Those of us in the bright paradise that is Florida, unlike the majority of our neighbors heading north up the East Coast, don't have to deal with the rigors of weatherizing our homes with insulation and caulk and storm shutters – at least not to keep out extreme cold. But this doesn't mean homeowners in the Sunshine State can ignore household energy efficiency altogether.
It's still important to consider what temperature changes will affect your area of the state, when they'll be an issue and how much of an effect they will ultimately have. Also, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, don't forget that energy efficiency has as much to do with mitigating heat as it does with battling the cold. Once you know what climate you face now and in the immediate future, you can select the ideal home improvements and energy efficient windows that can keep the house comfortable no matter what.
The north and south poles (of Florida)
As The Weather Channel explains on its website, our fine state's main climate divergences are between its northern and southern halves. The cities of Orlando and Tampa can be considered major points in the line of demarcation: Every area of Florida north of this (hypothetical) boundary experiences notably cold temperatures for at least some portion of the winter, whereas the state's southern half rarely if ever gets colder than the range of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, cities and towns in northern Florida will sometimes see the thermometer fall below freezing – something that would be considered a statistical anomaly in the south.
There is also much more of a wide range between temperatures, on a year-round basis, in the north than the south. The former sees swings of about 30 degrees between average highs and lows: Take Tallahassee as an example, which ranges from a 73 degree high to a 47 degree low in November, according to U.S. Climate Data. Meanwhile, a city like Key West has very little variance during the same month, with average highs of 80 and lows of 72. Cities in the center-south, like Okeechobee, are more likely to have 20-degree ranges separating typical highs and lows.
Windows to deal with cool winters
If you're living in the panhandle or elsewhere in northern Florida, it'll be best for you to have windows that are ideal for staving off the wind. Snow, sleet or hail are highly unlikely, but high winds are almost guaranteed in the winter, particularly for those on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts. As such, impact windows proven through testing to stand up in the face of hurricane-force winds can be just as helpful during the colder months as they can during the height of the year's most stormy months.
You'll want to select double-pane glass impact windows, with dual weather stripping, reinforced design and hardware that won't be vulnerable to rust or other degradation due to high humidity. Impact-resistant models from NewSouth Window Solutions feature all of these attributes and more. They come directly from our factory to our showrooms in Tampa and Orlando – the closest locations for North Floridians to access.
Regulating winter household comfort in warmer areas
Those residing in cities such as West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, meanwhile, will of course face temperature concerns not dissimilar to what they're used to during the summer. So if you already have energy-saving windows installed, you're in luck – right? Not necessarily. Some models marketed as "energy efficient" are simply inferior to others, even ones that meet the minimum ENERGY STAR efficiency criteria established by the Department of Energy. For cooling purposes, the DOE recommends windows that have a lower solar heat gain coefficient. Look up the specs on your existing windows to learn this figure.
If you have any concerns about the monetary and household benefits you're getting from your existing windows, look no further than the home window replacement services and products offered by NewSouth Window Solutions. Our energy efficient windows have been engineered to protect your home's interior from excessive sun and heat through the use of our eVantage 366 glass. They have also undergone vacuum-sealed testing to verify their capacity for heat mitigation.