Purchasing a home in a warm weather locale is an appealing prospect for many. If you have fallen in love with a place in the sun, there are a few things to keep in mind before you order pool furniture or upfit that outdoor kitchen!
Outdoor Features – Of course, warm weather just naturally lends itself to spending more time outside. In addition to pool and patio space, homes with porches, covered decks, and lanais are desirable. Not only do they provide a great spot for relaxing or entertaining, they also shield the house from the sun, which keeps the home cooler and saves on the high cost of air conditioning.
AC Know-How – Have a HVAC technician conduct a thorough inspection of the home’s system, including the ductwork and filters. Discuss the unit’s SEER number, which is an indicator of its seasonal energy efficiency. A desirable ratio for warm weather real estate is 13 or 14. Remember that upgrading to a more energy efficient unit could make you eligible for a tax break. Also, solar powered ceiling fans are a nice way to keep your AC bill low. They should be installed in bedrooms, living areas, and if possible, outside living spaces as well.
Solid Construction – Homes built of brick, concrete, and stone are very effective for holding a home’s temperature. Even in warm climates, holding in heat that was absorbed during the day is good because it serves to maintain a constant temperature. Extreme changes are what can overwork a HVAC system. This is especially handy for anyone living in desert areas such as NM, NV, CA, or AZ, where daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary greatly.
Exterior Features – Think of low country homes in the south and adobe style homes in the southwest. They are usually always painted a light color, which reflects the sun and prevents them from becoming a heat magnet. Also, lighter colored roofing materials are preferable for warmer regions. Roof mounted exhaust fans are something else to look for. They work to remove hot air that rises to the upper floors and attic.
Plenty of windows are excellent for cross ventilation. However, some windows, depending on their location, can allow in too much hot air. Keep large windows with eastern and western exposures to a minimum and consider installing working shutters.
Vegetation – As you shop for warm weather property, pay careful attention to the landscaping. Native, drought tolerant plants are best. Also, vegetation can make a place more inviting and keep your AC bill down. Look for large shade trees and shrubbery close to the house, especially to shade eastern and western walls.