Why Does it Matter What Size Air Conditioner You Have?

If the time has come for AC replacement in your home, you may be wondering what size unit will be best based on your family’s cooling needs. Many people mistakenly believe that “bigger is better” when it comes to choosing a new air conditioner.

However, if you choose a cooling system that is too big, it won’t be able to effectively remove moisture from the air, leaving you with a humid and uncomfortable home. If you choose an AC that is too small, it will constantly be cycling on and off while trying to maintain the temperature you set at your thermostat. This could cost you a lot each month on your energy bills.

Measuring for a replacement air conditioner


New air conditioners are measured based on “tonnage” or “tons.” While you may think that this term relates to the weight of the system, it actually refers to how much heat the system is able to remove from a home a one-hour timeframe. So, a home would typically require a replacement air conditioner with less tonnage than a commercial cooling system.


Another measurement to consider when shopping for a new air conditioner is its BTU rating. This term stands for British Thermal Unit, and one BTU equals the amount of heat that would be created if you burned a single match to the bottom of the stick. It takes 1 ton to remove 12,000 BTUs in one hour from an enclosed setting. So, a 2-ton air conditioner can remove 24,000 BTUs in one hour.

To measure how many BTUs are in your home as well as what tonnage air conditioner you require, you should take the square footage of your home and multiply it by 25, then divide this sum by 12,000. Take this total and subtract 0.5 and you will determine the correct size tonnage for your new air conditioner.

(Sq. footage of your home X 25)/12,000 – 0.5 = recommended tonnage for your new AC


When choosing a new AC, you should also consider the climate where you live. If you live in an area of the country that sees mild temperatures in the summer, you may not need as powerful of an air conditioner as someone who lives in the southern portion of the United States, where temperatures can get dangerously high during the summer season.

Get AC replacement help from a professional

When you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, work with an expert, experienced cooling technician who will be able to help you choose the right-sized unit for your family’s needs. This could save you a lot of trouble, aggravation, and money in case you make a calculation error and choose the wrong size!

Protect your new AC

Once you have your new air conditioner installed, protect it with a comprehensive Cooling Maintenance and/or Cooling Repair Plan from us! After your enrollment is processed, you will receive coverage for one primary central cooling system.