Our site works best with Javascript enabled.

AMERICA'S HEATING & COOLING STORE.™
Need Help? Call
800-865-5931
MON-FRI 8:30am-5:00pm Central

Choosing Air Conditioner Size

Sizing Estimator for Air Conditioners
Square Footage:
Desired Indoor Cooling Temperature (F):
Stories:
Zip Code in USA:
Insulation Level:
Basement:
Estimate
Results:
image description
Look for this button across our site to customize your shopping expeirience.
Your Search is Now Customized

While shopping Alpine Home Air Products, simply look for the green button shown on the right, click it, and we will filter your product search to only include the right sizes for your home.

Shop Air Conditioners

Measuring Cooling Capacity

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in tons. In regards to cooling, 1 ton is equal to 12,000 BTU's (British Thermal Units.) A standard air conditioner ranges in size, from smallest to largest:

  • 18 = 1.5 Ton (18,000 BTU)
  • 24 = 2.0 Ton (24,000 BTU)
  • 30 = 2.5 Ton (30,000 BTU)
  • 36 = 3.0 Ton (36,000 BTU)
  • 42 = 3.5 Ton (42,000 BTU)
  • 48 = 4.0 Ton (48,000 BTU)
  • 60 = 5.0 Ton (60,000 BTU)
Need Help Choosing a System?

For example, a model SSX160241 is a 2 Ton (24,000 BTU) air conditioner.

There is only one correctly sized air conditioner or heat pump for your home. A unit that is oversized will turn on and off too frequently, called “short cycling.” Short cycling causes the unit to lose both efficiency and the ability to properly dehumidify the home. This may result in higher utility bills and a less comfortable home. A unit that is undersized will run too often, and on the hottest days of the year, may not be able to adequately cool the home.

Additional Sizing Methods

There are other ways to calculate the correctly sized furnace for your home.

image description

Manual J Load Calculation

This is the proper and scientific method for calculating AC size taught to HVAC technicians and recommended for use by professionals in the trade. It consists of taking information about your home’s construction materials, insulation levels, number of windows, sizes of rooms, etc, and making a calculation based on those factors to determine the appropriate heating and cooling requirements needed.

image description

Compare

Does your neighbor have the same size home as you? If he has a properly sized air conditioner, then the same size unit may also work for you.

image description

Ask a Contractor

Most air conditioning professionals give free in-home estimates for installing new air conditioning, during which they will recommend a unit size. While we don't encourage using contractors for quotes if you don't intend to hire them, a contractor familiar with the homes in your neighborhood will likely be able to give you an idea over the phone of what size you might need.

Replacing an Existing Unit? Check the Size.

If the unit you have now is the correct size for your home, replace it with the same size. How do you know what size you currently have? Look at the name plate on the outdoor condensing unit and locate the model number (not serial number). You are looking for 2 digits in the model number that match the numbers below to indicate Tons or BTU.

Your Order
Ways to Order
See Order Status
Returns
Modify or Cancel Order
Missing Order Item
Damaged Shipments
Warranty Claims
Quotes
View Quotes
Request Custom Equipment
Technical Support
Learning Center
Instruction Manuals
Contact Technical Support
Policies
Shipping Policy
Return Policy
Scratch-N-Dent Policy
Volume Discount Policy
Privacy Policy
Website Terms of Use
Alpine
About Us
Customer Reviews
  Phone
(800) 865-5931
Monday to Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm Central
  Mailing Address
1901 N. Clybourn Avenue
Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60614
  Email
[email protected]
or Contact Us Here
  Fax
(425) 928-2455
© Copyright 2002-2014, Alpine Home Air Products. All Rights Reserved. A Todd Arthurs Company, Inc