How Many Square Feet Will a 12000 BTU Air Conditioner Cool?

A 12,000 BTU air conditioner will sufficiently cool the air in an area that measures 450 square feet to 550 square feet. This range of the size of the room is based on various factors. The rule of thumb is that 20 BTUs are needed to cool the air sufficiently for every square foot. Therefore, if your space measures 100 square feet, you need about 2,000 BTUs to cool the temperature effectively.

In practice, the actual number of BTUs needed to cool the temperature in an indoor area is determined by, among many other things, the height of the ceiling of the room. Rooms which high ceilings require extra BTUs for cooling. This is because they have additional air that you need to cool to maintain the temperature within the required range.

Also, the room’s insulation determines the final number of BTUs that one needs to cool the temperature in the area sufficiently. Rooms that are poorly insulated require more BTUs than those which are properly insulated. In the case of insufficient insulation, cool air currents generated by the air conditioner easily escape to the outside.

12000 BTU Air Conditioner Wattage

The number of watts that a 12,000 BTU consumes depends on its EER value. The EER values show how effectively an air conditioner consumes power when operating. Air conditioners with high EER are more efficient in utilizing electrical power than those with low EER.

This means that high EER air conditioners utilize little power amounts to cool large indoor spaces, while low EER devices utilize a lot of power but end up cooling small spaces.

The EER of air conditioners varies from 9 to higher than 12. Modern air conditioners have EER values of more than 11. They are quite effective in utilizing power over the old models with low EER values.

A standard 12,000 BTU air conditioner with an EER of 9 will consume 1,333 watts of power when running. This wattage is quite high, considering that the price of electricity is measured in kilowatt per hour.

A 12,000 BTU air conditioner with an EER value of 12 will consume 1,061 watts of electric power. It is more economical to run such an air conditioner than one which has a low EER value.

How Much Electricity does a 12000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?

On average, a portable air conditioner with a BTU of 12,000 costs $0.16 to run for one house. Therefore, you can quickly determine the cost of running such an air conditioner per day, week, month, or even year. You must multiply the number of hours for your chosen period by the hourly rate of $0.16.

The hourly rate of $0.16 is determined based on various factors. Ideally, a 12,000 BTU air conditioner has a kilowatt per hour rate of 3.5. This means that for every hour that such an air conditioner runs, it consumes 3.5kW of electricity. You need to factor in the price of a kilowatt of electricity to determine the cost of running your air conditioner for every hour.

How to Save Energy with a Portable Air Conditioner

It is possible to save energy when using a portable air conditioner. Here are a few important things that you can do to achieve this goal.

1. carrying out zonal cooling

Zonal cooling entails placing the air conditioner in a place where it is needed most. There are many ways of determining the area where you need to place your air conditioner. One, consider the room that is mostly occupied by people all the time. Your living room may be a perfect choice.

Also, consider the room or area in your house that is the hottest. Regions near the kitchen are naturally hot because of the heat. Placing your air conditioner where it is needed most will save you on energy costs.

Moreover, carrying out zonal cooling helps keep the costs of cooling the air in your house down because you will be ignoring areas that are not occupied.

2. Venting your Air Conditioner Properly

Ensure that your air conditioner is vented outside. The venting can be done either through the window or wall. Avoid venting your air conditioner to a space in the house because this will increase your heating costs.

If you vent your air conditioner to an empty space, the hot air will keep circulating in the room, thus increasing your cooling costs.

Taking advantage of inbuilt features

Modern air conditioners have a lot of inbuilt features to optimize their energy consumption. Notably, the timer lets you decide the exact times when your air conditioner will start and stop running.

This lets you minimize energy consumption by avoiding keeping the air conditioner on when no one needs it.

Tips for Using Portable Air Conditioners

You need to get the best from your air conditioner. Here are simple tips that you can use to get effective performance and value for money using an air conditioner.

  • Place the air conditioner in the right position. Ideally, keep your air conditioner near the center of the room. This positioning approach lets the air conditioner evenly cool the room.
  • Get the right size of the air conditioner. Using a small air conditioner in a large room leads to high energy costs and low cooling performance. Similarly, using a large air conditioner in a small room leads to high energy costs and wastage of the air conditioner’s cooling capacity.
  • Insulate the room properly. Insulation helps to keep the room sufficiently cool when the air conditioner is working. Using an air conditioner in a poorly insulated room undermines the general feeling of comfort.
  • Switch on the air conditioner a few hours before getting home. This simple trick ensures that the air conditioner has had enough time to cool the temperature before you arrive home. The inbuilt timer, which is found in many modern air conditioners, comes in handy when you must do this.

Best 12000 BTU portable air conditioner

1. Whynter Elite ARC-122DS

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is one of the most impressive large air conditioners for cooling and dehumidifying the air in mid-sized to large indoor areas.

It has been repeatedly recognized for its exceptional air cooling and dehumidifying capacity. This device is ideal for rooms that measure even up to 600 square feet based on the ambient air conditions.

It has all the extras that you would expect to find in a large and modern air conditioner. The digital displays and controls let you precisely decide the ideal temperature that the air conditioner should maintain. The 24-hour programmable timer is perfect for letting you determine the exact time and length of period that the air conditioner should run.

It has a dual venting mode, which comprises an intake and an exhaust hose. Thus, the air conditioner does not create a slightly negative air pressure indoors when it is operating. However, the installation process takes longer than expected despite that all the kits are included.


  • It uses the dual hose method of venting
  • Recognized for its excellent air cooling and dehumidifying performance
  • It has several extras, including a thermostat, programmable timer, and digital displays


  • The installation process takes a long time

2. EdgeStar AP12000S

The EdgeStar AP12000S is a small and highly functional device with three different uses: dehumidifying, heating, and cooling the air in indoor areas. It has a modern and compact design that you will find quite useful.

The air conditioner does not occupy a lot of space on the floor of your room. Moreover, you can take advantage of its modern design to enhance the overall feel of your room.

Operating this air conditioner is a breeze. It comes with a small remote control that fits perfectly into your palm. You can use the remote control to adjust the cooling temperature, fan speed, and dehumidification rate.

You will enjoy the extensive temperature range across which the thermostat can be adjusted. The lowest temperature point is 61 degrees Fahrenheit, while the highest is 89 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you can easily personalize the performance of this air conditioner to your preferences.


  • Compact and modern design with a white finish can enhance the feel of the room
  • Easy to operate using a remote control
  • Extensive temperature range of the digital thermostat: 61 degrees Fahrenheit to 89 degrees Fahrenheit


  • The air conditioner does not have caster wheels

3. Honeywell MN12CES

If you are looking for a robust and highly durable portable air conditioner with excellent air-cooling performance, consider the Honeywell MN12CES.

This air conditioner is ideal for cooling the air in large spaces that measure up to 600 square feet. More so, its design and adjustable fan speeds ensure that the air conditioner cools the air in the indoor areas rapidly and evenly. This creates and maintains a perfect environment in living rooms, offices, and even bedrooms.

The Honeywell MN12CES has some of the most useful safety features, including overload protection. You do not have to worry about this air conditioner causing accidents because it has been taken through rigorous safety tests.

Additionally, you will like the dual duct filtration system that is found in this air conditioner. This feature helps to keep the air in your room clean and safe for everyone. It completely sieves all the small particles that can irritate the nasal cavities of people.


  • The air conditioner has advanced safety features, including thermal overload protection
  • High air-cooling power of 12,000 BTUs
  • Enhanced safety through the functioning of the dual duct filtration feature


  • The air conditioner has a relatively high noise level of over 55dB


The ROLLICOOL portable air conditioner is one of the most favorite brands that you can confidently use to cool, dehumidify, and warm the air in your home or office. This is a three-in-one device that has excellent dehumidification, warming, and cooling capacity.

When operating on the default mode, this air conditioner can effectively remove up to three water pints every hour. Moreover, it can maintain the indoor temperature within the ideal range because its inbuilt thermostat has a broad temperature range.

You will enjoy using voice controls to operate this air conditioner. Because it is Wi-Fi-enabled, this air conditioner can connect correctly with your Google Assistant or Alexa. Moreover, you can use voice controls and the programmable timer to set the air conditioner to run at the most appropriate times.

Although this air conditioner comes with all the kits that one needs to get it up and running, this process takes a long time. It may be wise to get a technician to complete the process for you if you are not well versed with this procedure.


  • It has caster wheels or easy portability
  • The air conditioner is Wi-Fi-enabled
  • It is a three-in-one device


  • The installation process takes a long time


The BPACT12WT has several features that make it one of the air conditioners of choice for cooling the air in mid-sized indoor areas. First, this air conditioner is relatively quiet when operating.

It has a noise level of about 40dB, making it one of the most silent air conditioners with a BTU rating of 12,000. Moreover, it has a sleep mode functionality that further minimizes this air conditioner’s level of noise during the night.

Second, this air conditioner requires very little attention in terms of maintenance. You only need to clean the filter two times every month. Cleaning the filter is an easy process because one must remove and rinse it thoroughly before reinstalling it to the air conditioner.

Third, you neither need buckets nor pipes to remove the condensate that accumulates in the air conditioner. This device has a self-evaporative technology that ensures the automatic removal of the condensate.

However, you will find it difficult to move your BPACT12WT if there will ever be a need for you to transport it from one room to another. This is because the air conditioner is relatively heavy; it weighs 71 pounds.


  • It has a sleep mode for your comfort
  • Cleaning the filter is a straightforward process
  • It has a self-evaporating technology for removing the condensate


  • The air conditioner is relatively heavy – 71 pounds


One of the most excellent features of the HPN12XCM relates to its air-cooling capacity. With its capacity of 12,000 BTUs and effective distribution of cool air, this air conditioner can maintain an ideal temperature range in indoor environments that measure 525 square feet.

This means that you can comfortably use this air conditioner in large indoor spaces, including bedrooms, offices, and living rooms.

It has a matching high capacity to dehumidify the air in indoor environments. When operating on the default mode, this air conditioner can remove an average of 2.5 pints of moisture from the air in the room. This means that it efficiently creates a comfortable indoor environment.

The digital controls and displays for temperature, fan speed, and other important indicators are quite useful. You will quickly adjust the temperature, fan speed, or any other metric of this air conditioner’s performance to the precise value. Thus, you can personalize the performance of this air conditioner at any time with relative ease.


  • Excellent cooling capacity suitable for rooms that measure 525 square feet
  • Digital displays and controls for temperature, time, and dehumidification capacity
  • Three distinctive functions with an adjustable fan speed


  • The air conditioner is relatively bulky

7. TCL 12P32

The TCL 12P32 is a small but powerful air conditioner with three specific functionalities. Although it weighs just 54 pounds, this air conditioner is powerful enough to effectively cool the air in indoor environments that measure up to 500 square feet.

Besides, it has three distinct functionalities, including dehumidification, cooling, and warming. You can easily adjust the fan speed and dehumidification capacity according to your preferences at any given time.

It is easy to move this air conditioner from one place to another. It is relatively lighter than many other brands of air portable air conditioners whose weight ranges at about 70 pounds. More so, the caster wheels make things further easy for you whenever you need to move the air conditioner to any other room.

You may have to consider switching this air conditioner off at night because of its noise level. The TCL 12P32 has a noise level of over 50dB. Any air conditioner with a noise level that exceeds 50dB is considered slightly noisy. Luckily, the sleep mode helps to tone things down when you keep the air conditioner running at night.


  • Easy to maintain because of the washable and reusable filter
  • Effective energy consumption, thanks to the sleep mode and 24-hour timer
  • The air conditioner is a three-in-one device


  • Slightly noisy with a level of 50dB

8. Serene Life SLPAC

The Serene Life SLPAC is one of the compact but highly powerful air conditioners ideal for home or office use. This air conditioner’s slim design is beneficial because it means that the device takes very little space on the ground.

More so, you will find it easy to move this air conditioner from one place to another, if ever a need arises. You can easily roll it on its caster wheels or even carry it if you wish to do so.

The device has three distinct modes of operating. When used as a dehumidifier, it sufficiently drains the air of excess moisture in your house. When you set it to operate in the default mode, this air conditioner effectively cools the air in your house to the desired levels.

The air conditioner comes with digital controls and remote control. The remote control provides a very comfortable and conducive way of operating this air conditioner from your seat’s comfort.

However, it may be wise to get a technician to help you mount this air conditioner on your window.


  • Its sleek body design takes up very little space on the floor
  • The device has three operating modes for your comfort
  • It comes with remote control and digital touch controls


  • The window mounting process takes a long time

9. Midea Smart Portable Air Conditioner

Thanks to its advanced control features, the Midea Smart Portable Air Conditioner is one of the easy-to-use devices currently available on the market.

This air conditioner is Wi-Fi-enabled. This means that you can use your smartphone to control its operation. Alternatively, you can use voice controls via either Google Assistant or Alexa to adjust everything about this air conditioner.

In addition to being Wi-Fi-enabled, this air conditioner is quite effective in cooling indoor temperatures. It has an extensive cooling range of between 62 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. One only needs to select the ideal cooling temperature using the inbuilt digital thermostat.

Besides, moving the air conditioner around the home is a breeze. The highly durable caster wheels make this process hassle-free. However, it is not common for one to keep moving this kind of air conditioner around the home.

The only significant drawback of using this air conditioner relates to its venting or exhaust system. Advanced air conditioners have double-hose venting or exhaust systems.

However, this air conditioner has a single-hose system. This means that when it runs, a small value of negative air pressure develops inside the house.


  • It has advanced control options
  • Large cooling range of 62 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • The air conditioner is highly portable, thanks to the caster wheels


  • It has a single-hose venting system

10. COSTWAY Portable Air Conditioner

The COSTWAY Portable Air conditioner may be the right choice for you if you need a robust device with great air-cooling capacity. When set on the default mode, this air conditioner can cool the air in indoor environments that are as large as 550 square feet.

More so, its air-cooling performance is rapid and even. You can manually adjust the blinds on its side either horizontally or vertically to control the flow of cool air around the room. This simple maneuver can end up creating a very comfortable environment in your house.

The only thing about this air conditioner that you should be concerned about is the noise level. When you set it to operate on the highest performance level, the buzzing sound can be loud enough to distract people in indoor areas where complete silence is critical.


  • It has an environmentally friendly refrigerant called R410a
  • Effective cooling performance because the blinds can be adjusted
  • Enhanced safety features, including shut off protection and anti-freeze protection function


  • The air conditioner is loud when the fan speed is set to the maximum level