From northeasterners who have grown weary of brutal winters to people who just want fun in the sun and a relaxed, business-friendly culture, Florida’s population seemingly grows by the day. The Miami-to-Palm Beach corridor is growing so much that Port St. Lucie, not Palm Beach, has debatably become its northern frontier.
Florida is amazing, but it’s not perfect. The warm weather comes at a price—one you’ll pay to Florida Power & Light every month to air condition your home. Learn about some ways to lower cooling costs in Florida so that you can fully enjoy the Sunshine State while still getting a break from the sun at home.
Turn up the Thermostat
In the Midwest and Northeast, we take for granted that “room temperature” is about 70 to 72 degrees. If you’ve made the move to a subtropical zone, chances are that you’re well-suited to warmth. If the stories of people keeping alligators as pets haven’t tipped you off already, Florida is a little different from the rest of the country. Room temperature in Florida is closer to 76 to 78 degrees. You simply can’t cool your home here the way you did in Michigan—not without paying handsomely for the privilege. But how can you still achieve comfort?
Turn on the Ceiling Fans
Incorporating air currents into the rooms you occupy can simulate lower temperatures without overworking your air conditioner. Fans use significantly less electricity than central air. You’ve left the brutal wind chills back home, but you can apply the same principle at home to save electricity.
Insulate the Attic
Insulation is an area where Florida homebuilders tend to cut corners. Many homeowners are shocked to discover that there is little to no insulation beneath the roof, allowing the cool air they pay for to seep out. One way to lower cooling costs in Florida is to determine whether you can do a better job keeping indoor air where it belongs.
Install a Dehumidifier
South Florida humidity can be nothing short of oppressive, especially when our passing thunderstorms come into play to saturate the air. Ask the Miami Marlins, who retreated to a retractable-roof dome to make baseball a more hospitable experience in the summer heat. You know that humidity can seem to amplify the heat—hence the Arizonans who somehow swear that 110 degrees isn’t really that uncomfortable. Thus, if you think about dehumidifying the air rather than cooling it, you can feel a little better and save a few bucks along the way. Installing a central dehumidifier, which consumes less electricity than your air conditioner, can allow you to bump the thermostat up a degree or two north of where you’d normally keep it, and every degree can save you about five percent on your monthly bill. In conjunction with insulation, ceiling fans, and a reasonable thermostat setting, this can make staying cool more affordable.