Thursday, April 2, 2009

Conserve Energy...Plant a Tree!

Did you know that you can conserve energy by:

  • Planting deciduous trees on the South side of the house to shade it in summer and let the sun in during winter months. Air conditioning costs can be cut from 10 to 50%.

  • Planting evergreen trees on the North side to act as a windbreak in winter as well as in summer when hot breezes can permeate your home.

  • Siting your air conditioning system in a shady spot or on the North side of your home.

  • Locating a trellis and vine on the South side of the house.
  • Planting shrubs in close proximity to the house to create a lower windbreak in winter, keep out heat in summer.

  • Making gardens...plants release moisture which cools the air as it evaporates.

  • Installing a solar powered fountain, for the same cooling effect.

From the National Academy of Sciences...

The NAS estimates that urban America has 100 million potential tree spaces (places where trees could be planted). It further estimates that filling these spaces with trees and lightening the color of dark, urban surfaces would result in annual energy savings of 50 billion kilowatt-hours...25% of the 200 billion killowatt-hours consumed each year by air conditioners in the U.S. This would reduce electric power plant emissions of carbon dioxide by 3.5 million tons (32 metric tons) annually and save users of utility-supplied electricity 3.5 billion dollars each year.

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