WATCH: Planting Trees in Your Yard Can Save You Big Bucks in Energy Bills
It's no secret that trees benefit the environment and even our health, but what if we told you that planting trees in your yard might also benefit your bank account?
That's right. USDA-backed research has shown that backyard greenery can save homeowners hundreds of dollars in energy bills.
According to one study published in the international journal Energy, by planting large, shady trees, which help protect homes from excessive sunlight, urban and rural households can save up to 40% and 30% in air conditioning costs respectively. In fact, the USDA says that the "net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day."
And money adds up pretty quickly. According to Greg McPherson with the Center for Urban Forest Research, if you plant a tree on the west side of your home today, your energy bills should be 3% less within five years. In 15 years, the savings will be nearly 12%.
Their hard work doesn't end when their leaves fall off either. Trees, when planted as windbreaks, can reduce the costs associated with heating buildings in winter. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, windbreaks to the north, west, and east of houses cut fuel consumption by an average of 40%.
Trees can also help the when it comes time to sell your house. Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10% to a property's value, the USDA Forest Service reports.
Get planting, y'all!