Natural Air Conditioning
This past weekend was a brutal one. Temperatures were up across the country and got as high as the mid 90's here on the east coast! So we got to thinking, what do you do if you can’t beat the heat and don’t want to pay for an A/C or the inevitably large bill that comes with one?
Luckily there is a way around it! Planting large leafy shrubs next to your windows to block the sun can work wonders as those shrubs create a transpiration cooling effect on hot summer days.
What is Transpiration?
Transpiration is a cooling effect plants use when temperatures get too high. Water is transferred from the soil up the the stem and into the leaves.
When temperatures get high enough, that water warms up and it evaporates through tiny pores on the underside of the leaf.
How can this help?
Think about it, If you you plant an abundance of bushy plants this transpiration will add up! With thousands of leaves "sweating" it will leave the plants themselves and the areas surrounding them significantly cooler.
Oh, and growing big bushy plants by your window will block sunlight coming in so that will also contribute to a cooler home.
The Best Part?
We had a hard time pin pointing just one advantage of using natural cooling methods so we came up with a few.
1. Plants and bushes are way more pleasing to look at than an air conditioning unit.
2. Using natural means to keep your home cool is free of charge, well at least once you get your seeds.
3. You do not need electricity and you do not need fossil fuels.
4. Last but not least, transpiration adds moisture to the atmosphere which contributes to rainfall and ultimately keeps temperatures down. (Talk about full circle)
Remember, when you are planting for shade, plant things like Rhododendrons or Lavender, plants that have an abundance of leaves and create a lot of shade.