Author Topic: Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade  (Read 2586 times)

FrugalBeard

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Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade
« on: June 11, 2015, 08:40:53 AM »
First summer in an old but kinda non-mustachian house (it's twice as big as our previous one, but it allows us to live non-mustachian hospitality goals that are more than offset by mustachian urban density benefits like biking to work and walking to the grocery store). Anyways, we were totally prepared to pay a little more for cooling this summer since we paid a little more for heating last winter (despite dropping our tolerance threshold from 68F to 62F!), but this is our third day in a row of 90+ degree weather and it has yet to top 80 degrees on the main floor. So far we've only run the air 2 hours while having guests over for lunch.

Apparently one of the unexpected benefits of living in an old neighborhood is having ginormous trees on three sides of the house that pretty much shade the entire thing all day long! We drove out to the suburbs for an event last night. In addition to marveling at the volume of highway traffic that everyone else considers normal, and the empty sidewalks along the unwalkably spread-out wide four-lane streets, I also marvelled at the masses of treeless property lots subjected to the full gaze of the brutal summer sun.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 08:47:12 AM by FrugalBeard »

deborah

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Re: Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 10:17:03 AM »
Part of having ginormous trees is having cooler temperatures in both winter and summer (even after leaf fall, trees stop a lot of heat from the sun getting into a house).

realityinabox

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Re: Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 10:18:09 AM »
Last summer we moved from a second floor apartment in a house with no tree cover to a first floor apartment with no real direct sun (huge tree in front, houses close on either side).  The difference is astounding. We didn't use the ac at all last summer and haven't had any desire to yet this summer either.

Reminds me of this...
http://cdn.iwastesomuchtime.com/82620131425145.jpg


dess1313

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Re: Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 03:29:43 AM »
I live in a condo unit so i'm limited in what i can do.  But there had been a tree spot previously that would shade my front door and window.  It had been missing for years.  I got pissed off that i kept burning my hand on the screen door all the time and paid for my own tree that first summer i moved in.  Its amazing how much cooler it is under it, and its finally starting to stretch out over top my door and window!!!

I also insulated my basement on the inside.  Its funny because you can see exactly where my wall ends and my neighbor begins.  And where my insulation ends in spots where i couldn't add it.  The snow buries my wall where i have insulation, and where there is no insulation I have the snow sitting 2-8 inches away from the wall.  Its hard to imagine that much heat loss but it happens every single winter in all the same places.  I have probably dropped my gas bill in half with all the changes i did to my place

CmFtns

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Re: Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2015, 11:13:02 AM »
I'm currently renting a house on a corner of a street with zero trees. I did not realize the effect the sun could have on the house but it is shocking now that summer is rolling around. I'm in Florida and temperatures around this time of year get up to highs of maybe 86 in the middle of the day.

During the weekdays I turn the air off when I go to work and when I get home the house will be 88-90 inside. It's like a damn oven in there.
As a comparison on days where it is cloudy the house will hardly heat up at all even though it is just as hot outside.

AZDude

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Re: Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 11:34:05 AM »
Yeah, when we bought an older home in an older neighborhood, there were two huge mesquite trees in the front yard that would more or less block out the sun. Right before selling the home, we trimmed the trees down quite a bit for better curb appeal, I noticed a change right away. Suddenly it was much hotter in the rooms on that side of the home.

dess1313

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Re: Saving Energy With Ginormous Tree Shade
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 11:22:09 PM »
If you can, install blinds or other window coverings that will block the sun from coming in.  Its not much, but it helps limit the amount of heat you can gather up.  My one bedroom window faces west and gets a lot of afternoon heat, but with the blinds i have it will be hot at the window, but not coming through into the room as much