Plants can be an important money saving partner in your home, especially during the heat of summer. Running an air conditioner can be an expensive necessity in many regions. Plants both outside and inside provide many benefits that enhance the cooling of the home. So, if hot, sweaty summers aren’t your thing, turn to your green thumb for cooling solutions. Here are 5 gardening tricks to help reduce your cooling costs:
1. Plant more trees. Trees are an obvious choice for shade and cooler temperatures in the landscape. They also help keep your home interior at a lower temperature by blocking sunlight that super heats through the windows and attic. A well-positioned tree that shades the roof can improve the air conditioners efficiency by up to 10 percent. Trees also evaporate water, releasing cool vapors and channel refreshing breezes. If you don’t have many in the landscape, you may want to plant some trees.
2. Add some foundation and hardscape plantings. Groundcovers and low-growing plants around the foundation cool soil. Pathways and driveways channel heat and emit it onto the home siding. When you use foundation plants around the home, the temperatures are lowered by as much as 10 degrees as opposed to bare earth or concrete and asphalt.
3. Consider adding vining plants. Vines can help screen sunny windows and cool the sides of the home. They also produce a pocket of insulation against exterior walls which will help keep the interior cooler.
4. Add hedges to the landscape. Plant a hedge of sun-loving plants on the southern and western part of your property. This will make an effective barrier to solar radiation and provide cooling shade. They also channel winds into the enclosed space which can be directed into open windows for more free temperature reducing benefits.
5. Indoor plants are part of the solution, too. During the process of transpiration, a plant releases moisture through its leaves. This can cool a room slightly. Using taller houseplants or hanging flora to shield sunny windows is an effective barrier to solar heat.
To keep within the money saving scheme, choose plants that are water wise and native, if possible. You will be saving energy and money by utilizing species that need little maintenance and irrigation.