Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Is Your Gardening Affecting Your HVAC Performance?

Is Your Gardening Affecting Your HVAC Performance?

Plants in your landscape add beauty to your property, but did you know they can also have a significant impact on the efficiency of your home? Properly placed, vegetation can lower your utility bills significantly. Here are some tips on how gardening affects HVAC performance.


You know that shade trees keep your house cooler. Trees that shade windows and walls can reduce energy bills by as much as 25 percent annually, while shade over the outdoor condenser can reduce bills by as much as 10 percent annually. Choose a drought-tolerant species, as the outflow of warm, dry air from the condenser can be tough on vegetation. If you’re planting new trees for shade, place them at least 30 feet from the house; clear any branches growing 6 to 10 feet from the ground.

Ground covers, trees and shrubs can also reduce the heat that is reflected from the ground to the walls and windows.

Winter Months

Plants in the yard can also help you save money on energy in the winter. A row of shrubs can trap a layer of air that works like insulation to keep the cold from infiltrating the walls and foundation.

Yard Maintenance

While your plantings play an important part in reducing utility bills, be sure to practice occasional maintenance to keep them under control. Trim shrubs and any other vegetation so that it’s at least 2 feet away from the condenser. Cut tall grass and weeds; rake up leaves around the unit. Make sure that when the grass is cut around the unit that the clippings don’t end up in the condenser’s fins. The unit should be cleared of leaves, dirt and other debris every year during your annual HVAC preventative maintenance visit.

And while we’re at it, a word about indoor plantings: many species of plants are great for improving indoor air quality through transpiration, but they can also produce pollen that aggravates allergies, and can raise humidity so that a home’s occupants may feel warmer.

For more on how gardening affects HVAC performance, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.