Spring is the best time to take a look at the landscaping around your Asheville, North Carolina, home. As you choose your flowers and plants for the new growing season, take a moment to consider both the aesthetics and functionality of each option. Find out how landscaping choices can offer smart energy savings for your home.

Shade Your Air Conditioning Unit

Take a closer look at your outdoor air conditioning unit and its location. Does your unit get full sun for a significant part of the day? If so, you are probably not getting as much energy efficiency from your unit as you could. A unit in direct sun will have to work harder to cool your home than a shaded one, even when you have a well-maintained system.

You can shade your air conditioning unit in a few ways. First, look for a solution that works well with your landscaping style. Perhaps a mature hedge will offer the height to block the sun’s rays. If vegetation isn’t your style, consider a lattice covering. Whatever your choice, make sure the unit has a few feet of room on all sides, so you’re not sacrificing airflow for shade. There must also be enough space for your technician to access and work on the unit.

Add Solar Lighting

To keep your home and yard well-lit, you don’t have to consume energy. Consider the switch to solar lighting for your exterior. You can add solar lights along your walkways, steps, or around your door to illuminate the home for security — or in the garden for a whimsical and aesthetic touch.

Any area that receives substantial sunlight is the ideal placement for solar lighting but don’t tuck these lights under trees or awnings. While not all areas are suitable for a solar lamp, there are many spots that can support these lights in your yard.

Create a Breezy Tunnel

In the summer, you want to direct cooling breezes toward your home. These breezes will reduce some of your need for air conditioning, particularly during the spring months when you can’t decide whether to open the windows or turn on the air conditioning.

To create a refreshing flow of air, consider the direction that the wind typically blows near your home. Plant trees or shrubbery on either side of your home to direct breezes toward the house.

Cultivate Cooling Vines

Vines can create a shady wall around any part of your property that needs some extra cooling. While trees may take several years to offer a significant amount of shade, vines can offer energy-saving benefits in their first year of growth.

Place a lattice, trellis, or container planting where you want to encourage some shady growth. Plant vines near sunny windows or use them to create a green wall along one side of your porch to make a comfortable seating area for outdoor meals.

Add Well-Placed Trees

Trees are a long-term investment for your home’s energy-efficiency needs. Shading the windows that receive the most summer sun can also reduce your home’s air conditioning costs.

Deciduous trees are the best option for North Carolina residents. These trees shed their leaves annually, providing a shady canopy in the warm summer months, but letting the sun shine through to warm your home in the winter.

If you are concerned that trees are too big of an investment, consider the fact that adding three trees to your landscaping can help you cut your energy expenses by $100 to $250 a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Want to learn about more ways to improve energy efficiency around your Asheville home this spring? Contact the home heating and cooling professionals at Gentry Heating Inc. today at 828-581-4045. Our team can help you to discover ways you can keep your HVAC system operating efficiently each season.

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