While it rarely reaches below freezing in the Phoenix area, that doesn’t stop us from feeling those cool temps that come in the winter. We will inevitably have to turn that heat on to combat our more temperate weather. Below, you can find a few things that will help your home stay comfortable enough to walk around barefoot in the dead of winter while also saving energy and improving your air quality.
Also, check around potential leakage “hot spots” such as old windows, doors, plumbing penetrations under sinks, and electrical outlets. By replacing old weatherstripping around the doors or caulking around the windows or plumbing penetrations, you can effectively keep your conditioned air where it belongs, inside. Check the local hardware store to find outlet sealers to add a little insulation behind light switches too.
2. Check your insulation
For Phoenix and central Arizona, the DOE recommends at least 12-inches of blown-in cellulose or an R-38 value to slow the transfer of cold air into the home. If your attic has fiberglass batt insulation, it should be in contact with the attic floor at all times to work properly.
3. Have your furnace or heat pump inspected
A seasonal tune-up may be in order for your furnace or heat pump. If the temperatures consistently don’t reach the temperature set-point, the HVAC system may be low on refrigerant or something else may be awry. It's best to have it checked by a professional.
4. Remove shade screens During the Phoenix winters, solar gain through windows can help significantly warm the home, lowering energy bills from decreased heat use. Shade screens can be unclipped and stored until it comes time for summer. Don’t underestimate the power of natural sunlight!
5. Stay safe! Install CO detectors if you have a fireplace or gas appliances 3-6 feet from the ground. Use a bubble solution to check for gas leaks around fireplaces, water heaters, furnaces and feeder lines. Be sure that the furnace or water heater has a good clearance to allow for fresh air intake and that they are not located in the same room as a dryer.
Follow these tips for a comfortable winter in the Valley of the Sun!
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