5 Must-Have Features for Your Desert Home

Building a home in the desert requires an understanding of the unique challenges that come with living in such an environment. The main issue, as you likely already guessed, is the extreme heat. Temperatures frequently climb above 100°F in the summertime, and there are daily temperature swings by as much as 25°F from night to day.

Given the intense climate, you’ll need to take proper measures to design your home in a way that keeps your space cool and comfy throughout the year. In this article, we offer some ideas for how you can modify your development and adapt your home to the desert sun.

Exterior Building Materials

The materials you use to build the exterior of your home can have a great impact on the interior temperature. Temperatures such as vinyl siding or wood, which would be fine in more temperate climates, tend to warp and break down much faster in the desert. Instead, materials like stone and brick are preferred, as they are much more durable against the harsh heat.

Anotherimportant factor to consider with your exterior is the colors of the materials and any paint you apply. Just like wearing light-colored clothing in the summer will help keep your body cool, the same applies to your home or building. Opt for lighter earth tones which not only look beautiful and in harmony with the desert surroundings, but reflect sunlight and keep your power bill low.

Outdoor Areas

It’s very common to see covered outdoor sitting areas and larger-than-average overhangs on desert homes. These provide much-needed shade to keep the indoor temperatures down as well as providing a more tolerable outdoor patio area for when you have guests over or just want to be outside without being in direct sunlight.

Home Placement

Believe it or not, the direction your home is facing can have a serious impact on the amount of sunlight and heat it receives throughout the day.  If you have any choice in the matter, a north-facing home is usually the best option, as this orientation usually gets less direct sunlight. In the case of an east or west-facing property, placing windows mainly on the sides of the home instead of the front can also make a noticeable difference.

Window options

Window shades can offer more than just nice aesthetics in your home. Thermal curtains are made from a type of material that greatly reduces heat exchange. While they can be used in the winter to keep the heat inside, they’re also effective at blocking out the sunlight and preventing additional heat from getting inside during the summer. We recommend using these at least on any windows not being actively used during the peak of the day.

Having your windows tinted is another extremely effective way of reducing the amount of heat. It also has the added benefits of preventing glare and UV rays from penetrating the building, as well as just looking great.

Go Green

Even with all the other heat-reducing features put into practice, no desert home is complete without a good HVAC system. During those peak summer months, the electric bill can get quite high, so we suggest investing in solar panels installed around the site to conserve energy and lower your power bill. While there is an initial investment, they eventually pay for themselves.

Have you always wanted to develop a home or business in Arizona but not sure where to begin? Reach out to APX West. We offer guided solutions for new developers and can help you make the best of your investment. Call us at 928-412-3570 for a consultation and we’ll help you turn your dream into a reality.

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