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What Is Aircon BTU and How to Use it to Choose the Right Aircon For You


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If you’ve taken the time to research about choosing the perfect air conditioning unit size, then there’s a good chance you’ve already encountered the term BTU.

Aircon BTU or simply BTU, stands for British Thermal Unit — a measurement or a unit showing the cooling capacity of any air conditioner to any given space. To put it simply, this is a more scientific and accurate way of choosing the right aircon size for your home.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different specifics when calculating for your aircon BTU — and how you can use it to pick the perfect aircon size possible for any room.

What is an Aircon BTU?

While it can seem technical and overwhelming, what you just need to know is that this is the most accurate standard to measure how many units of heat an air conditioner can remove.

Determining the right BTU is important to ensure you're buying an air conditioning system that can remove sufficient heat from your space – otherwise you will be sitting in a hot room even though the aircon is on!

Why Choose a Properly Sized Aircon?

1. It complements the room with proper cooling and ventilation

The common misbelief that many people have when picking aircons is that a larger BTU (or capacity) for a small room will always be a good idea. The answer is simply no.

While the prospect of a larger aircon seems like a tempting idea, it can eventually cost you more in the long run. Why? It will have a hard time drawing moisture and humidity from the room, resulting in ineffective cooling and even giving you the opposite effect.

The same goes for a smaller BTU aircon unit in a large room. While you’re able to save by paying less for a smaller machine, the room’s size will make it impossible to give you the cooling and comfort that you need. Worse, the air conditioner machine will have to work twice or even thrice as hard just to perform well — resulting in overheating or even total shutdowns.

That’s why choosing a properly sized aircon that corresponds to the size of the room is ideal as it can provide you with the right amount of cooling and ventilation. 

2. It allows the unit to perform and rest at the same time

Having the right-size aircon can not only give you a cool and comfortable room temperature, but it can also prolong your unit’s life in general. This is because as soon as the room reaches its desired temperature, the unit’s compressor dials down the work and stays in hibernation.

3. It can remove humidity and moisture efficiently 

Apart from proper and significant cooling, the right-size air conditioner will be able to draw out humidity and moisture from the room. The risk of the unit’s parts becoming faulty is also greatly reduced compared to a wrong-size aircon.

How to Calculate for Your Aircon BTU

Before you even nail down on an AC purchase, you will first need to carefully choose the right cooling capacity for your room. So in this section we will show you exactly how to calculate your BTU.

  1. Calculate the area of the room - Measure the length and width of your room using the unit of ft. Afterwards, multiply the length with width — this will give you the area in square feet. 
  1. Multiply with the BTU - After getting the calculations, multiply it with 25 BTU to get the room’s minimum cooling capacity.

Common Room Sizes and Recommended BTUs

Now we’ve shown you the math needed to calculate the right BTU, and also the importance of choosing the right and best number. Now to make your life even easier, we’ve taken the most common room sizes and made a table for easy reference. This chart includes room sizes as low as 5,000 BTU up to 36,000 BTU.

btu chart based on room size

How to Make Adjustments in Your BTU Calculations

Aside from getting your BTU by following the general formula mentioned above, you should also pay attention to other possible factors that could affect your calculation.

  • If the room or space is heavily shaded and has a house roofing that is insulated, adjust the value by decreasing the BTU calculation by 10%-20%.
  • For rooms that are in direct and constant contact with the sun, it is always a good idea to increase the BTU calculation by 10%-20%. This also applies to rooms with large windows.
  • If you’re installing an air conditioner in the kitchen, it is recommended to increase the BTU calculation by 4000 units.
  • If the room has a lot of occupants, then approximately 500-600 BTUs should be added in the calculation for each person.

Choosing the Right Aircon for Your Space

We hope this guide explains what BTU is, why it matters in choosing air conditioners, and helps you choose the best air conditioner for your needs!

But aside from choosing the right size and capacity, the next step is to get your aircon its designated maintenance provider! This will help ensure the unit stays in tip-top shape for a long period of time. For more information, don’t hesitate to drop us a call here at Luce Aircon!

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Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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