Your landscaping can improve the appearance of your home and increase your property value, but did you know that the right landscaping can also improve HVAC efficiency? If you’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of your West Virginia home, here’s how landscaping can help:
Plant Large Trees
Planting large trees around your home is one of the best ways to use landscaping to boost HVAC efficiency. Planting deciduous trees can be especially helpful for getting the most out of HVAC efficiency year-round.
During the summer months, deciduous trees will provide shade for your home, keeping temperatures lower inside. With the shade provided from large trees, your AC unit won’t have to work as hard to keep your home cool.
During the winter months, deciduous trees will lose their leaves and allow the sun to break through to your home, keeping it warmer. The trees will also keep your home warmer by acting as a windbreak. Cold gusts and sustained wind can put added strain on your furnace during the winter. Creating a windbreak with trees will take some of this strain off of your system, improving HVAC efficiency.
According to the department of energy, carefully planting trees in this way can save up to 25% of household energy consumption.
Grow Climbing Vines
Another way to create shade that will block the sun from adding extra heat to your home during the summer months is by growing climbing vines. This option is great for those who want to benefit from the shading property of landscaping during hot summer months, without waiting for larger trees or shrubs to grow. Climbing vines also take up less space than large trees or shrubs.
Create Dead Air Spaces
Planting shrubs, vines, and bushes near your home can do more than provide a layer of shade or windbreak; they also create pockets of dead air space. Dead air spaces are insulating pockets of air that help regulate the temperature in your home during all seasons, leading to better HVAC efficiency year-round.
To get the most out of creating dead air spaces for temperature regulation, you want to keep your plants at least a foot away from the foundation of your home. This space will protect your foundation and keep pests away.
Protect Your Outdoor Unit With Shrubs
Planting shrubs around your outdoor AC unit will keep it shaded from the hot sun, lowering the strain on your HVAC system. Not only will this method keep your outdoor AC unit shaded from the sun, but shrubs can also keep it protected. Shrubs can protect your AC unit from debris like twigs, grass clippings, and other objects that can hurt the system, for example, as a result of mowing the lawn.
If you don’t want to commit to planting shrubs around your outdoor AC unit, you can also use large potted plants, which provides more versatility. Placing plants or shrubs around your AC unit will shade and protect it, while also hiding your outdoor unit to boost curb appeal. To keep your AC unit safe and running optimally for longer, make sure to keep all plants two to three feet away from the unit.
Tips for Energy-Efficient Landscaping
Now that you know the main ways that you can use landscaping to improve HVAC efficiency, here are tips to help you get the most out of your energy-efficient landscaping:
Don’t Waste Water
In addition to improving your HVAC efficiency, for all-around efficiency with landscaping, you want to ensure that you don’t waste water. You can do this by choosing plants that need less water, improving soil quality, scheduling water for the coolest time of day to avoid excess evaporation, and more.
Map Out Your Space
A big part of landscaping for efficiency is planting the right plants or trees in the right space. For example, deciduous trees should be planted on the south and west sides of your home where they will block the sun during the summer months, but let it in during winter months. Evergreen trees are best to plant on the north and northwest sides of your home for ideal windbreaking during winter months.
Give Your AC Unit Space
Planting trees and shrubs that create shade can take a load of stress off of your AC unit, allowing it to run more efficiently and increase its lifespan. But, to run properly and avoid unwanted breakdowns and repairs, your AC unit needs space. Plants and trees should be at least two to three feet away from the unit on all sides, and it’s essential to keep up with trimming and plant maintenance.
When positioning plants near an outdoor AC unit, it’s also best to allow room for the unit to be reached for routine HVAC maintenance.
Improving HVAC Efficiency With AirXperts
Landscaping is a great way to improve the HVAC efficiency in your home, but it’s not the only way. From proper installation to routine maintenance, there are many ways to ensure the best HVAC efficiency and the savings that come with it. For more ways to improve HVAC efficiency and for all your HVAC maintenance and needs, contact AirXperts today!