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Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

When I purchased a home a few years ago, I had no idea what kind of workload I would be faced with. In addition to trying to figure out how to keep the place clean, I was also left with the challenge of tidying up the yard and keeping things trimmed. It was a little overwhelming, but I knew that I could do it with a little hard work and dedication. I started reading a lot of books and blogs about creating gorgeous things for your home and yard, and it was a great creative outlet. This blog is all about exciting, fun ways to make your home and yard even more beautiful.

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Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

How You Can Maximize Your Home's Air Conditioning Efficiency

by Alyssa Perkins

When you live in a southern climate or a climate that sees high summer temperatures, your home's air conditioning efficiency is an important part to staying comfortable day and night. If you have already invested in a home air conditioner that struggles to keep your home cool, you can make some small adjustments to increase the unit's efficiency. Here are some simple changes you can make in and around your home to help keep your home as cool as possible.

Shade Your Air Conditioner Unit

When you consider planting trees and shrubbery around your home, place the landscaping to help maximize your home's cooling efficiency. This can be especially helpful for the summer months when your home can heat up quickly from the summer sun.  Planting shade-providing trees or shrubbery around your home's air conditioner compressor can increase its efficiency by 10 percent. But, don't restrict air flow around your home's air conditioner unit. Be sure to place trees and shrubbery more than three feet away from the ac unit. 

Shade Your Home's Windows

Well-placed landscaping around your home can reduce your home's unshaded air conditioning costs by up to 50 percent. To shade your home most efficiently during the summer, it is most important to plant shade trees due west of any west windows. Then, you should plant shade trees due east of any east-facing windows in your home. Make sure you these trees you plant can grow at least ten feet higher than the windows. And make sure you choose trees that can be planted within twenty feet of the window. This will provide shade onto your home's east-facing windows during the morning and shade onto your home's west-facing windows in the evening.

Although it might seem common sense to plant a tree south of your home, this does not help cool your home during the summer. The reason for this is during the summer the sun is highest in the sky, especially at mid-day. The sun's placement will cause the tree's shadow to fall directly below the tree and not provide shade onto your home.

Shade Your Yard Pavement

Plant landscaping to provide shade to areas around your home that absorb and radiate the sun's heat, such as sidewalks, patios, and your driveway. When paved absorb and radiate summer heat during the day, they can increase the temperature inside your home. Plant trees or shrubbery next to any paved areas to shade and keep the pavement cooler. If you install a trellis to grow vine plants directly over a paved patio, it can also cut down on the heat radiated from the patio's surface. 

Plant Three or More Trees

You don't need to plant a large number of trees in your yard to have a cooler home in the summer. The U.S. Department of Energy used computer models to show that you only need three properly placed trees in your yard to reduce your home's annual energy costs between $100 and $250. Besides saving you money on cooling costs, planting shade trees makes it easier to keep your your home cooler and you more comfortable during the hot summer months. 

Install an Extra Window AC Unit

If your home's air condition system is not fully installed throughout, or is inadequate to cool your entire home, you can add a separate window or wall ac unit in the warmest area of your home. You can choose to install the ac unit in an attic or upstairs area of your home that is always warmer than the rest of your home. 

The cost to add an extra small ac unit can be affordable, depending on your budget. For around $100 to $300 you can buy a window-mounted air conditioner unit that can cool up to 400 square feet. Or you can buy a more permanent wall-mounted ductless air conditioner to cool up to 400 square feet for $240 to $600 with installation for an additional $175 to $200. A separate ac unit added into your master bedroom or centrally located in your home's sleeping area can keep you and your family comfortable at night.

Use these tips to help keep your home's cooling system efficient and working its best. Check out resources like http://www.homesmartcolorado.com/ for more information. 

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