5000 BTU air conditioners are amongst the smallest units you can find, so they can only cool rooms that are 150 to 250 square feet in size.
Having a suitably sized cooling system in your home is important. The size of the unit matters in terms of how powerful the unit is and how well it will perform.
The power of your air conditioning system is determined by its cooling capacity. A unit with a certain cooling capacity can only effectively cool a space of a certain size, this is why it is crucial that you know your room size, so that you can get an air conditioner capable of cooling it.
Air conditioner BTU’s and room sizes
Air conditioners come in visibly different sizes. Finding an appropriately sized air conditioner for your space is essential, but the main determining factor of the right sized unit is its BTU (British Thermal Unit).
This gives you an idea of how much cooling power the air conditioner has. The BTU of a unit determines the size (and height) of the room that it can cool.
What size room would a 5 000 BTU air conditioner cool?
When referring to what size room an AC with a certain BTU cool, this points to the square footage of the room. Different air conditioners, ranging from 5 000 BTU’s to over 20 000 BTU’s, can cool spaces of certain sizes with ease.
Units with smaller BTUs cater to much smaller rooms, while air conditioners with larger BTUs can cool larger spaces.
If you have a 5 000 BTU air conditioner or you are wondering what size room it can efficiently cool, the answer is about 150 square feet.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 5 000 BTU air conditioner should be able to cool a room that is up to about 250 square feet.
The EPA specifically recommends that the BTU be calculated at 20 BTU of cooling output per square foot, so if you divide 5 000 by 20, you get 250 square feet.
The 150 square foot coverage comes from the Energy Star air conditioner room sizing guidelines or chart that states that a 5 000 BTU room air conditioner is capable of cooling a room that is 100 to 150 square feet in size.
Of all the air conditioners you can find on the market, only window air conditioners come in the 5 000 BTU size.
Adjustments to make to a room with a lot of sun exposure
According to the EPA, there are some recommended adjustments you can make to the BTU size (that is, different BTU sizes you can get) based on the sun exposure conditions of your home.
If the room you are cooling is not heavily shaded, you need to reduce 5 000 BTU’s by 10 percent to get a more accurate capacity.
This would then also reduce the room size to between 90 and 135 square feet, because a room with a lot of sun exposure will likely get much warmer during the day, which will, in turn, cause the air conditioner to work harder to cool the room and maintain the cool temperature.
Adjusting room size of a room with lower sun exposure
A room with less sun exposure is not likely to be very warm during the day, which will make it much easier for the air conditioner to cool the space efficiently and quickly.
This is why a deduction to the air conditioner’s capacity is necessary for this kind of room since less cooling power will be necessary.
The room’s capacity will then need to be decreased by 10 percent in this case, and this would bring down the 5 000 BTU air conditioner’s suitable room size to between 110 and 165 square feet.
Do room size adjustments for kitchens and extra occupants apply to a 5 000 BTU unit?
Other factors that air conditioner buyers and owners are often told to consider is whether there are more than two people occupying the room that the AC is in, and if the air conditioner is located near or inside the kitchen, which is a heat-generating room.
Both instances require that a buyer increases the BTU size of their air conditioning system, since having more than one occupant in the room can increase how much heat is in it and having the unit in or near the kitchen also generates a significant amount of heat from electrical appliances like stoves.
However, in the case of a small 5 000 BTU unit, these adjustments are not relevant.