Your landscaping can have a big impact on how well your HVAC system performs, both summer and winter. Trees, shrubs, weeds, grass and even some of your landscaping and gardening practices play a part. Read on and learn how gardening affects HVAC systems.
Trees and Shade
You know how you feel cooler when you stand in the shade? Well so does your house. Properly located shade trees can reduce your utility bill significantly in the summertime. Trees should be planted at least 30 feet from the home, and you should trim all lower branches from 6 to 8 feet from the ground. Also, keep tree limbs from growing over the roof in case they break in a storm.
Shrubs can also play a part in lowering your utility bill. Not only do they shade windows and walls and keep out sunlight in the summer, but they can also insulate walls and foundation with a layer of air that prevents cold air from migrating inside.
Shading the Condenser
The condenser is the outdoor part of your air conditioner. Shading it with trees and shrubs in the summer will help it run cooler and more efficiently, ensuring that it will last longer. Just be sure to trim all shrubs and limbs back at least 2 feet so as to maintain proper airflow. Also, don’t allow tree limbs that might break in a storm to grow over it.
While working in your yard, take care not to aim the lawnmower so that it’s hurling grass and debris at your condenser. The fins can be damaged or clogged. Clean up around the condenser, trimming all weeds and grass, raking up leaves and removing all pots, tools and garden furniture that might blow onto the condenser during a storm.
Inside the Home
Indoor plants can boost your indoor air quality by removing pollutants, but be careful: pollen-bearing plants aggravate allergies. Also, abundant plants may raise your home’s humidity. This can make your home’s occupants feel warmer.
For more on how gardening affects HVAC system performance, contact Detmer and Sons of Dayton.