What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

We all know how insanely hot summer days can be, sometimes the night can be very humid too. People in Florida and New Orleans know this more than most. In the bid to curb this discomfort, the way to go would be to buy an AC unit but who do you know the right size air conditioner you need?

We have put together this guide to help you make an informed decision when buying your AC. 

Types Of Air Conditioners

Before we go into the specifics, you need to know the types of ACs that are available in the market. We have two types of ACs, which are.

Window (Single Unit) Air Conditioners.

This type of AC usually preferred thanks to the ease of installation. Window unit ACs were designed to be fixed in double-hung windows, making them easy to install during the summer and remove during the fall.

To install a window unit AC, all you have to do is slide your window open, place the ac unit on the window sill and secure it properly before closing them and voila, you have your ac unit installed. There are usually side curtains in the package to help you fill any gap if the ac unit isn’t as wide as your window.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable ac units are similar to window unit ACs. However, they can be moved around the house thanks to the caster wheels installed with each unit, which is why they are regarded as portable.  All its components are completely within its frame and all it requires is a socket to get plugged in and its exhaust tube installed and passed out through the nearest window to pass out condensation.

There are negatives to owning portable ACs, as they can be quite noisy because there is no other place to project its noise but the room where it is placed. Also, they are less efficient in cooling when compared to other types of ACs.

Central Air Conditioners 

This type of AC is regarded as luxurious because it is equipped to cool several rooms in a house at the same time, and very quietly. This type of AC comprises of two units (Condensing unit and Evaporative unit) which are connected via a refrigerant tubing.

The condensing unit is designed to generate cool air which is then passed into the evaporative unit. The evaporative unit uses the furnace duct system in your house to push the cool air throughout the house.

The central AC is the recommended type of AC to use if the goal is to cool the whole house as it covers more square footage and is more cost-effective when compared to buying multiple smaller units.

Split Unit Air Conditioners

Split unit ACs are mostly used in apartments or in homes that do not have a duct system. Unlike the window unit AC, the split unit is more of a permanent fix and can’t be moved as easily.

The split unit AC is made up of two small-sized units, one of which can be installed on the walls of your apartment. While the other is installed outside of the apartment. Both units are connected with a refrigerant tubing which is passed through the wall of the apartment.

The external unit is responsible for condensing cold air and pushing it into the apartment through the refrigerant tubing. While the internal unit is responsible for distributing the cold air throughout the apartment using a fan to blow the cold air around.

How To Determine The Right Size Air Conditioner For Your Living Space

When we talk about the right size air conditioner, we don’t mean the external dimensions of the ac unit, rather we are referring to the cooling capacity of the ac unit which is typically measured in BTU (British Thermal Units). 

British Thermal Units or BTUs refers to the amount of heat that is needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water by 1 Fahrenheit at sea level. You might be wondering, what has this information have to do with getting my air conditioner?  The BTU in the context of ACs refers to how much heat that the air conditioner can expel from the air per hour.

In a simple sense, the higher the BTU, the more cooling power an air conditioner has. However, this doesn’t mean you should go purchase an ac unit with the highest BTU rating you can find. It does not work that way, which is why you need to carry out the following steps before proceeding to buy your ac unit.

Note the size of your living space

Before buying an air conditioner, you need to know the square footage of the room you want to install it in. Depending on the situation, you may have to measure the square footage of all the rooms you want to install an air conditioner in because varying sizes means varying BTUs. When you have noted the amount of square footage in each room, the next thing you need to do is:

Calculate the BTU 

The trick to calculating the number of BTUs your air conditioner needs to cool your room is pretty straight forward. The formula involves multiplying the square footage of the room by 25 BTU. This ensures that you get better cooling as it will cover all the square feet of the room, regardless of what the weather is; hot, rainy, moist, sunny, or humid. 

For example, if the room is 10 feet wide by 15ft long then you have 10×15 which equals 150 square feet. The next step would be to multiply 150 square feet by 25BTU (150Sq.Ft x 25 BTU) which is equal to 3750 BTU. What this means that your room needs a minimum air conditioning capacity of 3750 BTU to be properly cooled.

Practice Moderation

Just because your room needs 3750 BTU per hour to cool your room, doesn’t mean that you should over the top and get a freakishly large air conditioner because you want your room to be as cold as Alaska. This move can be very counterproductive for several reasons.

While performing its cooling functions in your room, the air conditioner simultaneously extracts moisture from the air to prevent you from feeling all sticky and hot. Now, the bigger an air conditioner is, the more frequently it will cycle on and off and when this happens, there cannot be proper extraction of humidity in the air. In summary, you’re going to end up being hot if it’s too powerful.

Also, using a larger air conditioning unit will put an increase in your electricity bill which can be easily avoidable by opting for a smaller ac unit that will optimally cool your room.

Check out these other articles…

How To Install A Window Air Conditioner

How To Clean Air Conditioner?

How To Install Central Air Conditioning Yourself

Why Is My Air Conditioner Not Cooling The House?

Which Car Company Was The First To Offer Air Conditioning In Its Cars?

What Temperature Should I Set My Air Conditioner In Summer?

How to Clean a Goodman Air Conditioner [Detailed Guide]

Top Air Conditioners To Install In Your Living Space

To round things up, we have decided to share some of our favorite air conditioner choices (One for each type) that you might be interested in trying out. Please note that we are in no way affiliated with these brands in any capacity.

LG Energy Star Window Air Conditioners

Don’t mind their funny-looking shape, the LG Energy Star Window Air Conditioner is an amazing ac unit that you will love having in your living at any point in time for several reasons. First, they come in several variations starting from 5,000 BTU to as high as 24,500 BTU, which ensures that your living space is well cooled at whatever point in time.

Thanks to its wireless remote capabilities, you don’t have to stress yourself whenever you want to adjust the settings on this air conditioner. You can do this from the comfort of your couch or bed.

This series features a three-speed fan, a 24-hour time, washable filters with an LED alert system that notifies you when you need clean the filters.

The LG Energy Star Window Air Conditioner is quiet as it generates sounds of about 52dB and is very easy to install. You can get this air condition on Amazon starting from 5,000BTUs:

LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner

You may be thinking, “Another LG air conditioner?” We know, but these guys know how to manufacture pretty great air conditioners, this isn’t uncommon knowledge. This dual inverter portable air conditioning unit is the quietest portable ac unit in the market and it is the best option for you if you want to get a portable ac unit that won’t keep you awake all night.

This ac unit is pretty handy for offices to thanks to its 14,000 BTU capacity but it can also serve its purpose well in bedrooms with about 400 to 500 square footage. It also has optimized airflow thanks to its dual inverter which ensures that there is lesser friction between parts.

Like most LG air conditioners, the LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner is also energy efficient as it consumes 40% less energy than the average air conditioner and is very fast cooling.

The LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner also features WIFI capabilities and can sync with your home WIFI, giving you the option of using your phone as remote control via its LG SmartThinQ app. With this feature, you can easily turn off on turn your air conditioner even while you aren’t at home; pretty convenient if you ask us. Think of how stress-free it is to have your living space pre-cooled before you even get home. 

There are more features that you can even imagine. If you want to purchase an LG LP1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner, you can get it now:

Amana Central Air Conditioners

If you are contemplating using a central air conditioner to cool your entire house, then the Amana brand might be your best bet, as they have been considered to make the most energy-efficient products in the market.

The Amana AVXC20 is the flagship of this brand and it boasts off being reliable, durable and efficient. 

Keep in might that these air conditioners cost quite a lot but you will always get value for your money. The average cost of buying and installing an Amana air conditioner is about $4,000.

Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner

The Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner is a cost-effective solution to keeping the heat away from your living space. This series comes in various BUTs which means that you can always get one to cool your living space regardless of the square footage. Also, thanks to its varying voltage capacity, there is always one to suit your air conditioning needs.

This ac unit offers dual functionality as you use the Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner to heat or cool your living space; so, whether it is during the summer or the winter, you can always trust it to serve your needs.

The Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner comes with permanent air filters that are easily washable and is as quiet as a lover’s whisper. 

Lie other air conditioning units in its range, the Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner also energy efficient and can be controlled using its remote control, so you can adjust the settings without having to get up every time. The remote control can be used to control its fan speeds and automatic swing air discharge louvers. 


With the information provided, you can see now that buying an air conditioner doesn’t just mean walking into Home Depot and grabbing the biggest, meanest you can find or simply just ordering on one off the internet. There is some level of preparation needed before an ac unit can be bought and installed.

We must also point out that before purchasing an air conditioner that you should do some research on user reviews to get a first-hand feel of what it is like to use these air conditions from individuals who have previously purchased it.

We hope with you can now make an informed decision when getting your next ac unit. Stay cool, people.

To get a more visual approach on how to get the right size air conditioner for your room, please use this video as reference: 

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