Air conditioners come in a wide range of sizes, with each one suitable for different volumes of air. Finding the right one ensures you are able to appropriately control the temperature to fit your needs. Today’s blog post explains what you need to look out for when searching for the right AC unit for your home or business.

Understanding BTUs

Also known as British Thermal Units, BTU’s are the measurements used to record thermal heat energy. In detail, it is the amount of energy needed to raise 1lb of water at 1°F at sea level. For air conditioning units, BTUs are used to note how much an air conditioning unit can add or remove from the air in an hour.

How can I calculate my appropriate BTU usage?

The best way to determine the number of BTU’s needed for your home or business is to take note of the size of the area that needs to be cooled. The simple table below shows key examples:

Areas to be cooled (sq. feet) BTU’s required
100 – 150 5,000
300 – 350 8,000
450 – 550 12,000
1000 – 1200 21,000
1500 – 2000 30,000

Should I go for a larger capacity than my needs?

You may think that more BTU’s will equal a more efficient air conditioning unit. However, this can cause the machine to overwork itself and likely shorten its lifespan. Equally, a unit with not enough BTU’s will find it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature. The best option is to choose one designed specifically for the size of the area that requires cooling.

Are there any exceptions to the rule?

Second or third-floor areas, where heat is likely to rise in, may require an additional 10% of BTU’s. Similarly, if the area that requires cooling already has a lot of shade, you may want to reduce the BTU’s by 10% to compensate. Get in touch with the team at Controlled Climate and we’ll help you find the right air conditioning unit to suit your exact needs.