Who would have thought your gardening and landscaping efforts could have an effect on how efficiently your HVAC system performs? But it's true: strategically located trees and shrubs can have a beneficial impact on your system's efficiency, and lower your energy bills.
Here's how landscaping and gardening affects HVAC performance.
Trees and Shrubs
Trees that shade your walls and windows from solar radiation can help lower your utility bills significantly. If you don't already have trees shading your home, plant some, but make sure they are located at least 30 feet from the home. It's better not to have limbs growing over your roof.
Shading your outdoor air conditioner condenser can also lower your bills. The shade helps the unit run cooler, so there's less energy use and less wear on the working parts. Your condenser will thus last longer. Keep tree limbs trimmed where they aren't directly over the unit, as they can break during storms and damage it. Keep shrubs cut back so they don't interfere with airflow.
Keep weeds and grass trimmed around the condenser to prevent interference with airflow; likewise, rake up leaves in the winter so they don't pile up around the fins. When mowing or weedeating, don't fling grass cuttings or other debris into the fins, which can clog or damage them.
Shrubs are also beneficial for efficiency. A wall of shrubs, in addition to blocking solar radiation, in the winter can trap a layer of air that acts as insulation, preventing heat transfer from the home to the outdoors, and also keeping cold from creeping inside the walls and foundation.
If you "garden" indoors with container plants, know that enough plants in the home can raise humidity levels. Higher humidity can make you feel warmer so that you need to turn the A/C down to feel comfortable. But indoor plants can also improve air quality by removing airborne pollutants. Pollen-bearing plants may aggravate allergies, so choose species carefully.
Want to know more about how gardening affects HVAC performance? Contact Hartman Brothers of New Haven. You can also schedule repairs, maintenance and installations.