How Many Air Conditioner BTUs Do I Need?

How Many Air Conditioner BTUs Do I Need? - Heating and Cooling

With temperatures ready to rise, it is time to shift your attention to keeping your home, apartment or condo cool. An air conditioner is ideal, however, there are other methods you can use to cool your residence.

Before you go rushing off to the local hardware store to purchase an air conditioning unit, it is important to stop and ponder ‘How many air conditioner BTUs do I need?’

What Are BTUs?

The acronym BTU stands for British Thermal Units. This is just a fancy term used to measure how large of an area an air conditioner is capable of cooling. The term also pertains to heaters when measuring how large of an area they can heat.

The number of BTUs listed on a box or chart might seem random, but all you need to understand is that the higher the number of BTUs, the larger the area it can cool.

The trick is finding the appropriate power for your specific room. There are a variety of tables and BTU calculators available throughout the Internet. While this makes the process easy, it does not necessarily address the unique aspects of your room. More on this later.

Rule Of Thumb

If you do not want to mess with a BTU calculator or pore over a chart, there is a general rule of thumb you can use to answer the question ‘How many air conditioner BTUs do I need?’

You can simply multiply the room’s cubic footage by five to reveal the appropriate BTUs needed in an air conditioner. To determine how many cubic feet your room is, simply measure the width, length and height of the room and multiply the dimensions together.

Again, this cookie-cutter method does not account for unique aspects of a room. You should answer the following questions before determining how many BTUs you will need.

Poorly insulated rooms, or rooms that allow the sun to enter in, will require a higher amount of BTUs to eliminate the heat.

Take The Guesswork Out

Heating and cooling professionals have this method down to a science. If you want to ensure you buy an air conditioner with the right amount of power, use TalkLocal to track down a qualified professional in your area now.

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