Air Conditioners & Accessories

Select the Correct Unit for Your Space

Whether choosing a window air conditioner or portable air conditioner, your decision should be based upon the unit's British Thermal Unit (BTU) rating?its cooling capacity. These units range in size, usually from 5,000-BTU models to 14,000 BTUs for normal home voltage.

First, calculate the number of BTUs needed to cool a space by multiplying the square feet of the room by 25 and then adding 1,000 for every window. Then, add 400 for each person in the home. Example: A 10 sq. Ft. room (10' x 10') with two windows and three people in the home would mean that 5,700 BTUs are needed.

Area to be Cooled(sq. ft. = room's width x length)Capacity Needed(BTUs per hour)
100 up to 150 sq. ft.5,000
150 up to 250 sq. ft.6,000
250 up to 300 sq. ft.7,000
300 up to 350 sq. ft.8,000
350 up to 450 sq. ft.10,000
450 up to 500 sq. ft.12,000
500 up to 700 sq. ft.15,000
700 up to 1,000 sq. ft.18,000
1,000+ sq. ft.25,000

Make adjustments for the following:

  • If the room is heavily shaded, reduce capacity by 10 percent.
  • If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10 percent.
  • If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.
  • If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase capacity by 4,000 BTUs.
  • If you are placing an air conditioner near the corner of a room, look for a unit that can be adjusted to send the airflow in the right direction.
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