperature and lower your energy bills when planted in the right locations?

Read on to learn how strategically planting trees for energy efficiency can help you save on utility costs year-round!

How Trees Save Energy on Your Utilities

The idea of “energy-saving trees” may sound far-fetched, but when the right trees are planted in the right spots in your yard, the benefits are real.

Here’s a look at four ways trees can reduce your monthly energy bills…

  1. By providing cool shade in the summer

What’s the first thing you look for on a hot summer day? Shade! Homes that are shaded by trees with large, thick canopies deflect the sunlight, so your home interior stays cooler and you spend less on your AC bill.

The effects of tree shade on home cooling show up in your monthly bills! Carefully placed trees can reduce your cooling season energy costs by up to 25%

Where to plant a tree to save on cooling: Plant deciduous trees on your home's western and southern sides to block the harsh summer sun from beating down on the roof. Concrete retains heat, so reduce heat absorption by planting trees with wide canopies along concrete driveways and patios.

  1. By allowing the sunshine to warm your home in the winter

Because deciduous trees lose their leaves in the winter your energy-saving shade trees will allow the warming sun’s rays to reach your windows and roof, reducing your need to heat your home in colder weather. So they save you energy year-round while providing curb appeal.

  1. Through transpiration cooling trees and the air around them

There’s another way trees cool in the summer/cooling season. Trees absorb water through their roots and release it through their leaves, cooling themselves the same way we cool our bodies through sweating. Scientists call this process transpiration. As a result of transpiration, the temperature under a tree can be up to 25 degrees cooler than in the surrounding area. This transpiration effect combines with sun-blocking to cool homes adjacent to the right kind of trees. Broad-leafed deciduous trees like oaks and maples provide the most transpiration benefits.

  1. By blocking cold wind in winter/the heating season

Winter winds push their way through the nooks and crannies of our homes, creating cold drafts. Rather than cranking up the heat, you can block these chilly winds by planting an evergreen wall between your home and the wind. Evergreens retain their needles in the winter to provide a barrier to the harsh, chilling winds that can make your furnace or heat pump work harder to keep your home comfortable. They’re the perfect windbreak tree!

How to make a windbreak with trees: The best trees for a windbreak are evergreen trees whose branches extend as far as possible toward the ground. Ideal species include junipers, Douglass firs, spruces, and full-branched evergreen shrubs. Plant trees or shrubs between your home and the prevailing winter winds. In most homes, that means planting to the north or west, but your area may have winds from a different direction based on geography.

Related Content: Can Trees Impact the Value of Your Property?

Two Ways to Maximize Conservation by Maintaining and Planting Trees to Save Energy

  1. Set new trees up for success

Planting new energy-saving trees is the first step to lowering your utility bills. However, the process doesn’t end there! You need to set your trees up for success by learning how to support new trees and shrubs. This means researching what types of trees will thrive in your region, ensuring soil quality, and planting strategically. Planting native trees is more than just an ecologically friendly choice; it’s also easier on you! Trees native to your region are adapted to grow there with minimum support required. If you’re unsure where to start, consult an arborist.

  1. Take care of your existing energy-saving trees

New trees take time to mature, meaning it may be years until you reap the benefits of home energy conservation. If you have existing trees on your property, you’re ahead of the game. However, mature trees need to be properly cared for so you can continue to enjoy them.

Invest in plant health care and schedule regular maintenance services, like routine fertilization. Investing in your trees now will help save money down the line. After all, it’s much more expensive to remove a mature tree than it is to care for and preserve existing plantings.

Save Energy (and Time) with Monster Tree Service

Keeping up with seasonal tree maintenance and health care can take a lot of time and effort. Conserve your energy (and the energy used by your home) by enlisting the help of our professional arborists for your “energy-efficient” trees.

Whether you’re planting new trees or taking care of existing trees, your local Monster Tree Service team is ready to help them thrive. Contact Monster Tree Service today for a free, no-obligation estimate.