Before AC, shade trees were one of the many ways people stayed cool during the hottest parts of the day. An afternoon nap under a giant oak was the perfect way to escape the summer heat in a pre-AC world.
Nowadays, we prefer to stay indoors with our air conditioners at full blast. But in summer, the cool comfort of AC comes with a cost.
Fortunately, shade trees can help us lower our energy costs. It’s common knowledge that shade trees can cool surrounding air temperatures by up to 6 degrees. So why not harness the power of shade to cool our homes and lower our electricity bills?
How to Strategically Place Shade Trees
For energy savings, place shade trees or shrubs near the parts of your home that face east and west. These areas receive the most sunlight. Also, focus on shading windows. Windows draw in heat, so well placed shade can help prevent high temperatures in your home.
Another great idea for improving energy savings is to shade your AC compressor. The AC compressor is the bulky part of your AC that sits outside. The compressor works to cool your home by drawing in hot air from inside your home, then releasing that air outside. An overheated compressor has to work extra hard on hot days.
If the air surrounding your AC is 6 degrees cooler—thanks to a strategically place shade tree—then your AC doesn’t have to work as hard cooling your home. This can save you money month-to-month by reducing your electric bill and also save you money in the long term by avoiding costly AC repairs on down the road.
What to Avoid When Planting Near Your AC Compressor
The AC compressor must cool itself. The unit needs plenty of space to dispel hot air. Therefore, it’s recommended that all plants and shrubs be at least 3 feet away from the unit in order for it to work properly. Another consideration to take before you plant a shade tree near your compressor is falling seeds or pods because the debris can clog your AC compressor.
For more information about energy savings, contact your local Houston AC service to learn more about the benefits of shading your home and AC unit.