Finding the Best Air Conditioner Size | HVAC Service

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Spring is finally here which means summer is right around the corner. The best time to prepare for the heat is now, before mercury starts rising. Waiting until the first heat wave hits to think about air conditioning is a recipe for disaster. Once the heat is here, the rush to find a functional AC unit can be as competitive as Black Friday doorbuster sales.

But now, with all the time in the world to shop, you can make sure you find an air conditioner with the cooling capacity you need to stay comfortable. So, how big of an air conditioner do you need?

20 BTU/Square Foot

Before you start shopping for AC units, it’s important to know the square footage of the space you plan to cool. You could do it the old fashioned way with a tape measure or try an app like RoomScan to simplify the process. Once you have at least a rough estimate of the size of your space, you can narrow in on an air conditioner size.

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). 1 BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by 1 °F. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want around 20 BTUs of cooling power for every square foot you need to cool.

More powerful air conditioners measure their output in tons. In this context, 1 ton equals 12,000 BTUs. A quick conversion shows that a 1 ton AC can handle roughly 600 square feet.

Although the square footage of your space is one of the most important factors to consider when sizing an AC, it’s not the only one. Homes with high ceilings should add roughly 10% to their unit size. Homes with large windows and those that receive an abundance of sunlight should also plan to up their cooling capacity by about 10%.

Consult An Expert

These back-of-the-envelope calculations should give you a good idea of how big an air conditioner you need. Whenever you make a purchase of this size, it’s a good idea to consult with an expert.

At Blue Frost Heating & Cooling, your comfort and safety is our business. We’ll listen to your wants and needs and provide you with the best solutions to achieve them.

Maybe you only use a few rooms in your house and would enjoy the energy savings of a Mitsubishi mini split system. Perhaps your existing AC just needs a tune-up. We pride ourselves on complete transparency with our potential and longtime clients alike. We’ll always give you our honest, expert opinion and never try to sell you products or services you don’t need.

For nearly 50 years, Blue Frost has helped countless homeowners with heating and cooling in St. Charles and the surrounding suburbs. Our dedication to our customers is second to none. Give us a call today at 630-444-0860 so we can show you the level of exceptional service that’s kept us successful for half a century.

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