What’s the Right Size Air Conditioner for My House?

What's the Right Size Air Conditioner for My House?

Although the summer months may be some of our favorite times of the year, the hot sun beating down on the roof of your home can cause increased interior temperatures. Did you know that the size of your AC unit can affect how well your home is cooled down?

If your air conditioner is too small for the space you’re trying to cool, it can make it work harder and your home remains hot. Having an AC that is the correct size is essential to saving energy and keeping your home nice and cool.

Understanding BTU Outputs

If you’re searching for a new air conditioner or trying to learn if yours is adequate for these summer months, then knowing what BTU specs will help you make your decision. This is everything that you need to know about BTU and why they matter.



What is BTU?

This metric is called British Thermal Unit, or BTU, and is used to determine heat energy. When it comes to your air conditioning unit, BTU will determine your cooling volume. When your AC BTU is high, it will have a higher cooling power.

Why are they used?

Understanding your AC unit BTU will help you determine if your air conditioner will work for your home. An air conditioner that is placed in a large room but has a lower BTU will not be able to cool the area efficiently and will cause more energy output.

If your AC unit is too large and cooling a smaller space, the air conditioner will waste more energy by overcooling the area.

How to Check Your AC’s BTU

You can find your air conditioner’s BTU output rating by checking the manufacturer’s sticker located on the unit, reading the AC unit’s owner’s manual, or contacting the manufacturer.

Does One Size Fit All?

The quick answer is not all ACs will work for your home. So, no one size does not fit all.



How many BTUs you need to properly cool a part of your home will depend on how large the room is. Air conditioning units will recommend a specific BTU output based on the square footage of your home or area.

Types of Central Air Conditioners

Types of ACWhen you’re in search of a new AC unit, keep in mind there are a few options to choose from. It is recommended to do your research on the different types so that you are familiar with their unique benefits and features. Below are the different types of AC units and their features:

  • Packaged Air Conditioners – Typically installed beside the building on a slab of concrete or the roof, these ACs combine the evaporator, condenser, and compressor in one unit. These are recommended for small indoor spaces in commercial buildings.
  • Split System Air Conditioners – These AC units are easy to install and operate which is why they are most recommended for homeowners. Indoor and outside units work together to cool down an area.
  • Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners – Similar to a split system AC system except these kinds of units don’t require ductwork and are considered to function more efficiently. Great for small areas or spaces.
  • Central Air Conditioners with Heat Pumps – Very energy-efficient units and provide both heating and cooling within one unit. These kinds of systems tend to cost more than standard AC units and require more time for installation.

Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings

Your AC unit will be more energy-efficient if the Season Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is high, just like BTU outputs. This will result in less energy being expended, lower energy bills, and a lower environmental impact. SEER ratings typically range from 13 to 21.


Purchase Considerations

As with any purchase for your home, if you’re in the market for a new AC system some factors could save you money that you should consider before making your purchase.

Price Range

Air conditioning systems can vary in price. This price is determined by the brand, the features the unit has, and the type of AC. Window AC units can typically range from $150 – $800, whereas central ACs can cost a few thousand dollars. You should consider what kind of AC you need before making a purchase.

AC pricesFinancing

Financing can help you pay your new air conditioner off over time and some manufacturers and retailers will offer this as an option. Make sure to inquire about this before your purchase.

Tax Credits

Sometimes the government will give you a tax credit if your AC unit meets a specific set of qualifications.


Before making your purchase, check to see if there are any rebates available through the retailer or manufacturer as some will offer kinds of rewards. This can make a huge difference in the amount you pay for a brand-new unit.

Now that you know all about what kind of air conditioner is best for you, you’re ready to start searching for the right unit for your home. If you need assistance when picking out the best unit for you, contact us at Bell Brothers.