Wintertime Energy Efficiency in the Southwest

Even in the wintertime, energy efficiency should be a prime consideration for homeowners in the Southwest. Low desert temperatures at night can cause heat to escape from your doors and windows, increasing your heating bill and making your home less energy efficient. 

Here are some tips for helping lower energy costs and stay warm when the weather turns cold.

1. Install Energy-Efficient Windows

During the summer, energy-efficient windows retain cold air inside your home. They work just the opposite in winter. By trapping the warm air created by your HVAC system inside your home and keeping cold air outside, you will enjoy a lower heating bill and more comfortable home. If your windows are older, have visible cracks in the flashing or glass or if you can feel drafts coming in around the frame, it’s time to consider an upgrade.

2. Seal and Insulate Ductwork

Even small cracks or tears in your HVAC system’s ductwork prevent warm air from reaching your home’s living spaces. In fact, nearly 30 percent of energy costs escapes through the ductwork in your home’s attic. That means warm air never makes it into your home’s interior. Have an energy audit conducted so you can determine exactly how much warm air is escaping from your ductwork. Afterward, take proper steps to secure the system.

3. Replace Older Skylights

Skylights allow plenty of natural light into your home, but they are notoriously drafty. If you notice cold air entering your home from around a skylight, it’s time for an upgrade! (Condensation on the outside of the skylight during the summertime may be another sign that it needs to be replaced). Cracks in a skylight mean that the glass is no longer weather-tight, thus letting in cold air and precipitation.

4. Install a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats offer loads of functionality when compared to traditional thermostats. Most old-school thermostats have a level or a push-button panel that allows you to set the temperature in your home. Smart thermostats allow you to customize the level of heat in your home. For example, you can lower the temperature to around 65 degrees while you’re gone, but use your smartphone app to increase the temperature to 68-70 degrees right before you leave work. That way, you aren’t paying to heat an empty house! 

5. Use Ceiling Fans

Even in the winter, ceiling fans can help your home feel more comfortable. Since warm air rises, a ceiling fan can redirect it away from the ceiling. Simply switch the direction of the fan’s blades to clockwise. This will help redistribute warm air throughout a room instead of allowing it to collect near the ceiling.

The Window Depot maintains an extensive selection of energy-efficient products and can offer custom solutions for homeowners in the Southwest. Get in touch today to learn how The Window Depot can improve the energy efficiency of your desert home.