**The BTU size of the air conditioner you need can easily be calculated, but the BTU on the air conditioner can be found with the model number.**

The size of an air conditioner is determined by its cooling capacity or power, which is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU).

If you are looking for an air conditioner for your home, the BTU is what you need to be most concerned with, aside from the dimensions of a unit, especially one that needs to be fitted in a window or wall.

A buyer can calculate how many BTUs they need for their space using online BTU calculators that take into account the size of your room as well as how much sunlight the room gets. But is there a simpler way of finding the BTU on the air conditioner itself?

**BTUs on an air conditioner**

The calculation of the air conditioner size that you need involves knowing the square footage of the room you are going to cool with the AC and finding a unit with the BTU size required to cool a room of that size.

Is there, however, a simpler way to find out the BTU size of an AC and is the figure located somewhere on the air conditioner itself?

It will help you to know where you can locate the AC’s BTU size on the unit, so that you can easily compare sizes of different AC types and models.

**Where do you find the BTU on an air conditioner?**

Sometimes, it is not easy to find the BTU size of the air conditioner. It is easy to calculate the BTU size you need by getting the square footage of the room and multiplying it by the approximate figure of 20 BTUs per square foot.

BTU = square footage (length x width) x 20 (BTU per square foot)

**Steps to calculate the air conditioner size that you need**

Step |
What to do |

1 | Measure length and width of all living spaces |

2 | Add all measurements up to determine the total square footage |

3 | Multiply the total square footage by 20 |

Most manufacturers make it easy for consumers to find the BTU of the unit on the physical air conditioner, but you should know where to look to find it.

The BTU of the AC will be printed in the model number of the air conditioner. The model number on the label or nameplate of the air conditioner is usually stuck on the indoor unit or outdoor unit of your central air conditioner.

When you find the model number, you will see that it is a figure that contains letters and numbers, and the BTU will be amongst the numbers and letters.

When you find the model number, look through each letter and number and locate a 2-digit even number. This is the BTU size of the air conditioner in thousands. If you, for instance, find an 18, this means that the unit has a BTU cooling capacity of 18 000.

**What should you consider once you find the BTU on an air conditioner?**

Once you have located the BTU on the air conditioning unit, you need to know if this size is suitable for your home. Not every home is created the same and certain considerations need to be made regarding choosing the right BTU.

If you have a two-story home, you need to keep in mind how much sunlight the top floor gets, as this may require that you add an additional 10 percent to the unit’s BTUs.

If the rooms are particularly shaded, though, then it is advisable that you decrease the BTU by 10 percent.

**Use the manufacturer’s data to determine the BTU of the air conditioner**

Another way to determine the BTU of an air conditioner is by using a method that requires information on the manufacturer’s website.

Since central air conditioning systems have both an indoor and an outdoor unit, you need the model numbers of both the indoor and outdoor units. You can then use that data to look up each model and get the BTU information you need.

**Will bigger BTU air conditioners cool your rooms better?**

You may be tempted to choose a unit with more BTUs than you need for the size(s) of the room(s) you are cooling. This is not advisable, as a bigger unit may not always be better.

Since a certain number of BTUs cools a certain square footage efficiently, if your room is too small to handle an air conditioner with a larger BTU, you could simply be wasting money on electricity.

You could also find yourself feeling too cold because the unit is too powerful for the room. Sticking to the amount of BTUs you need for the square footage of the room or rooms that the AC will cool, is always better and safer.