Air conditioning units are not a one size fits all solution to the heat. Each area requires an air conditioning unit specific to its size. For example, for 2400 square feet, you need a 5 ton AC unit.
|House Square Footage||BTUs Needed|
|100 – 150||5,000|
|150 – 250||6,000|
|250 – 300||7,000|
|300 – 350||8,000|
|350 – 400||9,000|
|400 – 450||10,000|
|450 – 500||12,000|
|500 – 700||14,000|
|700 – 1,000||18,000|
|1,000 – 1,200||21,000|
|1,200 – 1,400||23,000|
|1,400 – 1,500||24,000|
|1,500 – 2,000||30,000|
|2,000 – 2,500||34,000|
To properly determine the air conditioning unit that you need, you will need to do some math. The calculation needed here is called the “load calculation,” It lets you know precisely the size of the unit you need. Previously, companies and homeowners had to estimate the size they needed based on energy consumption, heat loss, and the area’s square footage.
The load calculation is also known in the industry as the “Manual-J.” It takes into account all the factors affecting cooling your home, and it can either be done room by room or for the entire property.
So, how do I determine the load calculation?
Factors Affecting Load Calculation
As well as taking into account the square footage of the area you want to cool with an air conditioning system, you will also need to consider the energy efficiency of the room or rooms. For example, things such as windows and large doors can affect the efficacy of the AC unit. A few factors to take into consideration are:
- The construction materials used to build your house
- The number of windows you have (either in the room or throughout the whole property)
- The size of the rooms
- Your home’s insulation levels
BTU to tons calculation
The simplest way to convert BTU to tons is to start with 1 ton, equal to 12,000 BTU.
If 1 ton = 12,000 BTU, then we need to change one half of the equation.
This gives us: Tons x 12,000 = BTU number
For example, if you have 2 tons, then so do the following:
2 x 12,000 = 24,000 BTU.
On the other hand, if you want to convert BTU to tons, then you change the equation.
Now, you have: BTU number / 12,000 = tons
So, for example, if you have 24,000 BTU, then you do the following:
24,000 / 12,000 = 2 tons
BTU to Tons Table
To save you time and to make your life easier, we have listed below some of the most common conversions needed from BTU to tons.
Tons to Square Feet Calculation
If you also need to convert tons to square feet, then you will need to do the following calculation:
0.0016 tons/square foot * square footage = tons
In short, this means that you need 0.0016 tons of air conditioning per square foot you have. So, every 600 square feet of area to cover will require 1 ton.
So, to get the square footage, we need to rearrange the equation to the following:
tons / 0.0016 = square footage
For example, if you have a unit that is 1 ton, you would do the following:
1 / 0.0016 = 625 square feet
Tons to Square Feet Table
As above, we have made your life easier by including a table of some common measurements. You may find that your measurements do not precisely correlate to the values below but choose the best fit.
Importance of Choosing the Right Size Unit
We cannot stress the importance of choosing the suitable size air conditioning unit for your room, office, or house. The reason is that there is almost no point in investing in an AC unit if it is not suited to your environment.
Either your room will simply not cool to the degree you desire as it is working overtime to cool a space that is too large for its power output, or conversely, it is too powerful for your space, and you will just be wasting money.
Choosing the right size air conditioning unit means that you will spend the exact amount of money required to achieve your desired effect, a beautifully cool room.
Even if you save money on buying a smaller unit, if it is not suitable for the size of the space it needs to cool, you may spend more money in the long run by high electricity bills and the possible breaking of your air conditioning unit. This is because you are essentially forcing the AC unit to run overtime and over its normal working capacity.
Similarly, an AC unit that is too large will be too efficient and will not be able to run continuously for a decent period of time. This leads to “”short-cycling””. This means that it will cool down your room very quickly and turn off after not too long a time, only turning back on for a short while when needed again.
AC Systems to Efficiently Cool 2400 Square Feet
There are two options for efficiently cooling a 2400 square foot area. These are:
- Central AC
- Mini-split systems
A central AC system is one entire system of AC units that are all connected. To know if this system is right for you, we will list the pros and cons below.
Pros of Central AC
· The temperature is consistent all year long
· The air is filtered through the ducts
· You can combine it with a heating system
Cons of Central AC
- Higher energy bills
- You will need to clean and maintain the ducts
- If you don’t already have ducts, you will need to install them
Pros of Mini-Split Systems
- No need for ducts
- Small and compact – can be used where needed
- Cheaper compared to installing a central air conditioning unit
Cons of mini-split systems
- They are still pricey ($1500-$2000 roughly per ton)
- Very easily visible inside the room
- You will need to drain it
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