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How to Optimize Your Condo for the Miami Heat

Miami springtime is divine, with daily weather in the mid to high 70s and afternoon showers to cool things down. Until hurricane season, anyway — the wettest months fall between June and September, with things heating up in summer. Not only does that mean uncomfortably high temperatures — humidity included — but it also means an extremely high power bill for Miami condo owners and tenants. Optimizing it beforehand can solve those woes.

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Why Optimize a Miami Condo?

Readying properties for the inevitable heat wave reduces energy costs and improves living conditions, especially in a smaller condo or one prone to extreme temperature swings. Poor insulation, airflow problems and sun exposure quickly raise the heat in the space. Heat buildup can also worsen depending on the building’s positioning, windows and roof materials.

Being too hot lowers tenant comfort, making living spaces less desirable and ballooning expenses. Imagine your tenant’s surprise when they get a hefty power bill. In many ways, that passes on to you as the property owner.

Optimized buildings can reduce heat and humidity fluctuations regardless of the weather outdoors, ultimately improving comfort in the condo while mitigating the monetary effects. What better time to optimize than before the spring rains, hurricane season and summer heat officially kick in?

How Condo Owners Can Prepare for the Florida Heat

Florida is in the pre-heating stage, so you still have time to get ready. Here are some tips to optimize your condo for the Miami heat.

1. Have the AC Cleaned and Serviced

As with all things, a property’s AC requires regular maintenance. Property managers should change out the filters every three months. You should clean the air condenser and outdoor units every so often to remove debris from the coils.

Furthermore, schedule AC technicians to check coolant levels and the air handler — the indoor system — for proper operation. If you haven’t had your properties’ AC units serviced or cleaned in some time, schedule an appointment soon, well before summer.

Many AC units break down during the summer, meaning these companies are overwhelmed and you might have to wait if something goes awry. Moreover, because your AC has to work harder with dirty coils or due to a malfunction, it will use more electricity. The longer you wait for service, the higher your tenant's power bill will be.

2. Install Blackout Curtains or Window Tint

One great way to optimize your condo or small unit is to add window coverings beyond simple shades. You can install window tint on the glass or blackout curtains to keep out the sun.

The sun’s UV rays and subsequent heat become trapped inside a building, especially during peak hours of the day. Even with AC running, heat builds up. Reducing entry through better insulation is a simple and relatively affordable fix.

Blackout curtains don’t have to be black or dark fabric — they’re now available and just as effective in lighter, more inviting tones. That’s good news since not all tenants like a dungeon aesthetic inside their living space.

3. Check the Door and Window Insulation

Whether due to cheap construction or failing insulation over time, doors and windows can let in a lot of heat, even when closed. You can hire professionals to weatherize a property's openings, or you could do it yourself using several sealant solutions if you are comfortable doing so.

Alternatively, you could hire professionals to install more suitable windows for warm weather made with the right materials, such as aluminum or wood. Wooden frames are weather-resistant, eco-friendly insulation to keep out heat and humidity. However, aluminum could be the better option if your area gets a lot of rain, as it won’t warp or rot.

Other factors like insulated glass types and a higher solar heat gain coefficient should also be considered. Depending on the condo's age, replacing the windows may be the best option — if they’re older than two decades, this should be the go-to measure.

4. Schedule an Energy Audit

Getting an energy audit every few years will address issues with energy usage in your condo. While these will require an up-front cost, it can save you money throughout the year and conserve power during peak months.

Experts will reveal a property’s average consumption, review electricity-saving incentives and advise and guide you on optimizing a condo. That last bit is essential, as they’ll give you personalized suggestions for reducing energy use and optimizing your properties.

5. Adjust Ceiling Fans to Rotate Correctly

Modern ceiling fans have a switch built-in that reverses the blades. If you're looking straight up, the fans should be spinning counterclockwise in the summer. That movement will pull the heat over the blades, pushing cool air down.

According to the Department of Energy, using a ceiling fan enables you to raise the AC thermostat by about 4˚ Fahrenheit and still be comfortable. The space stays cool and the AC doesn’t run as often, so the power bill is lower.

If your condo or property lacks ceiling fans, consider installing them before moving a new tenant into the space. Extra fans are always a major selling point in a hot climate like Miami.

6. Clean Your Refrigerator’s Coils

A refrigerator uses coils like an air conditioner to keep the inside cool. In old or luxury models, these coils become cluttered with dust, debris, pet hair and other nasties you need to clean off yourself. If you’ve had a few tenants cycle through a condo since you last cleaned those coils — or if you never have — now is an excellent opportunity.

Usually, you can access the coils through a panel on the rear of the fridge. Clean them out to keep the fridge in tip-top shape and clean off all the dust on the top while you're at it. Another optimization tip is keeping your large appliances running optimally or replacing them with more energy-efficient options, which can save your tenants a lot of money in the long run.

7. Install a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats allow residents to automate the cooling system to match their preferences, keep up with the local weather or reduce energy consumption during peak hours. They’re ultra-convenient because you can set them and forget about them after creating a cooling schedule.

For example, tenants can program the thermostat to maintain a higher temperature while away from home, conserving energy during those hours. They’ll love the modern amenity, too, as adjusting the condo’s thermostat from a mobile app is extra convenient.

8. Set Vacant Properties a Few Degrees Higher

It’s smart to set vacant properties’ resting temperatures a few degrees higher during the summer. This conserves energy and allows the AC to work more efficiently, but you can offset a temperature increase with the right fans.

The lower you set your temperatures, the harder the AC has to work to maintain them, which can mean a massively inflated power bill during the summer months, especially in Miami. It doesn’t make sense to incur high power bills for vacant condos, but it can happen if you’re not careful.

Optimize Now Before the Summer Heat Wave

Ready or not, summer’s almost here. Florida’s hottest and most humid days are to come. If you want to be prepared, it’s time to optimize your properties to keep out the heat and reduce energy usage. Optimization will go a long way towards improving comfort for anyone spending time inside the residence and your tenants will undoubtedly thank you for it.

Evelyn Long is a writer that specializes in housing market trends. She is also the founder of Renovated Magazine, where she writes essential resources for renters and homeowners. She has contributed to several other sites like National Association of Realtors and Realty Executives. Subscribe to for more posts by Evelyn.


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