9 Things To Know About The Air Conditioning System In A Florida Home And # 9 May Be The Most Important!

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

I recently moved to Florida and must say, the things I’ve learned have been incredibly interesting. I haven’t only learned about the astonishing Florida heat and benefits of sunblock, where the closest grocery store is and where to do my laundry, but – I’ve learned a ton about home maintenance.

More specifically, I have learned a lot about the importance of a good air conditioning system in a Florida home. The weather in Florida is fabulous. It’s why so many people of a certain age – my age but I am not going to disclose what that is – move to this sunshine state. Almost everyone in Florida has an air conditioner in their home, including me.

I’ve had a few surprises with mine, including the surprise that an air conditioning system in Florida doesn’t last so long!

Here are a few things, 9 to be precise, that you should look out for.

1. How long does an air conditioning system in a Florida home last?

When you buy your new home, check the air conditioning system. Ask when it was installed and if it has a warranty or guarantee. Insist on the paperwork because if you don’t, you may just well land up like me. Angry!

I found out, a little late, that an air conditioning system in a Florida home only lasts around 10 years. Compare this to most other states, when the unit will usually last for 20 years! That is a big difference.

2. Air conditioning systems are expensive.

An air conditioning system in a Florida home costs a lot of money and for this reason, we expect them to last forever. Or at least, for a very long time. An air conditioning system is something you can’t live without in Florida (or I can’t, anyway) and so you want to ensure you buy a good one. But because electricity is expensive too, you need to do a lot of research.

Phone different companies, look online, check out the different sizes, speeds and really do your homework as to which system will be best for you. You are spending a lot of money; you want it to be well spent.

3. How expensive is electricity in Florida?

It’s pretty expensive. Remember that air conditioning, heating, and ventilation account make up around 40% of my utility bills. Because the air conditioner is going to be on for most of the day, and often at night, you don’t want your bills going through the roof.

Bear this in mind when you buy your system. You want it to be good, you want it to last, but you want it to be economical too. Nobody wants bills that are suddenly going to go through the roof. Plus, you want to try and be environmentally friendly.

4. There are a 10 SEER and a 14 SEER system. You want the 14 SEER system!

The only good news for me when my air conditioning system gave in, is that it was a 10 SEER system. SEER, meaning Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. All the research that I did showed that a 14 SEER system can reduce the air conditioning costs by around 25%.

Of course, when I bought my new system, I went for the 14 SEER system. SEER, the measure of efficiency for an air conditioning system in a Florida home, is important. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system.

5. Where should I put my air conditioning system?

This is an important question and you should not be impulsive. Not everyone wants a large air con system in a place of high visibility, especially if you are into decor and aesthetics. But the placement of an air conditioning system in a Florida home will also determine how well it works and how long it lasts.

You can place it on the roof or on the ground. Get advice, depending on the kind of home you live in. I went for an air con system on the roof because my house is not that large so it didn’t take up any extra space.

But I am totally aware that being on the roof means it also needs extra protection and better maintenance. So, look at these things, because extra protection and maintenance also cost extra money!

6. Does it make a noise?

Have you ever stayed in a hotel where the aircon system ‘whirrs’ the whole night long? Believe me, you do not want this because you will never sleep again. In retrospect, the aircon system that I inherited (the one that broke) was really noisy and was driving me mad anyway.

A good air con unit is quiet. It operates on minimal electricity and it does not make a noise! Ask for a demonstration before you buy the unit. I did, I insisted!

7. Maintenance of an air conditioning system.

The people that I bought my house from did NOT do a good job in maintaining their air conditioner. An air conditioning system in a Florida home needs maintenance. When you buy a system, look at the maintenance contract or purchase a maintenance contract. If you are not good at home maintenance, get somebody else to do it for you! Remember, it must be done.

Good advice that I was given was to have the system cleaned once a year and make sure the inside coil is easy to reach. The air filters should also be easily accessible. Filters should be checked monthly during peak summer too. Always maintain, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. This goes for everything in your house by the way.

8. Get a good contractor.

I was a little naive when it came to air conditioning systems. I had this vague idea I would buy one, install it and feel cool forever after. But there’s a lot of research to be done and a lot of choices to be made. There are big units and small units and you want the unit just right for your house size.

You need to look at your floor space, amount of doors and windows, the direction that your home faces, and at your electricity bill. A good contractor will take you through all of these things and help you make the right choice. And you may not get the nasty surprise that your air conditioning system doesn’t last that long.

9. Use your air conditioning system sensibly.

This sounds so simple but you know, when you switch your air con on and you want maximum use out of it, close your doors and windows. You don’t want the cool air escaping otherwise there’s not much point! And on very hot days, it’s absolutely fine to sit right in front of it!

So. That’s what I have to say about the air conditioning system in a Florida home. I hope it helps. Remember, you have to spend money on a good system but then you want it to be trouble-free. Most importantly, you want to be cool. Do your homework. Feel free to ask me further questions.

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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