Beyond beautifying your property and cleaning your air, trees can also keep your home cooler in summer. With Long Island’s summer temperatures rising well into the 80s, a cooler home means noticeable HVAC savings.
Investing in Trees Pays Off
Trees can cool your home by providing shade and through a processes called evapotranspiration, essentially tree “sweating,” which carries heat away from your home.
The most obvious way to take advantage of this is by planting trees to shade your roof and walls. This lowers your indoor air temperature so your air conditioner doesn’t need to use as much energy cooling your home. Planting trees on the west, northwest, and east sides of your home could eventually cut your cooling bills by more than a third.
Shading your A/C’s outdoor condenser unit is an often overlooked, but just as effective way to save energy. The cooler your condenser unit, the less your A/C will have to work to expel the heat it removes from your home.
Short trees and shrubbery can shade your driveway and sidewalks, reducing the amount of radiant heat that reaches your home.
Treescaping for Savings
You’ll see the highest summer HVAC savings by planting deciduous trees on the west side of your house, followed by the northwest and east sides. Planting on the south side might help in summer, but it also blocks winter sunlight. If you plant a line of trees, alternate their position instead of planting them in a straight line that could stop cooling breezes from reaching your home.
Most leaf trees take at least five years to provide shade, but beware of fast-growers, which tend to have short lifespans. Maple, birch, hawthorn, and locust trees are all good choices for Long Island. For shade while you wait, install a trellis and plant a fast-growing vine.
When you landscape around your condenser unit, keep all plants at least 18 inches away from the unit to avoid blocking airflow.
For more ideas on landscaping for HVAC savings, contact us at Cool Power in the Long Island area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.