The long Utah winter has ended, and for anyone who knows this local climate well, you’re well aware that the heat of summer will soon be upon us. This means homeowners across the state are looking for ways to stay cool during the heat, and they’re attempting to do so without taking a major hike in their utility bill each month
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical, we’re here to help with everything from air conditioner maintenance to electrical, air quality and several other areas. One sneaky area we often remind our clients about when they’re looking to help keep the home cool during spring and summer without increasing the bill: Utilizing your landscaping in intelligent ways. Here are a few basic areas to show you what we mean.
One massive area that not enough homeowners take advantage of when it comes to cooling is shade. The sun’s heat is incredibly strong, and providing the home with respite periods and areas from this heat can go a very long way.
Generally, you want trees that are tall enough to reach to the windows and even the roof of your home. The less sun exposure your entire structure has, the cooler it will remain in general. Deciduous trees here are often a great first choice; they shade the home very well during the summer but then lose their leaves during the winter, allowing for the sun to heat the home and assist with warming areas. Our only additional tip here is to plant trees far enough away from the home that they and their roots don’t risk any structural damage when they grow.
Down similar lines you can keep lower areas of the home and property shaded using the right shrubs and bushes. One important area to use these in is on sidewalks, driveways and other paved areas – particularly if there’s asphalt involved, these areas can reflect light up and onto your home, increasing its temperature slowly over the course of a day. Well-placed shrubs, however, will block this light.
If trees and shrubs are not an option or a preference for some reason, or if you don’t want to wait for them to grow, a trellis or a pergola can help instead. Place it on the sunnier side of your home, and consider vines or leaves to provide additional cover.
Finally, consider a water feature in your back yard. You may not think this will have a direct impact on the indoor temperature, but you’d be surprised – a small pond or fountain can actually cool the entire yard by several degrees, and this is much of the same air that moves in and out of your home as well.
For more on how to use landscaping to your advantage when it comes to heating your home, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC maintenance services speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical today.