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Size Matters For Your Florida AC (Part 2)

Size Matters For Your Florida AC (Part 2) continues reviewing more factors that explain why your Florida system is different than AC Units up north. These blog posts (3 parts) were inspired by questions we’ve received from our northern friends.

The Impact Of Sunshine

If sunlight descends directly onto your property, your home heats up quickly, especially in the summer.

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As a result, your house will be vulnerable to high humidity, which equates to mold and mildew. It is important to reiterate the significant impact humidity plays in determining the correct AC size for your home.

TIP: In general, Florida residents should have air conditioners with 20% more BTUs than an air conditioner located in other regions of the U.S. to properly manage the heat and humidity that can build-up quickly.

The Orientation Of Your Home

If your home faces north or south, the left and right sides of your house will bear the strongest heat. The hottest houses are those that face east or west, and typically require more BTUs to cool the home. (Be sure to close your blinds during the day to help deflect the sun.)

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In SW Florida, we talk in terms of “exposure” which refers to the rear of the property.  In this case, the most desirable exposure for sun throughout the day is southern exposure.  Southern exposure is where your pool is located and does not have the mid-day direct sunlight beaming into your home.

The Type Of Windows

Gauging the thermal performance of a window is another factor. From single pane and double pane to low-e glass, argon-filled and heat resistant, there are more types of windows out there than you would think. From the most basic to high energy efficient options, your window type will impact the size of your unit.

Insulation And Ducting

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Many older homes in Florida were not built with good insulation or an efficient duct system. Poor insulation will increase the amount of power necessary to cool your home. Similarly, a poor duct system can impact the transfer of cool air or introduce condensation problems. Proper attic ventilation is also an important aspect of home cooling.

Gaps And Leaks

No matter when your home was built, there could be hidden gaps allowing hot air to seep in and coolness to leak out. Narrow, paper-thin gaps can sometimes be found along the edges of front doors or sliding glass doors leading to your lanai. Problem spots in your home’s structure that allow for air passage are often found along the eaves of roofs and other hidden openings. These may seem like little things, yet they can quickly add up in energy costs.

Roof Type

In general, light colors reflect the sun’s rays, while dark colors absorb the heat. Therefore, lighter color roofs will deflect more heat away from the home and help to keep the interior cooler. Conversely, the darker the roof, the higher the temperatures are likely to be in your roof or upper floors.

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So which material is most adept at keeping your house cool in SW Florida? While newer, lighter asphalt shingles and tiles are a good option, metal roofing reflects more heat. Metal roofs are often seen on residential homes in Florida.  You may think that metal will get too hot, but this is not the case. Metal is most proficient at keeping things cool.

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Understanding how your AC unit is different in your Florida home is key to ensuring a safe and comfortable environment. Contact us for assistance with all things HVAC.  We want you to have peace of mind your system is in proper working condition so you can move on to the next outdoor activity. Contact Us for assistance!

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