Does Landscaping Affect My AC Bill in Phoenix, AZ?


There are a number of reasons why Phoenix residents have some of the highest electrical bills in the country each summer. Certainly the high temperatures and heat index play the biggest roles, but another piece of the puzzle is the lack of shade trees surrounding homes. While residential areas in most other states have enough large shade trees to help block some of the summer sun and bring indoor temperatures down a few degrees, many Phoenix and other desert dwelling residents don’t. Without those crucial shade trees, you end up spending more on air conditioning each summer than a home in a similar climate with shade trees will.

Shade Trees and Annual Savings

Adding just three to five shade trees in the eastern, western, or southern areas of your home’s lot can lower your annual electric bill by about $50. This is because shade trees planted in these areas help block some of the sun from beating down directly onto your home. So while the ambient temperature around your home may still climb, you won’t be adding the greenhouse effect with the sun pouring in through your windows. In turn, your AC unit doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home, saving electricity and money.

A full complement of mature shade trees planted around your home can lower the indoor temperature by as much as 20 degrees during the height of summer. Combined with other temperature-saving tricks such as attic fans, good insulation, and programmable thermostats, shade trees can help you keep your home much more comfortable year-round, while also producing oxygen and cleaning the air.

Where to Plant the Trees for Maximum Benefit

Keep in mind that most trees are planted when they are saplings. This means that they may only be about 4 – 5 feet high when you plant them. Averaging about a foot of growth a year, it could be a while before you see the full benefit of their shade.

That said, planting the trees approximately 10 – 15 feet from your home on the east, west, and south sides will help maximize the shade that they do give off immediately. You may find that even though the saplings have a ways to go to get to their mature heights, they can still block some of the sun from entering the windows on the lower levels of your home, keeping these rooms cooler and more comfortable. And because heat rises, keeping your home’s lower level cooler can help ensure that your whole home stays cooler.

Best Trees to Plant in Phoenix

Not every species of tree will do well in a desert area. Likewise, many of the plants that do flourish in Arizona aren’t going to reach the heights necessary to provide you with the shade you need to lower your summer electric bills. Therefore, be sure to choose trees that can handle the desert environment, and that should reach heights tall enough to provide you with some shade, such as:

  • Desert Willow
  • Willow Acacia
  • Thornless Palo Verde
  • Blue Palo Verde
  • Native Mesquite
  • Thornless Mesquite

You may want to make an appointment with an arborist who can visit your home and ensure that you’re picking the right type of tree for your soil and location. Combining the trees with other types of landscaping can also benefit the trees, helping them to mature quickly, while preventing soil erosion.

Keep Cool in the Summertime

Plant shade trees around your home anytime between September and May. (While trees provide the bulk of their benefit during the summer months, summer is not the optimum time to plant them.)

Consider adding some shade trees to your landscaping and help reduce your AC bill come next summer. You can even get free trees from SRP!

Precision October 19, 2017

Share This Post:

erik - owner


We want to help you learn about about all things air conditioning and heating! Have any questions or want to see us write about something? Give us a call, chat, or email and we'll do our best to help you out.


  • APS Qualified Contractor
  • BBB Accredited Business Logo
  • SRP certified contractor
  • Arizona Healt Pump Council
  • Energy star logo
  • Electric League of Arizona
  • NATE Logo

Testimonials & Reviews

See What Our Customers Have to Say

    • #
      Brett Walker

      I wanted to make sure my air conditioner was ready for summer. Fernando came out and made sure my unit was tip top. He was friendly, professional and not a sales man. Thanks Fernando!

    • #
      Jackie Barkenhagen

      Colin and Andrea were incredibly professional and knowledgeable. They did a great job representing the company. We will definitely contact them again for any HVAC needs that arise.

    • #
      Nick Corso

      We woke up in the middle of the nite on memorial day to a hot house. I called precision at 6am and they were here before noon. Simple problem fixed, cool house. I love these guys!

    • #
      Jeneen Piche

      Thank you Ray at Precision Air...the compressor on our AC went out last night and the house was HOT. This morning Ray was there to replace the compressor and had us feeling the cool air again in no time. Great customer service...quick response time and friendly from the first call until the repair was completed. Ray even offered to clean the filters! Thank you!!

    • #
      Cara Perlman

      I’m so glad I called Precision for my annual AC checkup!! Austin was professional, super friendly and answered all my questions. I’ve had more bad experiences with AC companies here in the valley than good ones. Precision Air will have all my hvac business going forward!! Thanks for being a reputable and honest company!!!

    • #
      Jeff Stanczak

      He did a great job; professional and knowledgeable! Kalin is the technician’s name and Precision Air and Plumbing should take a bow for hiring such an invaluable employee!!!

    • #
      Kingsley Evans

      Precision Air is a company of integrity. I signed up with them August 1st, 2019 for their AC maintenance plan for 2 years... Someone from their office called me a week ago to set up their yearly maintenance visit. SO GRATEFUL.

    • #
      Andrew Burkhart

      Precision Air and Plumbing is a wonderful company to work with! They are very experienced and professional. They have helped us in our home for many years via a/c service and air duct cleaning.

    • #
      David Topping

      It was time to replace our AC, and so our choice was Precision Air, as we've been with them for over 20 years. Teman & Julian did an excellent job on the installation today, arriving on time.

Contact Us

Feel free to contact us any time at 602-349-6922 for immediate assistance.

We offer 24 hour emergency service, and would be happy to schedule an appointment for you, or simply answer any questions you may have.

Precision Air & Plumbing

3045 N. Colorado St.
Chandler, AZ 85225

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

© Precision Air & Plumbing 2023.
Website Design by: My Biz Niche