Air Conditioners: One Size Does Not Fit All

When it comes to air conditioners, it can be challenging to figure out what size you need for your home.Air Conditioners

What ‘Size’ Actually Means

The unit of measure for AC size – tonnage – has little to do with weight. A “ton” refers to the ability to cool 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) in an hour. BTU is the measure of the amount of energy to cool one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Most residential air conditioners range between 1.5-ton to 5-ton units.

Calculating What Your Home Needs

A quick and easy way to determine the size of your air conditioner is to multiply the width x length of the area you want to cool. Take that total and times it by 25 BTU.

If your room is 14 feet by 18 feet long, that means 14×18=252. If you take the 252 sq. ft. and multiply it by 25 BTU, you get the minimum BTU air conditioner you should get for that space. In this case, it’s 6300 BTUs, which is the equivalent of a .5-ton air conditioner.

Why Does Size Matter?

A smaller BTU unit may work in a larger space, but it will have to consume more energy just to keep up the demand. One that is too large will not have enough time to go through the full cooling cycle, constantly turning on and off to cool your home. Both of these will lead to jumps in your energy bill, while properly sized air conditioners run efficiently and keep your home cool, consistently.