7 Green Ways to Cool Your Home
Picture this. You’ve just moved into your brand new home in Dayton. It’s a brand new subdivision, and there is not a tree in sight. Not a leaf of shade to be seen. So, what can you do to keep your home from baking in the summer sun? Let’s check out these 7 great methods for how landscaping to help cool your home.
Shade Trees Lower Your Bills For The Long Term
Trees take a lot of time to grow. So obviously planting a little sapling isn’t going to do much to shade your home. Of course, over time, that little sapling can grow to help shade your home. But shade is only one part of what trees do to cool the air around them. The water vapor that trees give off can significantly lower the temperature of the air around them. consider native Ohio trees to attract pollinators like birds and butterflies. For an added bonus, add shrubs and bushes to help cool the area around your home even more.
Provide A Shrubbery To Cool Your Sidewalks
Any small child can tell you that pavement gets broiling hot in the summer. Asphalt can reach over 125ªF even on mild sunny days. To keep the entry to your home cooler, plant fast growing shrubs and low-lying foliage to block the sun from heating up the concrete. Here, too, plant native shrubs to attract pollinators to help your other plants thrive.
Should You Shade Your Air Conditioner?
It’s a popular old myth that shading your HVAC system’s outside condenser unit will help it use less electricity through the day. It should be make sense, right? But it doesn’t work that way. Here’s why.
The condenser unit is a big frame that pumps coolant through coils of tubing with fins. A big fan pulls in air from the surrounding area into the frame and then blows it over the tubing. As the air flows over the tubing, it absorbs heat from the coolant inside. The frame is covered by a vented metal casing that allows air to flow through while protecting the tubing from the weather. In fact, the casing actually shades the tubing. The casing also doesn’t usually contact the tubing and it doesn’t effect the temperature of the coolant very much. So, while shading the condenser with shrubs or trellises may help cool the casing, it does very little to cool the coolant. To do that, you need to cool the ambient air that the fan blows over the tubing. And that can involve a fairly large area because the condenser also blows out a lot of hot air.
Instead, shade the entire area with shrubs, trees, or trellises of climbing flowers where the unit is running to cool the ambient air by a few degrees. The cooler the ambient air, the more efficiently the condenser will run.
Cool the South Side Of Your Home
During the summer, the south and west sides of your home will absorb the most heat. Start adding in shade plants on the south and west side of structures first to keep the most sun off of your walls. A nice vining plant makes excellent cover for walls. However, be sure to plant vines on trellises to avoid damage over time to your bricks or siding.
Consider Cool Colors for Your Home
Darker colors absorb more infrared heat than lighter colors, making them nasty heat sinks. Dull, dark colors can absorb up to 70-90% of sunlight, which can transfer heat into your home. If you’re painting or re-roofing your home, consider using lighter colors to keep the worst of the heat out.
Save Green With Green This Summer
The most important thing about all of these tricks is that all of this landscaping can save you money on your Ohio electricity bills. Even a few changes can keep your cooling costs down. If you’re looking to save even more though, check out www.ohenergyratings.com for more tips and tricks.