ECH Keep Connected

Nature’s Air Conditioners

There are many joys to caring for plants, but did you know that your plants could also be helping to keep your home cool?

Plants have a process called evapotranspiration, where they take water up through their roots, and when hot, release it through their leaves, cooling the air around them. This moisture can significantly lower the air temperature, so whether you have indoor plants, pots on a patio, or a lawn around your home, they could all be making your home more comfortable and lower your need for air conditioning in summer. ECH Social & Therapeutic Horticulture Therapist Dean Gaston says: “Plants are incredible at keeping us cool. You only have to stand under a tree or in a green space on a very hot day and you’ll feel the difference in temperature.”

“Around all the ECH villages there are gardens and they have a wonderful cooling effect on the environment.”

If you have limited outdoor space, there’s still plenty you can grow in pots. Dean suggests creating simple vertical gardens using a raised planter bed, a small trellis and climbing plants can be a great way to shade north and west-facing walls from the sun. The plants will love the sun and stop it shining on your walls and making your home hot in summer. Great indoor plant choices to keep your home cool include Ficus Elastica (Rubber Plant), Aloe Vera, Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema), palms and mother in law’s tongue. Indoor plants also do a wonderful job of taking impurities out of the air, adding oxygen and decreasing humidity, making your home a healthier place to be!

Send us photos of your cooling greenery to keepconnected@ech.asn.au and we’ll feature them on the ECH Facebook page.