Residential heating in Florida is more of an occasional luxury than an absolute necessity. We don’t ever expect to spend more than a couple of nights in a row with lows in the 30s—if that. It’s beautiful here. Anna Maria Island isn’t associated with “bundling up and staying indoors.”
But if you have a heat system, you probably want to use it now and then. It doesn’t cost near as much as keeping your house cool the rest of the year. And a comfortable morning temperature in your bedroom makes getting out of bed and taking a shower at 6:30 a.m. a lot more pleasant.
So, with cooler temps (hopefully) on the horizon, there are a few things to think about when it comes to your heat—especially before the holidays hit and you’re white-knuckling your home systems for 90 days.
What Can Go Wrong with Florida Heat?
Because we rarely think about these heating systems, they can present their own problems. Heating units in Florida sit dormant all year long—through our extreme heat and humidity, through wind and heavy rains. Whether central HVAC, wall/window units or even space heaters, these are complicated machines and electrical systems that accumulate dust, dirt, corrosion and moisture while sitting still for nine or 10 months.
And then a cold snap arrives and bam, we expect them to jump to life at full power and work perfectly.
Here are some common problems with Florida heaters, which many people won’t discover until they turn them on this season:
Mechanical issues: If you’ve gotten your central AC serviced regularly, your fan motor is probably OK here. Your HVAC uses the same fan to blow cold air as it does hot. So if your AC has been working, your fan is probably OK. On the other hand, this is a piece of “heating” equipment that gets Florida use year-round, so be wary of wear and tear—even if you hardly ever use your heat.
Electrical issues: Your heating system uses electricity to warm the air. That heating element can break in an instant, and then you’ll just be circulating cold air throughout your home.
Owner mistakes: One thing you really don’t want to do this time of year is stress about a broken central heat system when you’ve just got a toggle flipped the wrong way.
Poor installation: Here’s a frustrating situation: You were a responsible Florida homeowner and got your new HVAC installed in the spring, before things got too hot for you and too busy for your AC service. The problem is: You didn’t know they messed up the heat unit install until mid-December.
What to Do for Safe, Smooth-Running Florida Heat
When it comes to mechanical or electrical issues, you’re in luck! This is what HVAC engineers, technicians and servicepeople train for year-round. Heat might be foreign or forgotten to you since you’ve lived in Florida, but often the HVAC units Air America is dealing with in Bradenton in July are the same ones that are supposed to heat your home come Christmas. So we’re familiar, even if you’re not.
Here’s what you can do before the next cold snap sneaks up on us:
Get your HVAC heat system checked by professionals before you need it.
Make sure your system is set to “heat.” Just…double-check, please.
Bump up your thermostat. No, we Floridians are not used to thinking about temperatures this way. But if your heat isn’t kicking on, you might actually have your thermostat set too low. That room you think is “freezing” could actually be 76 degrees. It happens.
And these aren’t the kinds of problems you want to all-of-a-sudden run into on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day. Give us a call today, and that’s something you can cross off your Christmas list without having to go out and shop for it.