Utilize Your Landscaping to Make Your HVAC System More Effective
The never-ending search for ways to save energy and boost home efficiency tends to focus on improvements inside the home. Installing Energy Star windows, tankless water heaters and high efficiency heating systems are common and effective ways to save energy, but one of the most overlooked solutions is as close as your own back yard. With a little basic planning, you can utilize your landscaping to make your HVAC system more effective, improving efficiency and potentially trimming a substantial amount off your energy bills.
Landscaping also boosts the value of your home, improves biodiversity and reduces air and noise pollution. The key to using your landscape to your advantage lies in adding the right plants in the right spot. By strategically placing trees and shrubs in your landscape, you can make it easier to heat your home in winter and stay cool in summer.
- Deciduous trees like oaks and maples lose their leaves in winter, which makes them perfect for planting on the south and west sides of your house. The canopy of these trees blocks the summer sun, which reduces the “greenhouse effect” that forces you to run your air conditioner around the clock. In winter, the bare branches allow the sun to shine through, warming up your home.
- Evergreen trees, including pines, spruces and firs, keep their needle-like foliage year-round. This makes them ideal for windbreaks. Planting evergreen trees in a row on the north and northwest sides of your house helps block chilly winter winds.
- Shrubs and vines provide effects similar to trees, but on a smaller scale, making them a good choice if you don’t have room for big trees. Growing vines on a trellis can provide summer shade on your porch or patio, and low-growing shrubs offer a cooling effect.
To learn more about how you can utilize your landscaping to make your HVAC system more effective, contact Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC and plumbing systems).
Photo Credit: blmurch via Compfight cc