Trees Save Money on Energy Bills
And Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
We all contribute to global warming when we do things like heat and cool our homes, drive our cars, and fly on airplanes. The good news is that there are many things each of us, as individuals, can do to reduce our carbon emissions. The choices we make in our homes, our travel, the food we eat, and what we buy and throw away all influence our carbon footprint and can help ensure a stable climate for future generations.
Trees are "carbon sinks." They absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use it as their energy source, producing oxygen for us to breathe. Reforestation is the most cost-effective means of offsetting carbon emissions. A tree can remove and store up to 7,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime. A tree that shades a house can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner and save an additional 200 to 2,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime.
- Consider reforesting your property by designing your landscape to include as many trees as possible. Plant trees in groups instead of singularly. This will not only increase the green canopy in your landscape, but it will also considerably add to its beauty. For example, think about how beautiful flowering trees look when they are blooming together.
- Trees should be planted at proper distances apart from each other to ensure optimum health and rate of growth. In general, shade trees should be planted 20-25 feet apart, flowering trees should be planted 12-15 feet apart and most evergreens should be planted 10-15 feet apart.
And Significantly Save In Energy Costs
According to the USDA Forest Service, "Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and can save 20-50% in energy used for heating."
- You'll save money if your air conditioner draws air from a cool, shaded area. One large shade tree can reduce the surrounding air temperature by as much as 9° F. Plant a tree to shade the area around and over your air conditioner, but be sure to keep the air intake area clear of branches
- More home energy is lost from windows than walls, so locate your trees to specifically shade windows. Plant a tree east or southeast of east-facing windows; south, southeast or southwest of south-facing windows; or west or southwest of west-facing windows.
- Trees can also save energy in cold weather. Planting a windbreak will lower the wind chill near your home, which can greatly lower heating costs. A windbreak is a single or multiple row of dense evergreen trees planted on the north and northwest side of your house (or the side with prevailing winter winds). The windbreak should be longer than the area to be protected. Extend the windbreak to the east side of the house, if space permits.
"A well-designed landscape not only can add beauty to your home but it also can reduce your heating and cooling costs. On average, landscaping for energy efficiency provides enough energy savings to return an initial investment in less than 8 years." - US Dept Energy