If you’ve ever walked through a clump of trees on a warm day, then you know how cooling they can be. Not only do they block the sun’s rays, but they also give off a cooling breath of air as they go through transpiration, that is, the water in the leaves changes from a liquid to a vapor, cooling the surrounding air.
Trees can also cool down your house significantly during the hottest months, reducing your need for energy. That means you’ll pay less for electricity to cool your home, while you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
But you will need to plant trees strategically to reap the benefits. Here are a few tips on how to enjoy HVAC savings while helping the earth, too.
Planting Trees for Shade
- Before you plant anything, talk to your nursery professional about tree recommendations for your property. Don’t succumb to the urge to plant fast-growing species, which may break apart and die before they ever deliver on shade. Think carefully about how tall you want your trees to be in proximity to your home. Ask about the average height and growth habit of the trees you’re interested in. Do they shed? Are the root systems likely to invade your plumbing? How far apart do they need to be?
- For afternoon shade, plant on the west and northwest sides.
- Plant on the east and west sides, but trim lower branches so as not to block the view.
- Shade patios, driveways and your outdoor condenser unit. It will run cooler and more efficiently if shaded.
- Avoid planting species that shed fibrous material (such as cottonwoods), which can clog up the unit’s airflow and damage it. Keep limbs trimmed back so they are less likely to fall on the unit in a storm.
- If planting trees in your yard is not feasible, consider other shading and cooling plants, such as shrubs, or trellises with vines. All will help by emitting cooling air and shading your home from the sun.
For more on HVAC savings, contact Beyer Boys of San Antonio.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).