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Choosing an air conditioner in South Florida isn’t a decision to rush as electricity bills do increase when you’re using your AC system daily. Plus, you need a system that can handle frequent use in hot, humid weather. South Florida’s heat and humidity last all year, so you need an air conditioner that’s designed for year-round use.

Our guide to choosing a new air conditioner in South Florida helps you make the right decision. Go over each of these questions and start narrowing down your requirements and what you need to stay comfortable.

What Types of Air Conditioners Are Available?

When you’re shopping for a new air conditioner, you have four options.

  • Central AC: Indoor and outdoor units that work together to cool inside air in every room of the home, bring warm interior air outside, and continue that cycle using ducts.
  • Mini-Split: A wall-mounted indoor unit that connects to an outside unit to continually cool air to the specified temperature in the room that the unit is in.
  • Window Unit: An air conditioner that sits in a window to cool air and release hot air outside after sealing up the window to be as air-tight as possible. Only cools the air in that room and other rooms that are open and within the unit’s square footage capabilities.
  • Floor Unit: An air conditioner that is portable and can be moved from one room to another. Hoses running from the unit to the window help with cooling and the release of hot air.

What Size/Capacity Is Correct?

Purchasing the proper size is important. If you purchase an air conditioning system that is too large, it will cool quickly and turn off. This causes components to turn on and off quickly, which wears them out. 

A system that’s too small will struggle to effectively cool the home. It has to run non-stop to maintain the right temperature, so it will break down often. You’ll have to replace the system sooner than expected.

Your home’s square footage is a deciding factor, but it’s not the only one. You have to consider how many windows you have that let in sunlight. Are any of your windows shaded by trees or awnings in the hottest hours of the day? Do you have low ceilings or high ones? Is your layout open or do you have a lot of rooms with doors that close? How many floors are in your home? This will all impact what size of AC to purchase. 

How Do You Choose an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner?

You want to look at the SEER2 rating of the air conditioners on your shortlist. SEER2 measures the seasonal efficiency of the air conditioner. Florida residents need to purchase split system units with a SEER2 rating of 14.3 (Under 45,000 Btu/h) or 13.8 (Over 45,000 Btu/h). Single-packaged ACs must have a SEER2 of 13.4.

What Added Features and Benefits Are Worth Your Consideration?

Are there any added features or benefits you want from an air conditioner? Smart thermostats, remote controls, and app connectivity are important considerations. You could have a system where you can control the temperature from your office before you make the drive home. You could get to work and remember you never turned the temperature up, you can do so from your smartphone.

What type of filter does your AC require? If it’s an off-size that you can only find online, you need to make sure you have them on hand. It’s annoying to discover you don’t have any more filters available, and you have to wait for an online order to arrive as they’re not available locally. 

If your best option is a window unit, consider the benefits of a U-shaped system. Instead of having a full unit that sits outside of the window, the compressor and evaporator are separated. You pull down the window to fit between the two components, which makes it whisper-quiet and more efficient.

How Much Can You Afford to Spend?

What is your budget? Ideally, the higher the SEER2 rating you can afford, the more efficient your system will be. That will keep your utility bills down, so you may pay more upfront, but you pay less over time. Keep that in mind.

How Much Does Installation Add to the Cost of an Air Conditioner?

You need to ask a professional AC installation company to ask what installation will add to the price of the AC system you want. The AC unit has a sales price, but that system needs to be installed per local codes. If you don’t have ducts, they will add to the total cost. If your ducts are dirty and need to be cleaned or restored, that’s an additional cost.

The cost of electrical lines and breakers, site work, and connection of thermostats are other considerations. If you have a system that’s being replaced, it can be less than installing a new system in a home that doesn’t currently have AC.

What Maintenance Is Required?

When you’re shopping for a new air conditioner for your South Florida home, make sure you consider what maintenance is required. You need to be able to take the right steps to keep it maintained.

Central AC:

A central AC system requires you to change the filters every couple of months or more often. You also need to keep the coils clean of dust and grime. The outside case needs to be cleared of leaves, cut grass, twigs, and branches. Make sure the drain pan isn’t overflowing and that the condensate drain line isn’t clogged. If it is, use a wet vac to suction it out, or use vinegar and water to flush it out.


If you have a mini-split, you need to wipe or vacuum the interior cabinet regularly to remove dust and dirt. The interior air filter needs to be cleaned once a month or as recommended by the manufacturer. The outdoor unit needs to be examined regularly and be cleared of debris between the fins. Use a hose to clean off the outdoor unit’s coils.

Window or Portable Floor Units:

Window and floor units are less likely to be in your South Florida home, but renters may not have another option. State laws do not require landlords to have broken AC systems repaired or replaced. There is no law requiring them to provide renters with working AC. If you have a window or floor unit, use a vacuum to remove dust from the inside of the unit and clean the air filter regularly.

Stay Comfortable With Comprehensive Protection From All Year Cooling

Even with the utmost care in making sure you have your system maintained professionally, components do wear out over time. Warranty coverage will provide some protection, but it may not cover as much as you hope. 

All Year Cooling offers an extended labor warranty that provides peace of mind for a full decade. Our 10-year extended labor warranty covers everything, including labor and refrigerant. It covers the things many manufacturers’ limited warranties overlook. 

With an extended warranty with All Year Cooling, you no longer worry about the cost of a service call. They’re free. You don’t have to worry about going without air conditioning until you can afford a repair. There’s no limit on the number of repairs. Talk to us about a new air conditioning system and our comprehensive extended labor warranty. You’ll know your home will be cool and comfortable for at least the next 10 years.

All Year Cooling