It’s Smart To Use Trees To Help Cool Your Home

Let’s not mince words; it is hot out there. But then again, it is late July and it is supposed to be hot. If you are like most of us, your air conditioner is running constantly. In this day and age of high technology, isn’t it nice that something as simple as planting a tree in the right location can help cool our house in the summer, and let sun through in the winter to help warm it? Using trees can help cool your home.

Location, Location, Location

Where the tree is placed is extremely important for it to be effective.

  • Placement of a tree is the key to energy savings. Shade trees do affect summertime electricity use, but the amount of the savings depends on the location of the tree.
  • Trees planted within 40 feet of the south side or within 60 feet of the west side of the house will generate about the same amount of energy savings. This is because of the way shadows fall at different times of the day.
  • Tree cover on the east side of a house has no effect on electricity use.
  • A tree planted on the west side of a house can reduce net carbon emissions from summertime electricity use by 30 percent over a 100-year period.

6 Fast Growing Trees To Consider For Shade

Using Trees To Help Cool Your Home

Tulip Poplar

One of the most recommended fast growing shade trees is the Tulip Poplar, which can grow up to 8 feet per year, and mature at about 40′ to 50′ high.



Using Trees To Help Cool Your Home

Red Maple

Along with casting shade, the red maple also adds a burst of color in the fall, with the leaves turning a vibrant red before dropping. The growth rate of the red maple is about 3 to 5 feet per year, topping out at about 40′ high, and based on the pictures from this grower, it can rapidly create privacy and shade for your home or yard.



Using Trees To Help Cool Your Home

Red Oak

This fast growing shade tree is said to be the fastest growing variety of oak, and can provide not only a leafy canopy, but a steady supply of acorns each year, which are devoured by squirrels, deer, and turkeys.



 Using Trees To Help Cool Your HomeNorthern Catalpa

The large showy flowers of the catalpa, also known as the cigar tree or the catawba, are an added attraction to having this fast growing shade tree in your yard (and great for bees), but the real magic comes from its thick canopy of large leaves.


Using Trees To Help Cool Your Home

River Birch

The River Birch, aside from being a fast growing shade tree, also features an attractive bark that can add to the look of any yard, especially in winter when the leaves have dropped.


Using Trees To Help Cool Your Home

American Sycamore

This fast growing tree, sometimes referred to as the American Planetree, also has a whitish mottled bark, and can grow to be quite large. While sycamores are often found near rivers and ponds, they can also be grown in an urban yard, and may grow as much as 6 feet per year and reach heights of 70 feet or more.


One Last Tip: Don’t Forget To Shade You’re A/C Unit

An easy way to get quick results is to shade the air-conditioner. According to the Department of Energy, this can increase the unit’s efficiency by as much as 10 percent. Just be sure that shrubs or vines planted near the compressor do not obstruct the airflow or impede access for repairs.


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