Find Out What AC Size You Need: AC Efficiency Comparison Guide

January 10, 2022
Written by HVAC Link

What size air conditioner do you need? There isn’t one answer that fits every situation, and mostly, it depends on the size of your home. Explore our AC unit size comparison chart below and learn why AC size is important for energy efficiency. 

Air Conditioner Sizes 

The more square footage your home has the larger the air conditioner you will need to cool down your home efficiently. Those in tiny homes or apartments will need a much smaller unit than those in a multi-storey three-bedroom home. 

Air conditioner sizes are measured in BTU. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which is the measure of how much energy your air conditioner uses to remove heat from your home and replace it with cool air in one hour. The higher the BTU, the larger a home the air conditioner can cool. 

Here is a chart that tells you the amount of BTUs you need based on your square footage: 

Home Square Footage BTUs 
700-1 000 18 000 
1 000 - 1 200 21 000 
1 200- 1 400 23 000 
1 400 - 1 500 24 000 
1 500 - 2 000 30 000 
2 000 - 2 500 34 000 

You’ll notice that this is roughly 1000 BTUs for every 100 square feet. While this is a good rule in general, more factors go into determining the size of air conditioner your home will need. Your home layout, the number of windows and bedrooms and overall energy efficiency of the home will play a role in determining your needs. Your HVAC professional can help ensure you’re choosing the right size AC unit. 

Feeling overwhelmed with your AC choices? At HVAC Link, we can walk you through your AC choices and help you make an informed decision, contact us today!  

Why Does AC Size Matter? 

Choosing an air conditioner that is too small will mean your home won’t cool completely. One that is too large will waste energy and cost you more.  

Air Conditioner Power Consumption Comparison 

The size of your air conditioner is not the only thing that determines its power consumption. Air conditioners are given SEER ratings, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency ratings. This describes how efficient the air conditioner is at turning energy into cold air. The higher the SEER rating, the better the air conditioner performs and the less it costs you. 

We can do a simple comparison of air conditioners to demonstrate this. If we assume an average BTU need of 20 000, we can compare how much the electrical bill will cost for air conditioners with different SEER ratings cooling this same space. 

SEER Monthly electrical costs 
12 $219 
14 $188 
16 $164 
18 $146 
20 $131 

Of course, your utility costs for your air conditioner will be different depending on your home, your electrical costs and the temperature at which you set your air conditioner. But you can see that highly efficient air conditioners can reduce your power consumption considerably. 

Still not sure which air conditioner you should purchase? Size is just one factor. Reach out to HVAC Link today to discuss which air conditioner will be best for you based on your needs and budget. 

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