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Miami and the Southern Florida coast are a tourism paradise with sandy beaches, a rich history, ocean breezes, and plenty of sun. With the warm, tropical weather comes the risk of overheating and taking in too much sun, especially if you’re not accustomed to heat and humidity.

In the first half of 2023, Miami-Dade County received 12.4 million visitors. Of those tourists, 6.6 million were from the U.S. When visitors head to Florida seeking sun and respite from the cold, the heat can be a shock. Vacation homes need to offer the cooling AC that tourists seek on a hot day.

How Do You Choose the Right AC Unit for Your Rental?

What is the best AC system for a vacation rental? If you have a rental home, a full central AC system does a great job of keeping all bedrooms and living areas cool. Your guests’ comfort is going to lead to better reviews, so you want to ensure they’re cool and comfortable.

If you have a smaller cottage with just a couple of rooms, a heat pump system is a good idea. It cools the smaller layout effectively and costs less to run.

The other option is a window unit. It’s not the best choice in Florida as it’s less efficient. While window units are getting better, they will use more electricity than a central AC system or heat pump. Plus, they’re not going to last as long, so you’ll be replacing them frequently.

You may be used to an AC that runs 24/y and creates extra noise, but a guest might not, especially guests coming from a cooler climate where AC is a summer-only appliance. The AC system you choose needs to be quiet. If it’s loud and disruptive, your guests may complain about the noise. If you want repeat business, you need guests to be happy and leave positive reviews.

Talk to a professional Miami AC installer about your goals and budget. As tempting as it can seem to purchase a system that’s larger than you need, that’s a mistake. An oversized system cools rooms too quickly and turns off and on more than it needs to, which wears out components. 

An undersized system has a lower MSRP, but it’s going to run constantly in an attempt to keep the rental home cool enough. That drives up your electricity bills and wears out the system before you’d expect.

Ensure the AC System Cools Rooms Efficiently 

You need to make sure the system you choose runs efficiently. Having the system professionally sized and installed is important. It’s also a good idea to add ceiling fans or floor fans to help circulate the air. When air moves, it makes you feel cooler. Sit down in front of a fan and you’ll notice how much cooler you feel in front of the fan than you feel when you’re away from it.

Vacation homes can be much smaller, and that exaggerates some problems. A small rental cottage with a bathroom is going to lead to increases in humidity each time someone takes a shower. 

Consider adding a small dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the bathroom. Steam from hot showers or baths can increase humidity and make a home feel less comfortable. If you don’t have a window you can open within the bathroom, a vent fan paired with a small dehumidifier is a great way to keep humidity levels down.

On a hot day, room darkening blinds help keep the sun from warming up rooms. Share this with your renters. Make blinds easy to open and close so that guests are going to use them. If your rental is family-friendly, cordless blinds are safer than blinds or long curtains with drawstrings or pulls.

It may be time to set guidelines on whether guests should move furniture. While a different furniture arrangement might suit them once they arrive, they may not understand that furniture placement that blocks vents impacts the efficiency of the rental home’s AC. Inform them of this and make sure they can easily identify the vents and registers. 

Tips for Central Air Maintenance and Upkeep

Once you have a central AC system installed, make sure you maintain it. Air filters need to be changed regularly. If your vacation rental is pet-friendly, you may want to consider replacing the air filters each month. A system that gets a lot of use will need filters replaced more often. If your vacation home is on a sandy lot and dust is a problem, filter changes each month are a good idea.

Keep shrubs, flowering plants, and tall grass away from the outside unit. After mowing, make sure any grass clippings are blown away from the vent cover. As heat releases outside of the vacation home, it needs to exit the vents on the outside unit. If you have leaves, branches, grass, etc. blocking it, the system will not work efficiently.

After guests check out or leave, go through and do a thorough cleaning of the vents and registers to remove any hair. It’s a good habit to get into for keeping dust and hair out of your ducts.

Ensure Your Renters Know What to Do

Provide renters with a quick instruction guide on how to change the temperature, if you allow it. Some vacation rental owners prefer to use a digital thermostat with a locking function that prevents the temperature from being set too low. Floor fans can help keep guests cooler.

If the rooms don’t seem cool enough, provide contact information so that they can alert you. It’s ideal to provide multiple ways to reach you just in case. SMS and phone options suffice, though you could also consider email.

When there are issues, you want to address them sooner rather than later. Ignoring potential problems becomes costly if the system fails and your renters have to be moved to a hotel.

All Year Cooling specializes in Miami vacation home AC systems. Not only can we install a replacement system if it’s time, but we also provide a full range of repair and maintenance services. We’re happy to clean and inspect your ducts, test your system to ensure it’s working properly, and make quick repairs if something is wrong. Call us or fill out the online chat form to get an immediate response.

All Year Cooling