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Casa Quickie: Grow Your Own Air Conditioning

For anyone seeking an eco chic lifestyle, air conditioning is a conflict, to say the least. If it were easy to acclimate ourselves to living a sweat-filled life, we would have, long ago. But, it turns out that the ability to control the climate indoors is a big life-saver when it comes to being comfortable and getting things done. One way to cut back on air conditioning use in the Summer is to plant trees, shrubbery, and vines near (or on) your home. They'll produce natural shade, and soak up the rain, not to mention look good while doing it. For a start, try growing Virginia Creeper vines or cheap grapevines.

Join The Conversation
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
@ 98 F and 100% humidity...I have to have A/C. Don't you just love Louisiana? Just came back from Vegas and the temperature felt MILD compared to this sauna.
DeJaVuE DeJaVuE 9 years
OK but how do I get it off the walls now? Why ask me? I’m a gardener, I tell you how to grow and sometimes kill plants but I’m no carpenter or stone mason (both of which you may need now) :-) Lol the gardeners response for getting the vine off the walls once the plants dead
Advah Advah 9 years
We don't have AC in the house where I grew up, but it's made of clay bricks and not concrete - the difference in temperature is amazing. And excellent tip Casa, we have a wild grapevine growing outside the house (exactly like on that picture). That way it won't damage the walls, we have shade when the weather gets too hot, and at the end of the summer we cut everything to have more light and it just grows again every spring.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
no one has AC up here either. when my dad came to visit from Texas he kept asking if we had AC. so funny. if anything, people in this city are heater-happy all year round. waste-ralls!
Dublin62505 Dublin62505 9 years
I like the concept. However, here in FL, having foliage on your home attracts bugs and during the rainy season it would encourage mold and mildew growth, especially on stucco homes.
hkmarks hkmarks 9 years
We have a maple tree on the south side of our house that blocks the sun all summer and lets it in all winter. The problem is they take a while to grow. Ours is a little taller than the house now, but it's around 30 years old. But even 10 years ago it provided some shade and privacy. It's hard to keep a lawn under a tree, because of the water needs and shade, so we planted a hardy shade-loving garden instead. We only water it about twice a summer. The rest of the time it's on its own and does fine, and we never have to mow. Tree roots can get into clay pipes. Most trees should not be planted too close to the house, because they can invade foundation walls, nor a fence, because they will grow right through it.
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
I don't think I could live without my air conditioning. I don't care how much my bill is.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I want to plant really fragrant trees outside my house to do double duty. Not only do you get the shade but you get the yummy smell too.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
Eh, I don't have any air conditioning in my house and no central heating either. I don't plan on having any ever, I think I would feel too guilty about wasting so much energy. To clarify, I live in South Africa and we definitely don't have indoor heating/air con at the level of the northern hemisphereans...
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