BTU air conditioner room size chart

To get the best out of your air conditioner, getting the right size matters and consulting the BTU room size chart is a good starting point.

When you are buying an air conditioner, it is important that you get the right type of AC unit that is suitable for your home and for your cooling or heating needs.

The most important aspect to consider during this process is finding the right sized air conditioner. To determine the size of the air conditioner you need, you have to do some important calculations of the size of the space you want to cool.

Although, a simpler option would be to consult the standard British thermal unit (BTU) room size chart which provides you with the different room sizes to guide your choice.

BTU room sizes

To find the right size air conditioner for your home, no matter what type of unit it is, requires that you know how big or small your space is, and this is determined by the square footage of the space.

Once you have calculated the square footage, you can look for the right BTU size in an air conditioner for your space’s size.

BTU air conditioner room size chart

In finding the right sized unit, you would not look at the physical dimensions of the unit first, but rather the BTUs of the air conditioner. British Thermal Units (BTU) are the measurement for the cooling capacity or power of the unit.

This means that in order to cool down a room of a particular size, the air conditioner you get needs to have sufficient cooling power to cool down that space efficiently and effectively.

To calculate the square footage of your space, you need to measure a room’s length and width, using a measuring tape like this one, and once you know that, you can compare this figure to the various BTU sizes of air conditioners to determine which one has the right cooling capacity to cool your room successfully.

There are a variety of room size charts available that tell you certain BTU sizes and the corresponding square feet they can cover when cooling. These charts are a great guide when you are finding the right air conditioner size for your space.

Depending on the type of air conditioner you are looking for, the chart will tell you how many BTUs you need in a unit for your space, and this can serve as a good starting point in your quest to find the right sized AC.

The room size chart provides you with the smallest to the biggest BTU sizes you can get in air conditioners.

BTU room size chart
BTU cooling capacity Room size (square ft) Examples (in ft)
2 000 50 Minuscule room
5 000 100 – 150 10×10, 12×10, 12×12 rooms
6 000 150 – 250 12×20 room
7 000 250 – 300 16×16, 12×24 room
8 000 300 – 400 18×18 room, studio apartment
10 000 400 – 500 20×20 room, 1-bedroom apartment
12 000 500 – 600 24×24 room, average studio apartment
14 000 600 – 700 2 rooms, small apartment
16 000 700 – 800 2 rooms, average apartment
18 000 800 – 900 3 rooms, above average apartment
20 000 900 – 1 000 3 rooms, larger apartment
24 000 1 000 – 1 200 4 rooms, large apartment, medium home

Other metrics to consider when you are finding the right BTU air conditioner

Once you have the square footage calculation of the space you are going to cool and have determined what BTU size you will need, there are a few other considerations you should make.

You also need to add the height of the room into your calculation, as you may need to add some BTUs if you have particularly high ceilings.

Sun exposure in the room is another aspect to consider as sunlight in the room means it will get warmer and require a bigger BTU.

The climate you live in can also help to determine if the air conditioner BTU is suitable. A hotter climate requires a more powerful BTU sized unit than an area with a cooler climate.

BTU air conditioner sizes for different types of AC units

Various types of home air conditioners range in BTU sizes. Window air conditioners range from 5 000 BTU to 24 000 BTU in most brands.

Portable air conditioners are generally available from 8 000 BTU to 14 000 BTU, while mini-split units are built from 9 000 BTU to as high as 42 000 BTU, and possibly even more.

The implications of choosing the wrong BTU size air conditioner

In the event that you end up buying an air conditioner with the wrong BTU size, your cooling experience may not be great.

An air conditioner that is too big for the room you are cooling may cool your space to a cold, uncomfortable extent because the room is too small.

On the other hand, a unit that is too small will not be able to cool the room efficiently, which may cause the unit to overwork and accelerate your electrical bills.

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