Because it is the goal of every homeowner to beat the heat during the warmer months, it will be important to pay good attention to the functioning of your home’s air conditioner. Doing so will prevent any major HVAC problems from developing, and it will keep the mechanism operating at peak performance.
Is Your Home AC Working Harder Than It Should?
There are several things that will tell you that your home AC is struggling to keep your home at a lower temperature.
- Cycling Often: When the weather is warm, your air conditioning unit will need to stay on for longer periods of time, but it will not need to cut on more frequently. Quickly switching on and off is a telltale sign that there is a problem, and it will lead to higher electric bills without the effect of providing much in return.
- Unusual Noises: Clunky sounds are not to be expected and are a signal that something is amiss. The clanging most likely means that something is clogging up the system and that it is vital to have repairs done before the foreign materials cause damage to the machine.
- Formation of Ice: Dirt and other buildup can block airflow which then leads to the forming of ice. The ice will then block additional air from flowing in, and the effects can be the excessive use of electricity, lower output, and motor burnout.
Landscaping to the Rescue!
Your landscaping choices are able to positively affect the efficiency with which your air conditioning unit is able to work, and a good landscaper will be able to help you accomplish this. Carefully choosing the design of your yard will help keep you cool in the summer, and it will save you money in the long run.
Here are five things to consider when mapping out a layout that will work for you:
- Give Attention to Shading: Your home AC will work better if it is in a cooler environment. A great way to accomplish this is to place tall shade trees twenty feet east of your eastern windows and twenty feet west of your western windows. You will want to avoid placing them in your southern exposure, and any trees you do plant to the south should be pruned regularly. It is also advised that you place greenery near paved areas.
- Slowing Down Air Movement: Evergreen trees sown side by side can reduce airflow by as much as 35 mph and can be combined with a retaining wall or a fence.
- Let the Machine Breathe: Keep foliage from tree branches trimmed to at least five feet above the apparatus, and keep plants at least two or three feet away on all sides.
- Keep it Free of Debris: Keep your AC unit from gravel driveways and from trees producing falling leaves during autumn. Keep your gutter spouts clear, and make sure that rainwater runoff does not fall on your machine.
- Types of Plants to Cultivate: Do not plant tall grasses or flower beds in order to try to hide your AC unit, as these may interfere with its functioning. Use hedges instead.
Potential Energy Savings
The U.S. Department of Energy has projected that as few as three well-placed trees could save homeowners between $100 and $250 per month and that households could see a drop in energy costs by as much as 25%. Applying windbreak methods can cut usage down by as much as 40%, and shading can cut 10%.
A well-executed landscaping plan is a good investment that can pay for itself in an average of eight years.
Ashley Morse, of The Cooling Company, is focused on improving internal operations at the company by delivering friendly, effective, timely service as well as ensuring the satisfaction of every person she comes in contact with.