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Choosing The Right Air Conditioning System For Your South Florida Home

air conditioning
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Living in South Florida is a dream for many, with its abundant sunshine, beautiful beaches, and warm nights. However, those warm nights can quickly become unbearable without a properly functioning air conditioning system. With so many factors to consider, choosing the right AC unit for your South Florida home can often feel overwhelming.

In this guide, we help you navigate the numerous choices available to achieve optimal comfort and energy efficiency.

air conditioning

Understanding South Florida’s Unique Needs

South Florida’s climate makes cooling your home a challenge for your AC unit. The relentless heat demands high cooling capacity, while the high humidity levels make it harder to achieve that cool feeling. These two factors set South Florida apart from many other states.

Excessive Heat

South Florida boasts scorching summers with long stretches of high temperatures. Your AC needs to be powerful enough to keep up with the constant demand.

High Humidity

The Sunshine State is known for its high humidity – the difference in humidity between the outside and inside adds to the feeling of coolness on your skin. Standard air conditioners remove heat, but dehumidification is equally important for comfort.

air conditioning

Sizing Up Your Needs: Don’t Get Blown Away

Selecting the wrong size AC unit is a recipe for discomfort and inefficiency. Your choice of AC system must strike the right balance so that you can cool your home in the most efficient way possible.

Square Footage

There is a right size of AC unit for the size of your property and a bigger unit does not necessarily mean that it would be the best fit for your home. The square footage of your home will be the first indicator of what size AC unit will work for you. While the square footage serves as a good starting point, it does not give us the full picture. Other issues contribute to the amount of heat that the air conditioning must dissipate.


In the same way that a cooler [box] can keep your beers cold on the beach and a thermos can keep your coffee hot, good insulation keeps cool air in and hot air out of your home. A home with excellent insulation will require less air conditioning power reducing the load on your AC.

Sun Exposure

The orientation of your home to the sun affects your cooling needs – south-facing homes receive the brunt of the sun’s heat, adding to your cooling needs, while north-facing homes are less affected by direct sunlight. Homes that face west or east will receive sun mostly in the afternoon or morning respectively.


People generate body heat and their activity generates heat too. The number of people living in your home impacts how much heat is generated.


People who love to entertain generally have a warmer home, literally and figuratively! Cooking adds to the heat in your home and if patio doors and garage doors are often left open this can also add to the cooling power required.

air conditioning

Understanding The Terminology

Most industries come with their unique terminologies and jargon. Air conditioning is no different and boasts a few of its own phrases and acronyms:

BTUs: The Language of Cooling Power

British Thermal Units (BTUs) measure an air conditioner’s cooling capacity. In simpler terms, it tells you how much heat the unit can remove in an hour. A general rule of thumb is 20 BTUs per square foot of living space. So, a 1,500 sq. ft. home would need a 30,000 BTU AC unit. However, this is just a starting point, and it’s crucial to consider the additional factors mentioned above.

SEER Rating: Your Key to Efficiency

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) indicates how efficiently your AC converts electricity into cool air. Higher SEER ratings mean lower energy bills. Florida has minimum SEER requirements, but opting for a higher rating can save you money in the long run.

air conditioning

Air Conditioner Types: Choosing The Right System

While there are many types of systems for air conditioning, South Florida has two main types that dominate the residential and commercial market.

Central AC Systems

The most common choice, central AC units cool your entire home through a network of ducts. These popular systems come in two main sub-types.

Split Systems

These separate indoor and outdoor units offer good efficiency and are widely available. These are the most common styles of systems that are installed in homes and businesses across South Florida.

Packaged Systems

These combine the indoor and outdoor units in a single cabinet which is usually located outside. They may be less efficient than split systems but can be a good choice for locations where space is limited.

Ducted Mini-Split Systems

Ducted mini-split systems work well in homes without existing ductwork. These systems have separate indoor units located in each room that are then connected to a single outdoor unit. The units in the rooms are also known as head units and are individually controlled in each room.

Programmable Thermostats & System Zoning

Special Features for South Florida Climate

There are some special features in air conditioning systems that are useful in the demanding South Florida climate. It’s good to understand these when you are shopping for a new AC system for your home or business.

While cooling is most important, these features can help achieve optimal comfort in your living space.

Two-Stage Cooling

These systems operate at lower speeds for quieter operation and better humidity control.

Dehumidification Features

Look for units with built-in dehumidifiers or the ability to add them to address South Florida’s high moisture levels. Dehumidification also inhibits the growth of molds and other allergens contributing to a healthier environment.

Air Filtration

Good air filtration improves indoor air quality and can help families who suffer from allergies and asthma. Regular maintenance of air filters is needed to keep the air quality top-notch.

generac press release

Installation & Maintenance

Even the best AC unit needs proper installation and maintenance to function efficiently.

Hire Licensed Contractors

It’s always best to hire a licensed local AC company to supply and install the air conditioning system for you. A qualified professional can ensure your AC is sized and installed correctly for optimal performance.

Regular Maintenance Intervals

The air conditioning system that you eventually decide on will last much longer if you schedule annual maintenance checks. To ensure your AC is operating efficiently and identify potential problems before they become major issues, contact our team to conduct a thorough maintenance check for you.

The Art of South Florida Air Conditioning

If you’re in Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach County then you most likely have heard of Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric. We have been serving the South Florida residential and business communities for over 30 years with the best service and products.

Our experienced team of licensed HVAC technicians will have you cooled down in no time.

Call us at 1-800-475-1504 to make an appointment today.

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