Is Central Air A Necessity in Hawaii?

Posted on Sep 1, 2020

When you picture living in Hawaii, you may picture white sand beaches, sunny skies and palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze – and all of this is true! But one thing many people wonder is whether central air is a necessity for living in Hawaii. Summers bring hot days, and sunshine brings heat. So, does every home need to be equipped with air conditioning?

In short, no, not every home is equipped with central air, and it may not be necessary for every building. While strolling through town, you may notice stores that have big open windows or even outdoor markets that lend themselves to the trade winds that are so common in the area. Staying out of direct sun and getting a breeze can do wonders for cooling. However, this may not be a possibility in your home. You need to lock up when you are not there or keep things secure while you are home, even while cooling the residence. 

Older homes, particularly those built before the 1950s, generally do not have air conditioning in Hawaii. These homes were built before air conditioning was a common practice and are instead built in a specific style to help cool the home called plantation style homes. These special types of houses are built to ventilate and cool themselves naturally. They included slanted windows that helped promote airflow. However, this type of window can be an architectural nuisance, and central air became a much more common practice after the 1950s, especially in modern homes. 

Air conditioning options in Hawaii
Hawaii has many of the same air conditioning options as other places in the world, and modern homes have central air to not only regulate the temperature, but also control humidity, pollutant and dust, keeping the home comfortable and healthy for your whole family. 

Energy efficient air conditioning
Because you may use more air conditioning than in other places due to the higher temperatures in Hawaii, you may want to investigate more energy efficient options for central air. This might include newer systems that allow you to adjust the temperature from your phone, in case you know you will not be home during a certain time or a cold front come in, or HVAC systems that allow you to adjust the temperature room by room, so you can keep the rooms you use most often cooler, while increasing the temperature in less used spaces. Some people use systems that only cool parts of their home, like a bedroom, to keep them cool at night and make sleeping more comfortable. 

Do I need AC year-round?
When you picture Hawaii, you may be picturing that perfect sunny day and a white sand beach, and you are not wrong! But contrary to the picture, Hawaii does have seasons. In the winter, temperatures drop, and we have a rainy season that can get damp and chilly. So central air is nice, but like almost anywhere else in the world, you will not have to have it going year-round. You may need it running for those summer months, like July, August, September and maybe even October, but the rest of the year, you will probably be comfortable without it. 

What About Heat?
While we are talking about air conditioning, you might also be wondering about heating. Is it really necessary to have a heating system in Hawaii? After all, it is so beautiful and tropical here all the time, right? Well, as much as we would like to control the weather and have perfect 75-degree sunshine here year-round, that is rarely the case. Once we get into winter months here, temperatures can drop, and it gets chilly. Add in seasonal rains, and now you might start to see why heat is necessary. Plus, not all homes are at sea-level. The higher you go in elevation, the cooler the typical temperatures are. Nights and winter months get cold, and simply closing the windows and putting on long pants may not do the trick. 

Additionally, heating and cooling are part of your air circulation system. Here in Hawaii, this is a big part of keeping your home comfortable and livable. Your HVAC system helps regulate not just the temperature, but also the humidity, moisture levels, dust and dander, and pollutants in your home. This can be key in Hawaii, where we have pollen in the air most of the year and living in a home with other people or pets means you will have dust and debris in the air. Having a healthy home means having an HVAC system that helps regulate the air in your home, keeping you and your family safe and healthy. 

HVAC System Maintenance
Does your HVAC system need a check up to stay working properly and keep your home healthy? Contact the team at Airpro Indoor Air today to schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system.