Monday, May 05, 2008

Trees And Shrubs Can Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency

Planting the right tree or shrubbery in the right place can improve a home's energy efficiency and help shrink your heating and cooling bills.

According to the experts at Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd), one of the nation's largest electric utilities, it's all about selecting the right landscaping:

* Evergreens along the northern side of a property can serve as a "windbreaker," making it easier to heat the home during the winter months.

* Large trees that shed leaves in the fall, such as maple or oak, should be planted on the south and west sides of a building to allow winter sunshine and summer shade.

* Thick shrubbery planted around an air conditioner will shade the unit from summer sun. However, care should be exercised to avoid impeding operation of the unit's compressor.

Always be sure to place new trees away from power lines to prevent tree-contact with electrical lines that can cause outages, stresses ComEd.

Plant flowering trees that grow less than 20 feet tall, such as dogwoods or crabapples, near the street and under power lines.

Trees that grow taller than 30 feet should never be planted near power lines. At full height, these trees can contact lines and cause a power outage or even pose a public danger.

For more information about energy efficiency and the environment, visit www.ComEdCARE.com.
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