Summer is upon us, and for most of the country that means sunny days, rising temperatures and plenty of heat. While the hotter weather might signal the start of vacation for some, it’s also an indication that your cooling system will be working overtime. That increased demand on your AC means you’re using more energy — and more dollars — to keep your home or office from overheating.
Believe it or not, adding an indoor living wall to your space can help mitigate those increased costs. These green, eco-friendly structures act as a barrier by blocking solar radiation and preventing heat from entering inside during those warm summer months. In fact, studies have shown that living walls can reduce the temperature of a room and cut energy costs by up to 23 percent.
So how, exactly, do plants do this?
Dropping Temperatures with Transpiration
Plants are pretty miraculous — we already know that they can make their own food through photosynthesis, but did you know they can also, to an extent, regulate their temperatures? Through a process called transpiration, plants are able to cool themselves and their surrounding environments. Transpiration refers to the movement of water through a plant and its evaporation from different parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems and flowers. The process, which is also associated with the diffusion of carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, cools off the plant and enables nutrients and water to be delivered from the roots throughout the plant.
Now, imagine an indoor living wall filled with hundreds of plants — all of which are going through the transpiration process. As you might have guessed, the cooling effect is multiplied, resulting in a room that’s cooler and more comfortable for everyone.
Yet indoor living walls aren’t the only way to keep your cool this summer — outdoor living walls also offer many of the same cooling benefits.
Keeping Cool with Outdoor Living Walls
Constructing a living wall on the exterior of your building can also result in cost and energy-saving benefits. When placed on an outside wall, vertical gardens can reduce the temperature of that wall by up to 18 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, they can help protect a building’s facade from the harsh effects of temperature fluctuations. According to this study, “green vegetation can help cool down the temperature through latent heat loss and improve the reflectivity of incident solar radiation.”
If you’re looking to play it cool and keep energy costs low, consider installing an indoor living wall (or an outdoor one!) this summer. At TrueVert®, we can help you create the ideal vertical garden before it gets too hot.