Tip 1: Plant shade trees to cool your home
The summer sun hits your home’s walls, windows and roof. This heats up your house, causing your A/C to work overtime. Planting trees around your home can provide shade, giving your air conditioning unit a much-needed break.
Tip for tip 1:
To the south and west of your home, plant trees that shade your walls, windows and at least 20% of your roof. Plant deciduous trees that grow 25‒40 feet tall when mature for the best results. Plant the trees with their trunks at least 15‒20 feet away from your walls, and make sure there are no power lines or other obstructions nearby.
Tip 2: Use ground cover in place of grass or turf
Adding plants to your yard can help keep it cool. Replace part of your lawn with lush ground cover. Water will evaporate off the leaves of the plants, cooling the air around your home.
Tip for tip 2:
Choose low, slow-growing plants that do not require much water or fertilizer to grow. Keep plants 1‒2 feet away from house foundations to avoid a buildup of moisture or pests.
Tip 3: Plant shrubs to better shade your air conditioner’s condenser
Creating shade for your air conditioner can cool down the air around it. The result? Your A/C unit doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your air before sending it into your house.
Tip for tip 3:
Plant tall, narrow shrubs (with a height of around 5‒8 feet). Leave 3‒5 feet of space between the shrubs and the A/C unit for better airflow. And don’t forget to leave room for airflow around the A/C heat exhaust vent.
Tip 4: Plant a windbreak
Planting a windbreak near your home will create an area of still air next to your house. This will prevent drafts and increase your home’s energy efficiency.
Tip for tip 4:
Decide which direction the wind blows most frequently on your home. On that side, plant an unbroken row of evergreen trees that won’t lose their foliage in the winter while blocking the wind year-round. Make sure the edge of the trees is about 5 feet away from your exterior walls. The row of trees should also extend beyond your walls on both sides.
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