What Are Air Conditioning BTU’s?

AC System in Modesto, California

There are so many options available to customers when it comes to air conditioning units. Beyond there being air conditioners of different sizes, there are many types of units. We understand that it can all become very overwhelming if you’re not too familiar with air conditioners. At Honey's Air & Solar, we’re here to help anyone in the Modesto, CA, area with their air conditioning installation. We can do everything from the actual installation to helping you pick which unit would be ideal for your home.

What Does the Term “BTU” Mean?

You may have seen the term “BTU” when looking around for a new air conditioner. BTU stands for British thermal unit. Scientifically speaking, it refers to how much heat is required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. More BTUs would equate to more heat.

You may be wondering how BTUs apply to air conditioners, especially when they’re used to cool our homes instead of heating them. Well, when we use an air conditioner, we’re not actually adding cold air into our homes. Instead, we’re removing heat from the existing air.

The way in which air conditioners work is somewhat complex, and it’s not that important that people fully understand the ins and outs of the entire process. What is essential is knowing that an air conditioner with more BTUs is going to be more effective at removing heat from a room. In other words, more BTUs mean that an AC unit will be more effective at keeping things nice and cool. In Modesto, this is extremely important given our sky-high temperatures in the summer months.

How Many BTUs Are Recommended?

The amount of BTUs you’ll need depends on many factors, including:

  • Size of the home
  • Whether the home is shaded or not
  • Insulation
  • Number of windows
  • Square footage
  • Layout of the home
  • Number of people in the home

Obviously, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation. When you have Honey's Air & Solar come out to your place, we’ll assess various factors to determine the number of BTUs that you’ll need. Our area is quite sunny for much of the year, and not too many homes have full shade; we’ll take all of those things into account.

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to air conditioners. If you have more BTUs than are recommended, it may seem like a good thing when it’s really not. Your AC will quickly get your home to the optimal temperature and then cycle off. It will cycle on and off repeatedly, and this isn’t good for the longevity of your unit.

The opposite is true as well. If you have an AC with too few BTUs, it will have to continually work to cool your home. Being overworked makes it more likely that your unit will experience issues sooner than it otherwise would.

There are some general recommendations that can give you a better idea of how many BTUs you’d need. A room that has 1,000 square feet would need an AC with about 18,000 BTUs, and a room that is 550 square feet would need an AC with 12,000 BTUs.

Obviously, cooling a room is different than cooling an entire home. For this, we often use a different standard, but one that’s still related to BTUs. A 1-ton AC unit represents 12,000 BTUs. Usually, it’s recommended that a 1-ton unit is adequate for every 600 square feet of space. A 2,400-square-foot home would likely need to use a 4-ton AC unit.

Here to Help

No one expects you to go out and install your AC unit all by yourself. If you can, that’s great, but we’re available to assist anyone in Modesto who requires our assistance in any way. As we said earlier, we’d be happy to work closely with you as you determine which unit you prefer. At every step along the way, we’d provide our honest insights and advice.

Honey's Air & Solar provides free estimates to anyone interested in exploring options regarding AC units. We have extensive experience in the field, and we fully stand behind our work. Many of the new units we install come with warranties that are good for several years. We’d be happy to speak with you further regarding our cooling services, which include repairs and maintenance as well. You will be happy to know that we also offer a full range of heating services, indoor air quality solutions, ventilation systems, and much more. Give us a call for more information.

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