Lower Your Cooling Bills (And Much More) With Shade Trees

home shaded by nearby shade trees

Lower Cooling Bills By Providing Shade Trees To Block The Sun From Your Attic

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Shade Trees & Vegetation lower Surfaces & Air Temps by providing shade.

  • Shaded surfaces are up to 25–45° cooler than unshaded surfaces. 1  The farther south in the U.S. you are located, the higher the spread in temperatures, due to sun intensity.
  • During a sunny summer day, when the outside air temperatures is 95–97°, attic temperatures reach 150–160°.  2
  • If your roof’s surface temperature is reduced by 45° (with shade), the temperature inside the attic is reduced by about 70° (1-1/2 times roof surface temperature reduction).
  • With shade over the attic, you can reduce the amount of attic heat by up to 1/2 on a hot, sunny, DFW summer day.
  • The amount of a home’s total cooling-load, attributed to ceilings and attic heat = 15–30%.  2
  • Shade over your roof can reduce cooling bills by 7–15%

Additionally, shading roofs can help roof shingles last longer, especially on south and west exposures.

  • The three basic components of asphalt shingles are: the fiberglass mat, the asphalt, and the colored ceramic granules. 3
  • The ceramic granules shield the asphalt and fiberglass mat from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.  UV rays rapidly disintegrate the asphalt and fiberglass mat. 3
  • The oils in the asphalt are slowly released over time as they are pulled to the surface by the heat of the sun, and washed away by rain.  3
  • It’s normal for shingles to become brittle and crack as they age.  It’s due to UV light exposure and heat degrading the asphalt.  3
  • Note:  Heavily shaded roofs in moist climates can age prematurely if moss (black streaks) or algae (green) are allowed to grow.  Moss or algae breaks down shingles.  4
  • Note:  Roof Cleaning Services can remove moss & algae to extend the life of the shingles. Cleaning also dramatically improves the appearance of the roof. 4

shingles with moss growth

final results of roof single cleaning to remove moss







Shingles stained with moss  4                     Same shingles after cleaning  4

SOURCE 1: https://www.epa.gov/heat-islands/using-trees-and-vegetation-reduce-heat-islands

SOURCE 2: http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/ventilation.htm

SOURCE 3: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2015/01/27/ask-the-builder-why-roof-shingles-can-fail-prematurely/?utm_term=.f0d90659c319

SOURCE 4: http://www.bonhamroofcleaning.com/roof-cleaning.html

Additional Benefits Provided By Shade Trees

Shade Trees Save You Money.  Trees placed properly near your home can:

  • Reduce air conditioning demand by up to 15%
  • This allows your air conditioner to run up to 15% less — making the HVAC System last longer.
  • Shaded roofing shingles stay as much as 45 degrees cooler.  Shade also reduces the singles exposure to the sun’s UV Rays.  These 2 factors make your roof last longer.
  • Shaded lawns stay cooler, reducing how quickly water evaporates from the lawn — resulting in lower water bills.  With today’s lawn-watering restrictions, trees may sometimes provide the only way to ensure your lawn is not overly dry.

Trees Reduce the Most Common Greenhouse-Gas Emission.   Trees absorb Carbon Dioxide (CO2), then remove & store the carbon.  In return, trees release oxygen.  Trees freshen the the near your home.  Since all home’s leak outside-air into the home, nature’s air fresheners may improve your Indoor Air-Quality.

Shade Trees Help Shield Us From The Sun’s U-V Rays.  Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.  Trees reduce the most damaging UV-B Rays by up to 50%. For people with fair skin, it takes only 15-30 minutes in midday sun to sunburn.  Sitting under a shade tree allows us to be outdoor longer.

Shade Trees Can Make A Patio Usable.  A patio in blazing west sun is too hot to use in peak summer temperatures.  Additionally, the sun will be in your eyes as it sets.

patio in full sun

shaded patio











Not an inviting space to spend a summer evening                                                         A patio with west sun blocked

Trees Can Block Undesirable Views.  You can soften both the noise and view of things like busy trees and humming hi-voltage power lines.   Trees will provide the most benefit in blocking views and absorbing noise during the summer, when you are most likely to want the windows open.

trees and landscaping for curb appeal








Which did you notice first — the house or the lawn?

Which Trees Are Best For DFW Lawns?




  • FIG

Would You Prefer A More Tropical Look For Your Lawn?

Recommended PALM TREE:   Windmill Palm

windmill palm treewindmill palm tree in pot










While all Palm Trees can do well in DFW Summer, our winters are too cold for many Palm Tree species.  The Windmill Palm is very cold-tolerant.

Windmill Palm Tree — The Best Cold-Hardy Palm Tree

If you would love to have a Palm Tree in your DFW lawn, but thought palm trees only grow in tropical climates, here’s some great news.  A Windmill Palm tolerates typical DFW winters (windmill palms tolerate temperatures down to 5 degrees).  It is one of the most cold-hardy palms available.   And, the Windmill Palm is low maintenance and naturally pest resistant.   You often see Windmill Palms at the entrances of hotels.

The Windmill Palm has beautiful fan-like fronds in symmetrical groups. The fronds form the crown (top) of the tree, which can get up to 8 feet wide.  Below is a tree trunk that resembles burlap and gives an aged appeal.   A slow-growing species, the Windmill Palm is commonly found at heights of 10–20 feet high (maximum height can be up to 40 feet).

The Windmill Palm grows well in full sun to partial sun. It’s easy to care for and is able to adapt to many soil types (it must be kept well-drained). You can also grow a Windmill Palm in a large container.

SOURCE: http://www.arborilogical.com/knowledge-articles-and-publications/recommended-trees-for-north-central-texas/


Bamboo — Yes, There Are Species That Won’t Take Over Your Lawn

Plant The Right Type Of Bamboo.

There are two main types of bamboo, clumping and running.  Choose a CLUMPING bamboo that will not spread and take over your yard.  Running bamboos spread underground with long, cable-like rhizomes.   While running bamboo serves a wonderful purpose in nature, it’s not for lawns.

Clumping bamboo are defined as having a non-invasive rhizome structure.  Clumpers form a tight cluster of gently arching culms (stems) extending from a relatively small root mass. Each underground bud pushes upward forming culms (stems) — they do not become long running rhizomes. Instead, clumping bamboos grow outward in a circular formation at a modest pace of      2–12 inches per year. Canopy growth is also relatively slow, usually gaining a couple feet of height and width annually. Tropical and subtropical species of bamboo can reach 50 feet or more in the US in hot, southern climates.  

golden goddess bamboo in planter

Bamboo can be planted in the lawn or in pots.

Two things to consider when buying bamboo for a DFW lawn.  1.  Clumping Bamboo  2.  DFW is located within USDA Zone 8.

Chinese Hedge Bamboos: These clumping bamboos are suited for locations with winter low temps down to as low as 15 degrees.  Once once established, these species are very drought resistant.   Some (shorter) species of clumping bamboo are suitable for potting in a planter.   All species of clumping bamboo are suitable for DFW lawns.

  • Tiny Fern                   3 feet  Max. Height
  • Chinese Goddess      6 feet
  • Golden Goddess     10 feet
  • Green Hedge          25 feet
  • Alphonse Karr       25 feet
  • Silverstripe             30 feet

usda zones map

DFW is in USDA Zone 8 — with a Minimum Temperature of  10-20 degrees.  The Bamboo Species shown are tolerant to 15 degree.

SUMMARY:  Trees and shrubs can do a lot to reduce Air Conditioning Bills while increasing your comfort.  Blocking direct sun from a surface can reduce its temperature by up to 45 degrees.  In an attic, that equates to around 70 degrees cooler.  Shading some or all of your roof can reduce Air Conditioning bills by up to 15 % and make your roof shingles last longer.  Properly placed landscaping can do more than reduce cooling bills, it can: improve the appearance of your home, minimize unattractive views, increase privacy, minimize the visual-impact of an unattractive item in your lawn (like an electrical transformer).

The benefits of landscaping are endless.  Invest some time researching what types of trees and shrubs will do best in your DFW lawn (USDA Zone 8) and the sun-exposure (west, east, south, north) that will primarily shine on your certain landscaping.   Then, pick what appeals to you most.  Your personality can be presented in landscaping just as much as interior decor.  One person may want lots & lots of color, another may want a monochrome appearance.  Google can show you what any blooming plant looks like when it’s in bloom

colorful flowering plants

home with shrubs in front










There’s never a right or wrong choice in landscaping your home.  Looking at photos can assist you in deciding what you like best.


Call Al’s today for any Plumbing or HVAC System problems you may have.  A Spring A/C Check-Up can find problems such as low refrigerant level — which will force your A/C to run longer (because it’s not cooling as well as it’s designed to).  Other problems, such as a dirty coil in the outside unit, can increase cooling bills, reduce your comfort and shorten the life of the A/C because it must operate in adverse conditions (such as not getting enough air movement through the outside unit because the coil is too dirty).   Sometimes components are at the end of their lifespan.  They are likely to break down during the hottest weather when the A/C is running the most.

Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C does not sell or install any form of landscaping, or offer any landscaping services.