What Size Air Conditioner Should You Buy?
The key is to determine exactly the right size for you. Too small an air conditioner will continuously run and will not adequately cool a room. Too large a unit will tend to cycle off too quickly. The unit will not properly remove moisture from the air and may freeze, resulting in a higher energy bill. Ask a qualified air-conditioning technician for a thorough analysis so that you get exactly what you need.
BTU Calculator: Choose the Right BTU for Your Room Size
Selecting the right BTU (British Thermal Unit) for your room size will ensure you have the most energy-efficient cooling system for your home. BTU ratings are numbers that tell you how quickly and effectively a unit can cool a room. Generally, ratings range from 5,000 to more than 20,000 BTUs. When an oversized air conditioner is used in a small space, it cycles on and off and wastes energy, decreasing the unit’s ability to dehumidify the room. Alternatively, if a unit has too few BTUs, it will not be able to cool a large space efficiently.
It’s important to consider factors such as ceiling height, room insulation, sun exposure, location and your area’s climate when choosing a unit with the right BTU rating. Here are some helpful tips:
- Rooms with excessive sunlight should have a unit with 10% more BTUs than what is required by the room size.
- When placing a unit in the kitchen, select one with an additional 4,000 BTUs than what is required by the room size.
- For higher traffic rooms or rooms that regularly contain more than two people, add an additional 600 BTUs per person.
Extra Air Conditioner Features
Here is a list of features that people commonly look for when purchasing a new air conditioner: