Making sure we have room
I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood with ample foliage. Beautiful, tall pine trees liter the roadsides as far as the eye can see. Large trimmed hedges and other bushes and plants are also in high abundance throughout my particular street block. Fortunately for me, my house is practically surrounded by large trees, so much so that the house is completely shaded for most of the afternoon. Although my current house is larger than my previous one, my electric bill here is much lower. I was in direct sun with no shading at my old house which created more heat in both my attic and in the house itself. This added ambient heat would overwork my air conditioner and forced it to run repeatedly just to keep the temperature down in my house. Now, there is so much shade at any given time of the day that my air conditioner barely works just to keep the inside at 75 degrees. It turns on, cycles for a few minutes, and then turns off. Despite this, my neighbor decided last month to cut most of the trees in his yard. He was paranoid about a fallen branch destroying his house in a bad windstorm. Little did he realize, these trees were providing ample shading and greatly reducing his electric bill. It has only been a single month since he cut his trees back and his electric bill has already jumped by $100 a month. He has lost it completely over the raised bill, especially knowing that he can’t go back and undo the cutting and trimming. More often than not, external environmental factors play a huge role in your indoor HVAC performance.