Planting around your home can help cut your air conditioning costs by as much as half, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The key is planting strategically, and fall is the perfect time!
Choose the right tree.
Trees and shrubs that are native to the area where you live are always the best choice because they’re easier to maintain and naturally acclimated to the environment. Across PEC’s service territory, look for mountain laurels or Mexican white oaks.
Know where to plant.
Look for areas around your home that need shading, including near windows and walls that soak up the sun’s rays. Shrubs and mountain laurels are great to plant around your HVAC unit for shade; doing so can increase its efficiency as much as 10%. On the west side of your home, plant trees with full canopies, like oaks, to limit heat from the afternoon sun. Or plant trees on the south side of your home to reduce up to 90% of the sunlight hitting your home. The shade will help keep the pavement cool and decrease the air temperature by the time it reaches your windows, walls, and roof.
Keep distance in mind.
Leave 30-50 feet between medium to large trees like pin oak, green ash, white oak, walnut, red oak, and pecan trees. Keep small trees at least 26 feet away from electric poles, and 40-foot trees at least 40 feet away from poles. Trees larger than 40 feet in mature height should be at least 60 feet away from electric poles.
Did you know?
Fall is the best time of year for planting balled and burlapped trees. Planting now, allows your trees time to establish in the soil and grow new roots. When spring comes, they’ll begin to bud new growth.
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