Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks

Choosing the Right Sized Air Conditioner

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Window air conditioners are a popular option for cooling individual rooms or small spaces, but it's important to choose the right size unit for your needs. A window AC unit that is too small for the space it's intended to cool won't be able to keep the room comfortable, while a unit that is too large may cool the room too quickly and waste energy.

The size of the unit needed will depend on the size of the room and how much heat is generated in the space. Here are the steps to determine how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) you’ll need to cool your space:


Determine the square footage of the selected room

Step One: Determine the square footage of the intended room. The first step in choosing an AC unit is to determine the square footage of the room you want to cool. Measure the length and width of the room in feet and multiply those numbers together to get the square footage. This will help you narrow down the range of BTUs you'll need for your air conditioner.


Determine your window type and window opening

Step Two: Confirm your window type and determine window opening. Before purchasing an AC unit, you need to make sure it will fit in your window. Measure the height and width of your window opening, and make sure that the unit you choose will fit within those dimensions. Additionally, make sure the window type is compatible with the AC unit you're considering. Some AC units are designed for double-hung windows, while others work with sliding windows.


Determine the power source closest to the installation area

Step Three: Determine the power source closest to the installation area. Make sure there is an electrical outlet near the installation area, as you'll need to plug the AC unit into a power source. Additionally, make sure the outlet is rated for the amount of power the unit requires. Some larger AC units may require a dedicated circuit, so it's important to confirm that your electrical system can handle the load.


Select the correct AC unit based on BTU and your square footage

Step Four: Select the correct air conditioner based on BTU and your square footage. Once you have all the measurements and electrical considerations sorted out, you can start looking for an AC unit that matches your needs. Use the square footage of your room to determine the appropriate BTU rating for the unit. A unit that is too small won't cool the room effectively, while a unit that is too large will waste energy and won't dehumidify the room as well. Keep in mind that other factors, such as ceiling height and window orientation, can also affect your BTU requirements.


Consider Other Factors

While the size of the room is the most important factor in determining the right size window AC unit, there are a few other things to consider as well. For example, if the room has high ceilings or receives a lot of direct sunlight, you may need a larger unit to compensate for the extra heat. On the other hand, if the room is shaded or has good insulation, you may be able to get by with a smaller unit.


Check the Electrical Requirements

Another important consideration is the electrical requirements for the unit. Make sure that the window AC unit you choose can be plugged into a standard outlet and doesn't require any special wiring or electrical work. If you're not sure, consult with a licensed electrician.


Consider Noise Level

Window AC units can be noisy, so consider the noise level when choosing a unit. If the unit is going to be in a bedroom or other quiet space, look for a model with a lower decibel rating.


Get Professional Advice

If you're not sure what size window AC unit you need, or if you have any questions or concerns about installation, it's always a good idea to consult with a professional. An HVAC technician or other qualified professional can help you choose the right size unit and ensure that it's installed properly.


Choosing the right sized window AC unit is crucial for keeping your space comfortable and energy-efficient. Element offers air conditioners with BTU ratings ranging from 5,000 all the way up to 25,000, making it easy to find a unit that is just the right size for your space.