Smart landscaping can go a long way toward increasing the comfort of your home and should be an important part of your regular central air conditioner maintenance. In fact, on average, a well-designed landscape provides enough energy savings to return your initial investment in less than 8 years, reducing AC costs by 15-20%. Start with these simple considerations around the outside of your property and you can make a big difference in heat relief and the efficiency of your HVAC system starting today.
Central Air Conditioner Maintenance: Tips for Landscaping
An air conditioner runs more efficiently if it is in a cooler, shaded environment… and plus, trees and shrubs are kind of more attractive to look at through your window. Consider these landscaping tips:
Trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25% and increase the unit’s efficiency by as much as 10% when carefully positioned. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that the proper placement of just three trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in annual energy costs.
Select a tree that can be planted within twenty feet of the window and that will grow at least ten feet taller than the window. If you’re lucky enough to have the space, a big tree can provide shade for both the house and the HVAC unit; the larger the tree, the more valuable shade it provides (one reason that big, old trees are so worth preserving). But smaller trees, such as redbuds or kousa dogwoods, can provide ample shade, too.
Where space permits, plant as many trees as necessary to create a continuous planting along all major west- and east-facing windows. And, avoid clogging mishaps by choosing a tree or shrub that doesn’t drop a lot of seeds of pods.
If trees aren’t an option, plant a large shrub to block to the sun from the east or south. But let it breath. It’s essential not to interfere with the airflow around the compressor. The unit disposes of heat by blowing out hot air, so if that flow is blocked, the system won’t work well.
For good airflow and access, plants should be more than three feet away from the air conditioner. There should also be five feet of clearance between the top of the unit and any trees above.
Central Air Conditioner Maintenance
Whatever landscaping options you choose, make sure to prune and trim plants so they don’t grow branches too close to the unit. Keep in mind that it needs to be accessible for servicing as well. Point Bay offers HVAC service agreements to help maintain your heating and cooling unit year round. With top-rated customer service and AC emergency maintenance 24/7, we’re the most reliable Toms River heating and air conditioning company around. Give us a call at (732) 349-5059.