Swap out your AC for a tree

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 19:32

The weather outside your home can greatly affect your energy bill every month. In the summers, you're expending energy to cool your house and in the winter, you're doing the same to warm it. It can seem like a never-ending battle over the perfect climate for you in your home. Technological advancements over the years have helped people create more efficient buildings to dwell in with lower overall costs. There are air conditioners for those humid seasons and radiant heaters for those cold nights in your journey for just the right temperature.

However, there are other methods in addition to installing the best heating system that homeowners can buy. Strategically planting trees around your house can have an accumulative impact that you can see increase year by year as the plants themselves mature.

Your own personal forest

By planting trees in your yard, you can create your very own solution to the heat-island effect in your neighborhood, where clusters of emissions and high buildings create a higher temperature and more humidity than the spacious areas with more nature. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated that not only will actions against your own urban heat island reduce energy costs, but it will increase the quality of the surrounding air, absorb more water from rain and storms, and even lessen the upkeep needed for roads, driveways and sidewalks around your house.

Placing trees so that they cover windows and your roof allows these surfaces to avoid direct contact with the heating effects of sunlight. The shaded areas around your house will not only lower your demand for continuous air conditioner use, but it will reduce the power use that comes with it. Trees can make you more inclined to open a window in the summer instead of flipping the switch on your AC because the air outside the glass is already cooler. The breezes that will sweep through your home won't be super-heated from the sun's rays and will instead be refreshing.

When you're choosing spots to dig a hole and plant your trees, pay considerable attention to the southwest corner of your home where the afternoon sun, the hottest time of day, will be focused. Plant the flora that will grow the tallest closest to your home and the smaller trees further away to expand the retention of the canopies. Take into account the power lines running to your building though so you can prevent future unwanted intersections.

Looking passed their aesthetic allure, your trees can even reinforce the structure of your house against the tough winter gusts by acting as a windbreaker too, according to Inhabitat.

Make your yard go green

By planting new trees, you're making a lasting beneficial change to the environment around you. Innovative technologies such as radiant floor heating can still be applied to further reduce your carbon footprint and the costs of maintaining your house's temperature, but combined with nature you can take your sustainability to the next level.

Instead of having to replace a piece of machinery every few years to do the job of heating or cooling your house, plant some trees and watch the positive impact grow over time. Your plantings won't just transform your yard into a small forest to enjoy during the warmer seasons, it will contribute to your comfort inside also. If you're looking for an eco-friendly upgrade to make to your home, nothing gets more green than a tree - especially once it blooms - except maybe your wallet.