It may come as a surprise to many Peachtree City homeowners that one of the best ways to reduce their heating load is through landscaping. Strategic placement of landscaping elements, such as trees or fences, can ease the burden on your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system by reducing the amount of sun that your home absorbs during the summer and the amount of wind it braces against in the winter.
Heating load, or the amount of energy it requires to maintain your home at 65 degrees at all times, is used by contractors to help them calculate the correct size of HVAC system for a home. However, homeowners also can use it as a baseline for beginning their energy savings. The lower your heat load, the lower your utility bills. Using landscaping as one step in lowering your heat load, along with other methods such as weatherizing and adding insulation, can not only save energy but also add value to your home.
Strategic tree planting is one important energy-saving landscaping technique. In the summer, you want to block the sun from hitting your house during the middle and later parts of the afternoon, which typically is the hottest part of the day. Between 3 and 5 p.m., the sun shines down on your west wall. By placing trees within the line of the sun’s rays during this time period, you can shade your house and keep it cooler. Trees can be planted up to 25 feet away and still be effective. By planting deciduous trees, the type that lose their leaves in the fall, you will allow the sun to warm your house in the winter through the empty branches, giving you a two-for-one benefit.
Trees, shrubs and fences all work well as windbreaks to keep winter’s cold wind from seeping into your home. To figure out how much wind protection you will get from your windbreak, multiply its height by 20. Therefore, a three-foot fence will provide approximately 60 feet of protection.
For more information about using landscaping to reduce your heating load or other HVAC matters, contact Powers Heating & Air.We’re proud to serve the Peachtree City area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, GA and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about landscaping and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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