What size air conditioner do i need

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

That Pesky Question

It’s the middle of the summer when your air conditioner breaks and the search for a new one begins. No sooner are you online browsing before the same question hits every time: what size air conditioner do I need? This question is absolutely crucial to anyone looking to purchase a new air conditioner for their home. If you have a house that is small and quaint then you wouldn’t want a large air conditioner that is heavy to carry and hard to install. Establishing a budget early on and sticking to it is the best strategy to avoid buyers remorse.

Take a look at some of these top rated air conditioners at various sizes

Comparison Table of the Best Air Conditioners


Frigidaire 10,000 BTU Connected Window-Mounted Room Air ConditionerGE AHY08LZ Window and Wall Air Conditioner WhiteLG LW2516ER Window and Wall Air Conditioner WhiteFrigidaire 8,000 BTU Connected Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner


Frigidaire FHWW103WB1 Smart Window Air Conditioner

GE AHY08LZ Smart Window Air Conditioner

LG LW2516ER Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FFRE083ZA1 Window Air Conditoner

Cooling Speed







General Electrics



Product Dimensions

25.4 x 23.6 x 17.8 inches

18.6 x 15.3 x 12.6 inches

28.1 x 26 x 17.68 inches

18.6 x 15.7 x 12.8 inches


117 pounds

54 pounds

136 pounds

53 pounds

Cooling Capacity

10000 BTU

8000 BTU

24500 BTU

6000 BTU

Special Feature

Alexa and Google Assistant Compatibility

WiFi Connectivity

Energy Saving Mode

Sleep Mode

Button AFL1Button AFL1Button AFL1Button AFL1


Frigidaire FHWW103WB1 Smart Window Air Conditioner with 10000 Cooling BTU

Frigidaire FHWW103WB1 is a smart window air conditioner that offers you a great way to cool your room with special features like WiFi connectivity. With this feature, you easily control the unit from your phone via the Frigidaire app. The unit also features multi-direction airflow, automatic restart, a washable air filter, and many more. Let’s discuss some of the features below;



The unit features a washable filter that helps capture the dust from the air and protects the dehumidifier so that it keeps working at the highest level. The filter is also easy to clean so you don’t have to worry about dusts getting stuck in it.


In the modern age, hardly will you see a device that is not tech-oriented, and each day sees new innovations coming into our lives to make them better. This Frigidaire unit features Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to control your unit right from your phone. Be it temperature change, turning on or off; this feature gives you that access, and you can also control the modes, create custom schedules, and adjust the fan speeds to best fit what you want.


Everybody wants a device they can conveniently use, and that’s what this Frigidaire air conditioner offers. With just a simple voice command using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can control your unit.


  • Multi-direction airflow
  • Automatic restart
  • Clean filter alert
  • Fresh air vent
  • Dimming digital display

GE AHY08LZ Smart Window Air Conditioner With 8000 Cooling BTU and 3 Cooling Speed

When a cooling unit has a cooling capacity of 8000 BTU, then maybe its ability shouldn’t be doubted, especially when the brand is GE. There’s a reason why so many people trust General Electric, and the brand has undoubtedly been one of the leading electronics brands in the market today. The air conditioner with 3 fan speeds is also packed with 115 volts, 11.4 CEER and fixed chassis in white color.



There’ll always be a time when the room is cool enough and everywhere starts to feel really cool. When this happens, the unit, with the help of the energy saver mode, senses this and shuts down both the fan and compressor temporarily. This way, you’re not always saving power but also money.


Putting utility bills into consideration, you might not always want your unit to be on because it’ll consume more power. Having this in mind, a programmable timer has been integrated into this unit to ensure that you set the unit to operate based on your scheduling.


With the remote control in your hand, you can control the unit from just across the room.


  • WiFi connectivity
  • Filter reminder light
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Power interruption restart

LG LW2516ER with 24500 Cooling BTU, 1560sq. ft. Cooling Area, and Remote Controller

This unit is without doubt the most powerful unit on this list with a cooling capacity of 24500 BTU, and it is not a coincidence that LG is the manufacturer. Over the years, LG has gained fame for producing products that are needed in our day-to-day activities, which explains why the brand is one of the most successful electronics brands of all time. LG LW2516ER is packed with wonderful features like Power Failure Auto Restart, 4-Way Air Direction, Auto Cool, and many more.



Air is moved around your room by a little deflection adjustment. Air is directly to where it is needed the most; up, down, left, and right, filling the room with the coolness you desire.


With just a touch of a button, you can set the tone for your unit and control the temperature, switch modes. It gives you some sort of joy when you know that operating your unit comes with extra convenience.


Power, sometimes cannot be trusted and when this happens, electronic appliances that are not strong might never function properly again unless fixed. However, this unit has an auto restart function such that when there’s a power failure, it automatically restarts and begins functioning properly again.


  • Remote control
  • 24 hours on/off timer
  • 3 cooling speeds with auto cool

Frigidaire FFRE083ZA1 Window Air Conditioner with 8000 Cooling BTU, 3 Cooling Speed, and Remote Controller

Frigidaire FFRE083ZA1 is a window mounted air conditioning unit with a cooling capacity of 8000 BTU (the least powerful on this list), and it comes with 3 fan speeds, programmable timer, air swing, auto restart, remote control, and a fixed chassis



This Frigidaire air conditioner comes with three different fan speeds, all of which enhance more cooling flexibility and make sure that your room is properly circulated with air.


This sleep mode leaves you in control of your unit even without your input. When the unit senses that the room is filled with enough air, it begins to gradually increase the temperature so that the room doesn’t get too cold.


  • Effortless clean filter
  • Programmable 24-hour on/off timer
  • Power cord
  • Clean filter alert
  • Effortless temperature control
  • SpaceWise adjustable design optional side panels

There are a number of things to consider when thinking about buying an air conditioner such as:

  • Budget
  • Size
  • Location/placement in your home
  • What does a professional say?
  • How will it affect my energy bill?

With all of these factors influencing your decision, the answers to those questions should help provide you with a good estimation of what size unit is right for your home. 

Don’t Go Too Big For Your Home

According to Angie Hicks of Angie’s List, an oversized air conditioner can and most likely will experience short cycling periods. This means that the air conditioner will run long enough to cool the home, but is extremely inefficient at removing the humidity from the air.

An oversized air conditioner is prone to spontaneous shut on and off which is a nightmare for energy efficiency, and accordingly, your wallet. Making sure your unit is doing only the necessary amount of work, and not more, will save tremendous amounts of money on energy bills.

Don’t Go Too Small Either

According to ASM Air, even purchasing an air conditioner that’s too small will run all day constantly and never properly cool your home.  This can also lead to the unit malfunctioning early and having to spend more to replace the unit.  

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need? I Want Numbers!

For those of you who want exact specifications to make absolutely sure that you’re getting the right size unit for your home, ASM Air also has a formula to calculate what size you need:

House square footage times 25, divided by 12,000 – 0.5 = required tons.

They also have another way to see what size you need because they have a chart for consumers to go by.

For window air conditioners, this is a great option if you only want to cool a single room in the house and don’t want to spend money on a central air conditioning unit. The same concept of size matters with window air conditioners as well, according to Lowe’s.

A air conditioner unit that is too small won’t cool your room efficiently and if it is too large the air will cool slightly but continue to feel sticky and damp.

The Numbers

These are the different sizes based on square footage:

  • 150 to 350 sq ft: look for a 5,000- to 8,000-BTU unit
  • 350 to 550 sq ft: look for an 8,000- to 12,000-BTU unit
  • 550 to 1,050 sq ft: look for a 12,000- to 18,500-BTU unit
  • 1,050 to 1,600 sq ft: look for an 18,500- to 25,000-BTU unit

Window Units

Specifically with window air conditioners there are also some points to consider before purchasing:

  • Have help when installing a window air conditioner because they are heavy.
  • Installing a window air conditioner in a window that won’t get direct sunlight is better.
  • Always make sure there is an adequate power outlet beside the window you want to install the air conditioner in.
  • Also make sure it is installed properly so it won’t collect water and freeze up.

According to Allison Bailes of Energy Vanguard Blog, the label tells you the model number and the serial number and this is what you can go by once you figure out how many tons your air conditioning unit needs to be. Bailes also had examples of how you can go by the model number to find the amount of tons:

Model Number

















Other Sizing Factors

Another important factor in determining how big your air conditioning unit needs to be is British Thermal Units (BTU). These units tell you how much heat it will take to elevate the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit, according to Mary Mattoon of AltEnergyMag.com. The number of BTU’s needed to cool your house depends on the amount of square footage you have in the home.

Professional Help

For people who want air conditioning units, but don’t want to do the calculations themselves, George Brazil HVAC states that you need a professional air conditioning technician to do a Manual J Heat Load Calculation. This calculation takes these factors into account:

  • Square footage
  • Layout (multiple levels, basement, etc.)
  • Number of windows
  • How shaded your roof, walls and home are
  • Where you have vaulted ceilings (if you do)
  • The quality of your home’s insulation
  • If your air ducts are sealed and insulated


1. What makes my air conditioner freeze up?

There are so many reasons why air conditioners freeze up and what we can tell you is that you shouldn’t take chances with them. Once you notice this bizarre change, quickly contact a professional technician to help you look into it, and get it fixed because only they have the right tools to fix problems related to this.

2. What should I do to ensure that my air conditioner lasts long?

Ensuring that your unit lasts long requires no rocket-science method, except for the basics which are; changing your air filters when due, regular check ups, and not leaving your unit to operate for a very long time. Additionally, if you notice anything wrong with it, do not hesitate to contact a professional technician for inspection.

Cool Down

Using all of the methods provided here will help you to pinpoint exactly what size air conditioner is best for your home. Remember, having a unit that is too big or too small could cost you a fortune in the long run. Happy savings!

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