What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Western States Home Services Expert Tips

When you need a new air conditioner installation in Mesa or Tucson, figuring out the brand and efficiency you want is just one step in the process. You also need the right sized air conditioner to meet the needs of your home.

person shrugging because they don't know what size air conditioner they need

The Tucson and Mesa air conditioning experts at Western States Home Services are here to help! We can guide you through the process, assess your set-up, and let you know the right size for your home. 

We also have a process that helps you figure out what size you need to maximize your home’s cooling and comfort. Here’s how to get started.

How Big of an Air Conditioner Do You Really Need?

You need an air conditioner in Tucson or Mesa that’s big enough to handle the robust Arizona heat. Choosing a unit that’s too small may be cheaper upfront, but it will keep your power bill sky high. Small units work overtime to meet your home’s needs, and they can also wear out faster. However, an oversized unit may not be the right choice. It will cool your home faster, but it will not remove humidity from the air.

Here’s a breakdown of what size unit you need, depending on the type of air conditioner you choose.

What Are BTUs?

All air conditioners are measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units. The BTU helps figure out how much energy your AC uses to remove heat from your home every hour. It’s highly technical and not something most homeowners pay much attention to, but it’s an important metric. Without it, you may not choose the right-sized air conditioner for your home. 

Here’s an idea of how many BTUs cool different sized homes:

  • 700 to 1,000 sq. ft.: 18,000 BTUs
  • 1,000 to 1,200 sq. ft.: 21,000 BTUs
  • 1,200 to 1,400 sq. ft.: 23,000 BTUs
  • 1,400 to 1,500 sq. ft.: 24,000 BTUs
  • 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft.: 30,000 BTUs
  • 2,000 to 2,500 sq. ft.: 34,000 BTUs

What Size Air Conditioner or Heat Pump Do You Need?

Now that you have an idea of what BTUs do and what they mean, you can figure out what size central air conditioner you need. To get the number of BTUs you require, start by multiplying your house’s square footage (or the area that your air conditioner will be responsible for cooling) by 25. If you can’t locate one that exactly matches your BTU number, look for the closest match.

If you need a central air conditioning replacement, you’ll calculate the BTU by multiplying the entire square footage of your home. However, if you’re choosing an AC window unit, you’ll consider the size of the room itself. Keep in mind that heat pumps and mini split systems cool areas of your home in zones. You may need calculations from a professional who can assist in determining how many zones you need for efficient cooling.

How to Adjust Your Calculations for Sun Exposure

The size of your home or room you want to cool isn’t the end of the story on what size AC to choose. You also need to account for sun exposure and fluctuations. If your home soaks up a lot of heat and sun, you should consider increasing the BTU by about 10%. The same thing works in reverse. A home or room heavily shaded can decrease the BTU by 10%. 

BTUs help narrow down what size air conditioner to choose for your home, but you really need the help of a professional to assess the situation. The weather, direction your home faces, number of people you have in your home, and cooling preferences can all impact the size AC you need.

Schedule Your Tucson or Mesa Air Conditioning Installation Today!

Ready to choose an air conditioner for your home? Give the team at Western States Home Services a call to handle all of your AC needs in Mesa and Tucson. We’ll help guide you through the process, help you identify the best cooling solutions for your home and budget, and get everything installed.

We’ll also repair and maintain your system for consistent, reliable cooling. Call us today!

Learn More About AC Installation & AC Repair in Mesa, AZ & Beyond

Check out our blog posts below for some helpful info, expert tips and more!

Ready for fast, reliable & affordable service?

Contact Western States Home Services for all your plumbing, heating, air conditioning and IAQ, needs in the Mesa, AZ area!

Book Online Book Online