Here in Central Arizona, our winter weather is mild to the point where it can be downright delightful. With that in mind, it can surprise many homeowners that their Sonoran Desert home will need to be winterized. While we don’t have to deal with freezing ice and driving snow, winter still brings about a significant change in temperature and weather. Winterizing is the term for the seasonal maintenance that will protect your home and make sure it is energy efficient. Here’s a good checklist to start with to make sure your home is ready for the season.
Protect Your Landscaping
Central Arizona’s abundant sunshine and warmth make it the perfect spot to plant heat-loving tropical and exotic plants and succulents as part of your landscaping. While these plants can thrive for most of the year, desert winter may prove too cold for them to survive unassisted.
While winter days in the Phoenix area are often sunny and warm, the desert temperature drops dramatically when the sun goes down. This is caused by a fascinating effect. The aridity of the desert means that the air does not contain much water vapor and it is unable to trap heat near the surface of the earth. Night-time temperatures can unexpectedly plummet below freezing and damage unprepared plants and landscaping.
Protecting plants from the cold means taking stock of your landscaping and having supplies on hand to help them weather any freezing temperatures. Plants that aren’t frost hardy (meaning that exposure to a freeze will kill them) should be wrapped in a frost cloth. Central Arizona’s coldest period is from mid-December until around mid-February so leaving vulnerable plants covered during these months can save them from exposure.
Cover Outdoor Pipes
Arizona homes are often built to stand up to challenging heat, but we seldom see issues with cold-weather considered. One way winter weather (even Arizona’s winter weather!) can cause problems is by freezing and bursting unprotected outdoor pipes. Freezing cold weather can cause the water in uninsulated outdoor pipes to turn to ice, expanding in the process and damaging the integrity of the pipe and plumbing, if not breaking it entirely.
Fortunately, it is easy to avoid this. Assess the outside of your home for exposed outdoor plumbing, note the location of pipes and the footage. Hardware and home repair stores sell plumbing insulation which is simple to install with a few basic supplies and protects your pipes from expensive winter damage.
Assess Insulation and Block Draftiness
Just as you want your home to be comfortably cool in the summer, in winter you want to be sure your home hangs onto heat when you need it. You can help your home maintain temperature and reduce energy bills by making sure it is thoroughly insulated and doors and windows are not drafty.
An insulated attic can make a world of difference to your home’s temperature stability. Keeping your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter, proper attic insulation prevents massive energy losses through unprotected areas of your home. If your home has difficulty staying cool or warm when it is needed most, consider upping the insulation you have.
Just as important is blocking drafts from cracks in doors and windows. Door and window drafts can leak out air and make your home’s energy efficiency plunge. Instead of expensive heating bills, block and repair drafty areas.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Did you know your ceiling fan should be used year-round? Most people are familiar with how fans help circulate air and cool a room in the hot desert summer. Fans, especially most new models can also be reversed to perform the reverse air movement for the winter. Winter ceiling fans should run in a clockwise direction that allows the blades to send warm air down into the room from above.
All year round, your CC Sunscreens are working hard to keep your home comfortable and private. The start of winter is a great time to maintain your attractive custom sunscreens and patio shades. CC Sunscreens wash clean with a hose and have built-in microbe protection to protect their integrity. While the weather may be cooler, the sun is still shining which means CC Sunscreens are blocking UV radiation from entering your home and damaging your belongings.