Plant a deciduous tree (one that drops its leaves over winter) on the southwest corner of your house. It will shade your house in summer, while allowing warm sunlight to pass through in winter.
In fact, plant various types of trees around your yard to add cooling, while using evergreens to break winter winds. These will not only help the environment, but also improve your property value.
The key is choosing the right trees, and planting them where they will have enough space to grow without interfering with utility wires, solar panels or too close to your house. What’s commonly known as “the right tree in the right place.”
“Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20–50 percent in energy used for heating. Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value.”
USDA Forest Service
That can mean checking with your local nurseryman or landscaper for their recommendations and planting assistance. The earthen ball on a large tree can easily weigh several hundred pounds or kilograms.
Nurseries can steer you away from trees that tend to split, or have a host of insect and disease problems. Needless to say, it will take a number of years for a newly planted tree to have the full effect of assisting your home with heating and cooling.
“If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%.”
Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research