Any resident of Tempe knows how hot it can get in Arizona, and it will only get hotter if your air conditioning unit is not up to the task of cooling your home. More often than not, your home AC unit just might not be big enough to get the job done, which begs the question, just how big does your AC need to be? For the inexperienced, this can be a hard question to answer. AC units can be expensive, so you obviously don’t want to purchase one that’s useless for your home.

Luckily, there’s an easy way with some good advice from an air conditioning company in Tempe to find out the right size air conditioner for your home. You just need to collect a few measurements around the house and plug them into a Tempe home air conditioning BTU calculator.

What Is a BTU?

First thing’s first, what exactly is a BTU? It’s technically known as a British Thermal Unit, which is a measurement of the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU equals roughly 1,055 joules, and one BTU per hour burns about 0.293 watts. Typically, about 20 BTUs are considered for each square foot in the home.

For air conditioners, the BTU specifically measures the amount of heat an air conditioning unit can remove from a room per hour. As the BTU rating increases, the weight, the size and (especially) the cost of the air conditioner increases as well.

Now, this may seem like a lot to handle at once, but don’t worry. Measuring BTUs for potential AC installation is not as hard as you might think. You really just need to know the size of your home, as this will determine how many tons of BTU the space needs to be cooled most effectively.

How to Calculate Your Room Size

Actually calculating your room size is where the bulk of your work will go, especially since there are really no shortcuts to take here. To calculate BTU, you need to calculate the sizes of all the rooms you are targeting. Maybe it’s just a single room; maybe it’s the entire house. You need to first decide for yourself where you want to target the air conditioning unit.

After having pinpointed the space, you need to find out the width, length, and height of the room or rooms in feet. This may require you to get down on your hands and knees with a ruler or tape measure. You may also want to consult the blueprints of the house itself. Whatever you have to do to find the dimensions, do it. You’ll need these numbers for the BTU calculator.

How to Convert BTU Measurement to AC Size

After you’ve gotten all the dimensions, you’re practically done. Use this online BTU calculator to find out just how many BTUs are required for your space. Keep in mind, however, that this BTU calculator will take into account not just dimensions but also the insulation quality and the desired temperature increase and decrease. A trained HVAC professional can then use this calculation to determine the perfect Tempe AC unit size for your home.


Contact the Tempe AC installation experts at Scottsdale Air Heating & Cooling to learn more about which AC unit is right for your home. Email us or call 480-359-7141 now!


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