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Best AC Units for Florida: Selection Guide

Published June 3, 2024 / By Big Bear Heating & Air
AC Units for Florida

If you live in Florida, you know that having a reliable and efficient air conditioning (AC) system is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. Here, the sweltering summers and high humidity levels make it essential for every home to have an AC unit that can stand up to the challenging climate. However, not all air conditioners are created equal, and given the conditions in Florida, choosing the right one can make all the difference in your comfort and energy bills.

At our company, we understand how critical it is to select an AC system that is not only powerful but also efficient and durable enough to handle Florida’s demanding weather. In this article, we’ll walk you through the vital considerations you need to keep in mind when choosing an AC unit for your home. From understanding the impact of humidity on AC performance to the significance of selecting the appropriate type of unit, we are here to help guide your decision, ensuring that you select the best possible option for your needs and lifestyle.

Understanding Florida’s Unique Climate and AC Needs

Living in Florida means dealing with unique weather conditions that can significantly impact the performance and efficiency of your air conditioning system. Our state is known for its long, hot summers with high humidity levels. These conditions place unique demands on AC units, requiring them to not only cool the air but also remove moisture effectively to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

The consistent heat means that AC systems in Florida typically run more frequently and for more extended periods than in cooler climates. This continuous operation can lead to wear faster and tear if the system isn’t specifically designed to handle such demands. Furthermore, the salty air, especially in coastal areas, can corrode AC components more quickly, reducing the system’s lifespan without adequate protection and maintenance. Thus, understanding these local climate challenges is crucial when selecting and managing AC systems to ensure they perform efficiently throughout their service life.

Types of AC Units Suitable for Humid Environments

When choosing an AC unit for a humid climate like Florida’s, it’s essential to select a system designed to handle high moisture levels and frequent use. Here are a few types of AC units that are particularly well-suited for Florida homes:

1. Central Air Conditioners: These are among the most popular choices for Florida residents. Central air conditioners are effective at cooling large spaces evenly and can be integrated with dehumidifiers to help manage indoor humidity levels.

2. Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are versatile units that provide both cooling and heating. In Florida, where the temperatures rarely drop too low, heat pumps can be a more energy-efficient option for year-round comfort. They operate well in humid conditions, pulling double duty by cooling the air while removing excess moisture.

3. Ductless Mini-Splits: These are ideal for adding air conditioning to spaces without existing ductwork or for supplementing existing systems in home additions or outbuildings. Mini-splits are highly efficient and provide the added benefit of targeted cooling and dehumidification, which can be particularly advantageous in humid environments.

4. Geothermal Systems: While more expensive upfront, geothermal cooling systems offer significant efficiency and durability, especially in humid climates. These systems utilize the stable temperature of the ground to cool homes, efficiently managing humidity while providing excellent longevity and reduced operational costs.

Choosing among these systems involves understanding their pros and cons in the context of Florida’s climate, ensuring that the system not only cools but also effectively controls humidity, enhancing comfort and air quality in your home.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an AC Unit

Selecting the right AC unit for your Florida home isn’t just about cooling power; it’s about choosing a system that meets several critical criteria for efficiency, durability, and overall climate suitability. Here are key factors every homeowner should consider:

1. Size and Capacity: The size of the AC unit should be adequate for the square footage of your living space. An undersized unit will run continuously, struggling to cool your home and remove humidity efficiently, while an oversized unit can lead to frequent cycling, wasting energy and increasing wear and tear.

2. Energy Efficiency: Look for units with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. A higher SEER rating means the unit operates more efficiently, which can save on energy bills and reduce environmental impact.

3. Features for Humidity Control: Given Florida’s high humidity levels, choosing an AC unit with built-in humidity control capabilities, such as variable speed motors and advanced thermostats, is essential. These features help maintain comfortable humidity levels, prevent mold growth, and ensure indoor air quality.

4. Durability Against Corrosion: Opt for models specifically designed to withstand corrosive environments, particularly if you live near the coast. Units with corrosion-resistant coatings or those made from materials less prone to rust offer longer lifespans in Florida’s salty air.

Maintenance Tips for Optimal Performance in Florida’s Climate

Proper maintenance is crucial for ensuring your AC unit remains efficient and reliable, especially in Florida’s demanding climate. Implementing regular maintenance routines can significantly extend the life of your system:

1. Regular Professional Servicing: Schedule professional maintenance at least once a year. Technicians check for issues like refrigerant leaks, worn-out parts, and inefficiencies that you might not notice yourself.

2. Frequent Filter Changes: Change or clean your air filters every month during peak summer months to maintain airflow and improve air quality. Clogged filters force your unit to work harder, increasing energy use and wear.

3. Condenser and Evaporator Coil Cleaning: Dirt and debris can accumulate on the coils, reducing the system’s ability to absorb and release heat. Clean these components annually to sustain optimal performance.

4. Check and Seal Ductwork: Leaky ducts can lead to significant cooling losses, affecting comfort and increasing utility bills. Inspect your ductwork for leaks and insulation problems and repair them as needed to enhance efficiency.


Choosing the right AC system for your Florida home and maintaining it precisely can lead to improved comfort, lower energy bills, and a significantly better living environment. By understanding the unique demands of Florida’s climate, you can select an AC unit that provides optimal cooling, longevity, and efficiency, tailored perfectly for your home.

If you are considering installing a new AC or need professional advice on maintaining your current system, our team at Big Bear Heating & Air is ready to help. With a deep understanding of Florida’s climate challenges, we ensure you and your family enjoy reliable and efficient cooling throughout the year. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and experience the difference expert AC and heating services can make in your home comfort and energy management.

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