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Size Matters For Your Florida AC (Part 1)

Snowbirds-the size of your Florida AC matters (Part 1) answers popular questions to help you better understand your Florida AC System.

Hello, northern friends! As you make your way to the tropics of SW Florida whether as a snowbird or a permanent resident,  you will be greeted with beautiful beaches, sunshine, and year-round outdoor activities.

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However, along with this wonderful transition, comes understanding the intricacies of the  “Florida lifestyle.”  This includes how to deal with hot temperatures and high humidity.  Rest assured your new best friend will become your AC system. To help you better understand how the size of your Florida HVAC affects your comfort level, we have answered several recent questions from our northern friends.

Bigger Does Not Mean Better

Q: To deal with this extreme heat, can I install a bigger AC unit to cool my Fort Myers, Florida home quicker?
Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Bigger doesn’t mean better, no matter where you live.

Installing an AC that is not the correct size for your SW Florida home typically results in inefficiency and higher energy costs; and could potentially damage the components of your system.

How to tell if your AC is oversized-Sunset Air Home and Home Services-Fort Myers-300x255

For example, an AC system that is too large causes high humidity levels and will run in short cycles. It may feel cool, but clammy. As a result, it rarely runs long enough to dehumidify your home and you’ll experience higher utility bills. Conversely, if it is too small, your AC will run constantly and the desired temperature setting will not be achieved.

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In fact, the temperature will continue to rise during the heat of the day. In summary, a correctly sized unit causes less fluctuation in energy, reduces humidity issues including potential for mold and mildew, costs less to operate, and requires fewer repairs.

Q: How do I know if I have the right sized AC unit for my Florida home?
A: For your air conditioning system to operate efficiently, many factors are taken into account; and it starts with where you live.

Location, Location, Location

Take a look at the map below. Check out the different climate zones of the U.S.  Each zone has a different impact on the type of HVAC system and size that will be appropriate for your home.

Map of tonnage requirements for United States-Snowbirds-the size of your Florida HVAC matters (Part 1)-Sunset Air Home and Home Services-Fort Myers-300x435

Cooling indoor air can be challenging here in the tropics of SW Florida. With sunshine averaging approximately 270 days a year, obviously the heat is different here than in the north. The heat and humidity is intensified nearly year-round, and both play a major role in determining the size of your AC unit.

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In essence, to efficiently remove heat and humidity, higher “tonnage” is required in your Florida home.

TIP: Tonnage refers to an air conditioner’s capacity to cool a room or living space. AC capacity is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) and “tons”.  The term, “tons”, does not refer to its weight. In this case, a ton represents how much ice it would take to remove an equivalent amount of heat energy in an hour. 

Living Space And Layout

Other important factors are the square footage to be cooled and the floor plan of your home. This will significantly influence the tonnage capacity. Do you have a 1 or 2 story home? An open floor plan, high or vaulted ceilings? These features are popular in Florida and may require a higher BTU to cool.

Open floor plan home with high ceilings-the size of your Florida HVAC matters (Part 1)-Sunset Air Home and Home Services-Fort Myers-266x400

Snowbirds-the size of your Florida HVAC matters continues in the next blog posts. Understanding why your AC unit is different in your Florida home will help give you peace of mind so you can move on to the next outdoor activity with no worries. Contact Us for assistance: 239-693-9005

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