These 4 Landscaping Renovations Could Increase Your AC Bills Later
Did you know that some landscaping factors can affect your AC? If you do landscaping renovations during the early spring when you’re not using your AC yet, you won’t realize the effect they’ve had until much later. Here are four landscaping renovations that could increase your AC bills.
1: Removing Trees
Trees set too close to your house can spread their roots into your pipes or septic system and even cause your foundation to settle unevenly. But if you have to remove a tree, you should be aware that doing so could affect your AC.
Shade trees are often planted in strategic locations so they’ll be directly between a west-facing wall or window and the hot afternoon sun in summer. Removing such trees can allow the sun to beat down on your home and increase the amount of unwanted heat gain your home receives during the summer. This increases the load on your AC and thus your AC bills.
If you remove a tree that shades your home, consider mitigating this effect by adding awnings or shutters to the window or trellising a fast-growing vine up the wall to provide quick shade.
2: Adding Asphalt or Concrete
Asphalt and concrete are both great at raising the ambient temperature and throwing heat back up at the nearby windows and walls of your house. So if you’re planning on adding a driveway or patio adjoining your house, think about the increased solar heat this will add to your home’s interior and how that will affect your AC costs.
To avoid or reduce the effects of new asphalt or concrete near your home, you can design and construct the driveway or patio with a lighter-colored material, shade its surface, and add a hedge, a vine, or even thermal reflective paint to the wall to keep the wall cooler.
3: Relocating Bushes or Trellises
Moving bushes and vines could raise your AC bills in a couple of different ways. The first is due to removal of shade. If you have trellised vines or a hedge of bushes effectively shading your sunny walls or windows, removing or relocating them could mean your home soaks up more unwanted heat on summer days.
The second way moving bushes around can affect your AC is if you plant them too close to the AC unit itself. Bushes tend to have thick, leafy branches that block a lot of airflow near the ground, which can be detrimental to an AC unit. You need to make sure all bushes and other vegetation stays several feet away from each side of the AC unit.
If you plant a bush or hedge near the AC unit, think about how wide the bush will become at maturity, not just how much space is around it now.
4: Adding Sprinklers Near the Foundation
Any factor that adds water near the foundation or hinders drainage of water away from the foundation can increase basement moisture. Unless your foundation wall is fully waterproofed, this can become a factor in your indoor air quality.
The moisture that gets inside your basement causes the humidity to spike, and the humidity then travels through the rest of the house. If you don’t run a dehumidifier, the elevated humidity makes the air feel warmer than it is, often prompting you to lower the thermostat and run the AC more.
If you already have a humidity problem, basement waterproofing and improving exterior drainage could help. But keep this factor in mind when you plan your landscaping efforts, and try to avoid regularly adding moisture directly to the area near your foundation wall. Instead, use landscaping materials that don’t require much or any water.
These four landscaping renovations could all affect your AC’s efficiency or overall effectiveness negatively, causing your AC bills to rise. Neglecting proper professional maintenance can reduce AC efficiency as well. So if you realize your unit needs maintenance or repairs, get in touch with C.B. Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning today.