“Going green” means lessening the impact of your carbon footprint on the environment. One important “green footstep” you can take is using your HVAC system more efficiently to reduce the emissions that are released into the atmosphere. Did you know you can design your California landscaping to help achieve this goal?
As one component of a whole-house strategy to reduce utility bills, your home’s landscaping can work in tandem with your home comfort system to lessen its heating and cooling demand. Plants can help keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This strategy hinges on two considerations — plant selection and plant placement.
1. Plant selection
- Use evergreen trees and shrubs as windbreaks. Even though California’s winters aren’t very harsh, coastal winds increase the wind chill factor and result in higher heating bills. Evergreen trees and tall shrubs planted as hedges form a green wall that directs wind around your home.
- Use deciduous trees to mitigate seasonal temperatures. Deciduous trees — trees that lose their leaves in autumn — not only have multi-seasonal landscaping interest but also year-round natural heating and cooling benefits. In warm seasons, shady landscaping reduces the cooling demands on your HVAC system. In cool seasons, deciduous trees allow warmth to reach your home by filtering the sun’s rays through bare limbs.
2. Plant placement
- Green screens. If you live on the coast, plant evergreens as a buffer between coastal winds and your house. If you live inland, plant evergreens on your home’s windward side. Strategic plant siting for wind screens can reduce your heating bill by 25 percent.
- Irradiated heat absorbers. Trees and shrubs that you plant near hard surfaces, such as streets, driveways, sidewalks and patios, absorb irradiated heat, which keeps your house cooler.
These simple tips decrease your carbon footprint while increasing the benefits of your HVAC system by making it work more efficiently. The icing on the cake comes as energy savings on your utility bill.
To learn more about how your Los Angeles-area landscaping can lessen the demands of your HVAC system, contact Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about landscaping and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock