You’ll see a lot of different numbers and acronyms when looking for a new air conditioner—the HVAC business loves its acronyms! It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of these absurd ratings and figures, especially if you don’t know what they mean. Many times, homeowners ask us what SEER and BTU ratings signify. Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating breaks everything down in our most recent blog post to help you feel more at ease while purchasing an air conditioner.

What Do BTU Ratings Mean?

Although not many people in San Bernardino are familiar with the British thermal unit, or BTU, it is the unit of measurement used by the HVAC industry to convey thermal energy. BTUs are displayed for both air conditioners and furnaces. The amount of energy required to raise one degree Fahrenheit’s temperature in a pound of water is measured by BTU ratings. Regarding air conditioners, the BTU rating indicates the quantity of heat that the machine can extract from the air in an hour. This demonstrates how well a unit cools a room.

The BTU rating of an air conditioner is crucial when making a purchase since it indicates the amount of cooling the unit can provide for your house. The BTU ratings of residential air conditioners typically range from 18,000 to 60,000. The trick is to pick the right air conditioner for your home, not to run out and buy the biggest BTU air conditioner you can find.

BTU ratings come into play when sizing new heating and air conditioning units, as you may have heard an HVAC professional discuss. What we mean by that is that you should match the equipment not merely to the square footage of your home but also to its cooling demand. The amount of heat that must be evacuated from the house in order to maintain comfortable temperatures is known as the cooling load. The amount of space, ceiling height, windows and doors, building materials and methods, orientation of the house, and several other elements that generate heat are all taken into account by professionals to calculate the cooling load of a house.

When looking for an air conditioner, it’s critical to understand what BTU ratings signify because a proper fit is crucial! A new air conditioning system with a BTU rating that is too high or too low for your requirements is not what you want. Due to their poor performance, these units will use more power, have difficulty maintaining a reasonable temperature in homes, and have more malfunctions. This usually implies that they must be changed sooner as well.

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?
How Long Do Air Conditioners Last?

What Do SEER Ratings Mean?

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER for short, is a metric used to indicate how energy-efficient an air conditioner is over the course of a typical summer. The entire cooling output for the season is divided by the total amount of electric energy used by the unit over the same period to determine its SEER.

Currently, California allows new air conditioners to have a minimum SEER rating of 14 SEER. But in 2023, this requirement will rise to 15 SEER. In an effort to promote energy saving, the Department of Energy has increased the national minimums throughout time.

As of right now, the lowest possible SEER rating for an air conditioner is 14, however there are models that have SEER ratings as high as the mid-20s. While a 14 SEER air conditioner isn’t inherently a terrible option, it will use more energy to perform the same function as a 20 SEER unit.

You’ll probably notice that the price of any new air conditioner on your short list goes up in tandem with the SEER rating as you compare their ratings. Modern technology and features are used in the construction of a more energy-efficient cooling system, which maximizes energy savings. Although they are more expensive to purchase, you will save more on energy bills. We often advise selecting the most efficient unit that falls within your budget because it can be challenging to determine where to draw the line between sticking to your spending plan and maximizing efficiency.

Air Conditioner Installation from Sanborn’s

When it comes time to purchase a new air conditioner for your home in the San Bernardino region, don’t worry—Sanborn’s is here to help you choose the right equipment by providing all the information you require and by responding to any concerns you may have. Put your trust in our staff for expert installation services, and your new air conditioner will operate to the maximum extent possible according to its SEER and BTU ratings. Give us a call or send us an online message to get started!

How many BTU air conditioner should I get?

The number of BTUs you need depends on the size of the room you want to cool. Generally, for small rooms, you’ll need around 5,000 to 7,000 BTUs; medium-sized rooms require 8,000 to 12,000 BTUs, and larger spaces may need 14,000 BTUs or more.

Is higher BTU better for AC?

Not necessarily. While a higher BTU rating can cool larger spaces, using a higher BTU air conditioner in a smaller room might lead to inefficient cooling and higher energy bills. It’s important to match the BTU capacity of the AC with the size of the room.

How many square feet will a 12000 BTU air conditioner cool?

A 12,000 BTU air conditioner can typically cool a room of around 350 to 550 square feet, depending on factors like insulation, ceiling height, and sunlight exposure.

What does 12000 BTU air conditioner mean?

A 12,000 BTU air conditioner refers to its cooling capacity. It can remove 12,000 BTUs of heat from the air per hour.

Is 12000 BTU enough for a bedroom?

Yes, a 12,000 BTU air conditioner is usually sufficient for cooling a standard-sized bedroom.

What size room will a 18000 BTU air conditioner cool?

An 18,000 BTU air conditioner is suitable for cooling a room of approximately 550 to 1,000 square feet.

What happens if BTU is too high?

If the BTU capacity of the air conditioner is too high for the room size, it may cool the room too quickly without adequately removing humidity, leading to discomfort and potential issues like mold growth.

What size room will 24000 BTU cool?

A 24,000 BTU air conditioner can effectively cool a room of around 800 to 1,300 square feet.

How do you convert BTU to tons?

To convert BTUs to tons, divide the BTU rating by 12,000. For example, 24,000 BTUs would be equivalent to 2 tons (24,000 BTU ÷ 12,000 = 2 tons).