Window Air Conditioner BTU Guide

The first and most important thing when buying a window air conditioner is to check the window air conditioner BTU rating in order to make sure that you get the right one for the size of your room. Below is a guide to help you make the correct pick.

Types of Air Conditioners

Air conditioners come in three main flavors: the window air conditioner, the built-in window air conditioner (which is pretty much like the classic window air conditioner, except it can be installed into walls, and offers slightly more functions, but at a slightly higher price) and split systems (these have an outside compressor and a smaller internal cooling device, thus making the entire process a lot more quiet, but at the cost of higher installing costs, as it needs to be done by professionals).

Each of the three types use the same measuring unit for their cooling capacities: BTU

What’s the Deal with BTUs?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it represents the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, and it’s estimated at about 1.06 kilojoules. Although it’s not officially included in the International Measuring System, BTU is used almost worldwide to point out the power of air conditioning units.

Usually, the BTU range for most air conditioners is between 5000 BTU and 18000 BTUs, and the higher the BTU count, the more powerful the air conditioner will be. Although the idea of going out and buying the most powerful AC system you can find might be appealing, don’t do that, as you may end up with a system that’s too powerful for you even on it’s lowest setting. Also, a higher BTU count for a system will reflect on a higher price, so choosing the right BTU for you will be more comfortable for you and your pocket.

So How Do I Choose the Best for Me?

The easiest way to find which air conditioner system fits best to your needs is to go to a store and ask the qualified staff there to help you. But if you want to take things into your own hands, here’s what you need to do.

In both cases, first you need the dimensions of the room you’re going to install the air conditioner in. If you want to do the calculations by yourself, you’ll need to multiply the length and width of the room so you get square footage of the room. When you have that, simply multiply it by 35 and you’ll have the answer to your needs (for example, for a room that 14 by 18 feet, the square footage will be 252 square feet. Multiply that by 35 and you’ll get an 8820 BTU count, so your aim is a close to 9000 BTU air conditioner).

Remember, don’t throw yourself head-in into buying the meanest and largest beast you can find out there, because bigger isn’t always better, and you might end up with an empty wallet and freezing or sweating into your room.