Sitting under a shade tree on a hot day makes you cooler, and standing by a wall on a cold, windy day makes you feel warmer. It seems pretty obvious. What's less obvious is that you can landscape your yard to offer your home those same benefits. It just takes a bit of planning in the way you site trees, fences, and other elements.
Some statistics to illustrate the point:
- A well-positioned tree can save up to 25 percent of your home's energy for heating and cooling.
- A tree-shaded yard can be up to 6 degrees cooler than a sunny yard. A shaded lawn can be up to 25 degrees cooler than sunny pavement.
- Shading your home's roof can increase your air conditioner's energy efficiency by more than 10 percent.
- A single shade tree equals the cooling power of 15 air conditioners -- and it runs for free!
- Three house-shading trees can cut your cooling bill by as much as half.
- Windbreaks can cut winter heating bills by 10 to 30 percent.