A beginner's guide to choosing the right air conditioner based on your room size

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Keep cool and calm and know your your stuff before buying an air con!

The Philippines can be scorching hot all year round. So when we need to buy a new one when a unit breaks or we are moving into our new home, we’ll want to make sure we buy air con units that have enough power to cool certain rooms. Here’s a basic guide to answer “what size air conditioner do I need?”

What size air conditioner do I need – all you need to know to get started

1. Calculate the size of your room and match the horsepower

what size air conditioner do i need

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The first step to answering “what size air conditioner do I need?” is finding out the size of the room. Once you’ve measured the dimensions, multiply the width by the length. Take this number and multiply it again by 25 British Thermal Units (BTU).

(BTU is the standard measure of cooling capacity. If it’s too low, you’ll never reach the desired level of comfort.)

For example, if your living room is 12 feet wide and 15 feet long, here’s how you’ll work it out:

12 x 15 = 180 square feet

180 square feet x 25 BTU = 4,500 BTU

However, bigger doesn’t always mean better. If you buy a unit that has too many BTUs than necessary for the room size, your air conditioner will cycle on and off and will not be energy efficient. Speak with the salesperson for more advice when you have your room dimensions.

2. Consider window location

what size air conditioner do i need

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When deciding what size air conditioner do I need, you need to factor where your windows. Specifically, their size and location.

Larger windows that are untinted let in more heat when uncovered. Consider a larger unit to compensate for hotter temperatures because of the bigger windows.

If windows east-facing, these will be warmer as the sun will be rising from this direction.

3. Type of air conditioner

There are two main types of air conditioners – window/wall-type mounted, and split-type.

Window-types are mounted to the window. All components are found in one place and it’s considered the easiest type to install. You can even install it yourself if you’re confident!

Split-type air con units are normally used for larger rooms. They are more powerful and quieter than window-types.

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Written by

Vinnie Wong