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Trees for Energy Conservation

Post in 'The Green Room' started by semipro, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,169
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    Came across the site below today. I can attest to the incredible difference that tree shading makes at our house. We now rarely require AC in the summer as the Maples to our south have matured.

    http://www.extension.org/trees_for_energy_conservation

    Urban Forestry Conservation experts have come together to provide you with timely, up-to-date information on best practices for the use of trees in an urban environment.
    Get answers to your Urban Forestry and Energy Conservation questions by Asking an Expert.
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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
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    8,455
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Many of us live in places that need no AC. We dang near need heat all year even though it never gets really cold. I get a big kick out of energy conservation folks pushing white roofs in my part of the country. Don't they know that we actually want the solar gain?

    I cut down all of my shade trees this last summer. Huge trees planted in rows to block the sun and wind from my home. We get very high winds in the cascade foothills and I was more afraid of the dang things falling into my house. So far, we have welcomed the few additional degrees of indoor temps that the lack of shade has provided.
  3. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    616
    I live in a small version of a tornado alley. The winds are so bad that I would want all my trees cut down around the house.

    Semipro, I think it is great idea for other areas of the country.
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,169
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    The winds are definitely an issue for us lately. Didn't used to be so much in the past.
    We had some high winds at home yesterday and that Derecho last summer with 80 MPH winds really helped with our firewood supply but the house was spared.
    Fortunately most of the strong winds we get come from the north where we want no shade trees and any trees on the south side should fall away from the house.
  5. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,163
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    There are so many possibilities, depending on where a person lives, to avoid AC in summer and reduce heat energy use during other times of the year. For anyone building or buying, siting should be the major consideration if energy conservation is the goal, and I think it should be because energy is expensive, the cost will continue to increase, and the payback is continuous. Siting for passive solar gain when heat is needed and shade from solar gain when not needed is really important.

    To avoid solar gain shading from trees, large eaves to keep the sun out from windows, and very well insulated attic all are important. As for trees, deciduous tress which shade during the summer but when their leaves fall allow passive solar in the winter are very good. Large eaves do the same thing: keep the sun out in the summer and let the sun in during the winter. With appropriate shading, many windows on the sunny side, well shaded during the summer, but allowing sun in during the winter, really help.

    You found a small gold mine with your shading and little need for AC. And to help even more, ceiling fans in sleeping areas in many cases can completely eliminate need for AC.

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