Landscaping: utilizing trees and bushes for cooling benefits

Trees, shrubs, vines and more can keep you house feeling cooler in the summer by blocking unwanted sunlight. By planting a tall tree or shrub, you can greatly increase the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, but make sure to maintain a perimeter of 6 – 10 feet around it. The shading these plants produce can decrease your cooling costs by as much as 25%.

Ways to utilize your landscaping and window trimmings to get the most out of your comfort system:

1. Plant trees that shed their leaves in winter (deciduous trees) by windows that receive direct sunlight. This will allow warming rays of light to enter during the winter months, while blocking direct sunlight during the summer.

2. Plant rows of shrubs to create walls against harsh winter winds, patches of shade, and natural sound barriers.

3. Installing trellises with climbing vines can help provide cooling shade in patio areas.

4. Installing shades, blinds and shutters on windows can also help to reduce the amount of direct light entering the house. The added control over the light allows you to maintain room temperatures to your liking without having to always adjust your thermostat.

Did You Know? Planting….

  • Trees with lower crowns to the west will protect from low, afternoon sun light.
  • Deciduous trees to the south of your home can screen out most of the hot summer sun.
  • Trees on either side of your house direct cooling wind to your home in the summer.

Carefully planned landscaping and window accessories can greatly impact your home’s temperature all year round, as well as your utility bills. Get planning and start saving now!


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