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How Do You Shade Your Home in the Summer?

May 13, 2010 - 5:16pm

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This week, you read about some ways you can use shade to keep your home cool in the spring and summer. Some people are lucky enough to have a lot of trees for natural shade, while others of us have to create our own.

Spring is the perfect time of year to do some planting around your home, and landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home cool in the Summer and reduce your energy bills. Carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses for energy. Dense shading deciduous trees are generally best, and should be planted on the south-side of structures—far enough away from homes to allow for proper growth of the selected tree, but close enough for the shade of the tree in its maturity to cast a shadow to south-facing windows.

Be mindful to choose trees that thrive in your climate zone. Indigenous species are a safe bet. This will ensure your trees are healthy and they will generally require less water. And to be environmentally friendly—use natural fertilizers and pesticides.

And if you aren't able to plant trees, there may be other methods—such as overhangs and awnings—that you can use to shade your home.

How do you shade your home in the summer?

Each Thursday, you have the chance to share your thoughts on a question about energy efficiency or renewable energy for consumers. Please comment with your answers, and also feel free to respond to other comments. E-mail your responses to the Energy Saver team at consumer.webmaster@nrel.gov

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