Florida is popularly known as the sunshine state because it receives considerable amount of sunshine around the year. While the beaches and sunshine are a major tourist attraction, getting through the summer heat can be a challenge for Floridians.
The only way to beat the summer heat is to install a suitable air conditioning system in your home. You need a system that not only meets your cooling needs, but also keeps your energy consumption and fuel costs low. Fortunately, when it comes to air conditioning in Florida, you can choose the best one from the available options.
Let’s see the different types of air condition systems that you can install in your Florida home.
1. Central Air Conditioning System
In a central air conditioning system, the air gets cooled in one centralized location from which it is then distributed throughout the house via ductwork. It is one of the most popular air conditioning systems in the world.
In a central AC system, the outdoor unit consists of a condenser coil, compressor, fan, and electrical gear while the indoor unit comes with evaporator coils. A refrigerant circulates the air between the outdoor and indoor units through a series of refrigeration lines and ductwork.
The ducts, with the help of a fan, pull the warm air inside your house and carry it to the outdoor unit. The refrigerant cools the air by removing the heat. The cooled air then gets circulated in your house through the ducts and vents. This cycle keeps repeating to ensure that the desired temperature is maintained inside your house.
When you think of air conditioning in Florida, central systems are better. They offer quieter operation as the compressor-bearing unit is placed outside your house. The centralized design increases cooling efficiency and keeps humidity levels down. Most systems also come with air filters that can provide you with clean air. However, central AC units need regular maintenance to ensure higher efficiency.
2. Heat Pumps
When running in AC mode, heat pumps can keep your house cool. This is by far the most energy-efficient and cost-effective way of heating and cooling your home as a heat pump simply removes heat from air. That’s why it consumes a lot less electricity compared to a traditional cooling system.
In winter, the heat pump will remove heat from outside air and keep your house warm, while the cycle will reverse in summer. Heat pumps with higher efficiency also dehumidify your house perfectly, which is the biggest selling point in states like Florida.
You can find air, water, and geo thermal heat pumps. However, air-sourced heat pumps are the most commonly used for air conditioning in Florida and other states with similar weather. They are a more sustainable heating and cooling solution. However, as the initial cost of heat pumps is higher than traditional air conditioners, they are not very popular.
3. Ductless or Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems
Ductless mini-split systems are a more suitable cooling option for small apartments and houses. These systems also have indoor and outdoor units. However, they don’t require an extensive ductwork, resulting in faster installation and lower costs.
As you need to install a separate unit for each room, every family member can enjoy personalized cooling comfort. You can also save considerable energy and money as you can switch off a system when it is not in use. Most modern ductless AC systems also come with energy efficiency ratings.
As no ductwork is involved, the installation is less invasive. These systems also provide you with better air quality as there is no dust or dirt buildup. You can save considerable space as these systems are often wall-mounted. They also require relatively less maintenance, making them a suitable option for air conditioning in Florida.
4. Window Air Conditioners
A window air conditioner is a single unit fitted with a condenser, evaporator, thermostat, and fan. You can see these units bulging out of windows of residential and office buildings, especially in cities. As these are single units, you will need to install one unit per room. If you have three bedrooms, you will need three separate units.
However, when you use the right-sized window air conditioner, you can cool your room considerably faster. You will need to keep the window closed though as it will be occupied by the unit, which can cause problem in winter. For air conditioning in Florida, this may not be a suitable option, certainly not for big houses.
How to Choose the Best Type of Air Conditioning System for Your Florida Home
It is easy to get carried away by the various air conditioning systems when shopping for one. However, you must not make a decision ignorantly. You have to consider which air conditioning system will be the best for your home. This means that you must factor the peculiarities of your home into the decision. Here are some factors that should guide you as you choose an air conditioning system for your Florida Home:
Size of Home
Large homes require big air conditioning systems to have the best effect. Before choosing an air conditioner, you should work with your technician to decide on the best air conditioner for your home. Some air conditioning systems, like the Central Air Conditioning system, typically work better in large homes than Window Air Conditioning systems.
Apart from the size of your home, choosing a suitable air conditioning system for your home demands that you calculate the load the system will have to bear. Load calculations involve the area, number of people, type of construction, insulation levels, orientation, equipment in the house and other factors. Expert technicians like Erica’s Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Restoration know how to calculate the load of an AC and give advice on the best option for every building.
AC Components Location
When selecting an air conditioning system, you need to consider the locations its components will be installed. Other AC types except window air conditioning have both indoor and outdoor units, but the mini-split has no duct. Therefore, part of your decision process involves determining where each unit will be located.
One helpful tip you should know is that outdoor units have to be installed in shaded and weather-resistant spots to protect them from damage. Similarly, indoor units must be situated in the best spots to achieve the best cooling capacity.
Cost Energy Efficiency
These days, you need to consider the energy efficiency of your air conditioning system keenly. The technician will explain some of the basics to you, but you should read up on the details. Getting familiar with terms like SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and SHR (Sensible Heat Ratio) will make it easy for you to understand the energy efficiency of an AC system.
Knowing what an AC system offers in terms of energy efficiency will help you determine if it is the best choice for you in the short and long terms.
Other factors you should consider when choosing the most suitable air conditioning system for your house in Florida include the speed, insulation levels of the building, shading, sealing of the doors and windows, design of the duct system and how the system is used. Every factor will determine how much value you gain from your air conditioning, so you should not take them lightly.
Things to Know Before Buying Any Type of Air Conditioning System in Florida
Choosing between the different air conditioning systems available is a tough decision. However, there are some things you must know before buying an air conditioner, no matter the type you decide to purchase. Here are some of those things to know:
Types of Thermostat
Air conditioners do not work in isolation. Instead, the system consists of various units and components that rely on each other to function properly. For example, a thermostat guides an air conditioner to do its functions.
There are different types of thermostats to choose from. There are analog thermostats that use the temperature within a room to determine when the AC starts working and when it should stop working. There are also digital thermostats and smart thermostats. Smart thermostats are programmable thermostats, which you can program to ensure that your home is always at the right temperature.
As you decide on the air conditioning system to install, you also have to determine the most suitable thermostat to use.
Preparing the Home for the AC
Before installing an air conditioner, you need to prepare your home for the system. Whether it is a replacement in an old home or a new installation, you need to set up things that will aid the system to perform optimally. The tasks before you include insulating the home against the heat from outside, clearing the spots the units will occupy, and situating items in the home where they’ll work best with the AC.
Cost of Having an AC in Florida
Finally, you must consider the cost of the air conditioning system. The price tags of the different types of air conditioners vary greatly. You should plan your choice along with your budget, especially long-term. Some air conditioning systems like the heat pumps (split) have a high initial cost but save money in the long term. Some have lower initial costs but may be expensive to maintain over time.
The cost of having an air conditioner includes unit price, installation fee, maintenance cost and the cost of running the unit over the years. Usually, the disparity in AC cost shows in the monthly energy bills, which are affected by the energy efficiency of the HVAC system.
You may also incur other costs while insulating the duct system, changing the thermostat, building a shade for the outdoor unit and other tasks to protect the integrity of the air conditioning system.
The humid environment and higher amount of sunshine in Florida makes it necessary to invest in a suitable air conditioning system for your home. As this is going to be an expensive and long-term investment, your need to take the decision after careful considerations. Hopefully, this short blogpost will help you understand different types of air conditioning systems with their respective benefits and drawbacks.
Need Air Conditioning in Florida? Call Us Now!
Do you want to know which is the most suitable air conditioning system for your Florida home? Erica’s Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Restoration can not only help you choose the best air conditioning option, but also provide you with complete installation, maintenance, and repair solutions. Call us at (561) 245-7435 or visit our website to learn more about our services and schedule a service call.