Air Conditioning Sizing Chart

The sizing chart below is useful to help you determine your approximate central air conditioner size requirements. We also offer an air conditioner size calculator that is more detailed. For more discussion on how to properly size air conditioners click here

Air Conditioning Square Footage Range
by Climate Zone

ZONE 1 

ZONE 2

ZONE 3

ZONE 4 ZONE 5

1.5 Tons

600 -
900 sf
600 - 950 sf 600 - 1000 sf 700 - 1050 sf 700 - 1100 sf
2 Tons 901-1200 sf 951 - 1250 sf 1001 - 1300 sf 1051 - 1350 sf 1101 - 1400 sf

2.5 Tons

1201 - 1500 sf 1251 - 1550 sf 1301 - 1600 sf 1351 - 1600 sf 1401 - 1650 sf

3 Tons

1501 - 1800 sf 1501 - 1850 sf 1601 - 1900 sf 1601 - 2000 sf 1651 - 2100 sf

3.5 Tons

1801 - 2100 sf 1851 - 2150 sf 1901 - 2200 sf 2001 - 2250 sf 2101 - 2300 sf

4 Tons

2101 - 2400 sf 2151 - 2500 sf 2201 - 2600 sf 2251 - 2700 sf 2301 - 2700 sf

5 Tons

2401 - 3000 sf 2501 - 3100 sf 2601 - 3200 sf 2751 - 3300 sf 2701 - 3300 sf

Proper System Sizing

In order to scientifically calculate the right central air conditioner size, you can perform a Residential Load Calculation. For your convenience, we have an inexpensive and easy to use software download available. If you purchase your equipment from us, we will refund the cost of the download.

Another way to size air conditioners is to determine the system size that is currently in place. The manufacturers do not list the air conditioner size on the unit. The system capacity will be coded into the model number of the outdoor unit.

For example, model CKL24-1 is a 2 ton unit. Why? There are 12,000 Btu's per ton. The number 24 in the model number indicates the unit is 24,000 Btu's, divided by 12,000 Btu's per ton, equals 2 tons.

24,000 Btu's/12,000 Btu's per ton = 2 tons

Use the following conversion information to determine your existing system size (use the system model number NOT the serial number)





  • 18 = 1.5 tons
  • 24 = 2 tons
  • 30 = 2.5 tons
  • 36 = 3 tons
  • 42 = 3.5 tons
  • 48 = 4 tons
  • 60 = 5 tons
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When sizing air conditioners, be careful not to make the mistake of getting one that is too large. If the system you install is too large for the space, it will short cycle. In other words, the compressor will not run long enough to dehumidify the space and will limit your comfort. In addition, it will cycle on and off more frequently, increasing operating costs and reducing the system life. Proper air conditioner sizing is critical to optimize performance.

If you're still unsure which system size is right for you, or if you're having difficulty downloading the Air Conditioner Size Calculator , please e-mail us or call us toll free number at 1-866-862-8922. Sizing air conditioners by phone is difficult but we can provide you with the tools to get you started.

 

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Heating Square Footage Range by Climate Zone

ZONE 1 

ZONE 2

ZONE 3

ZONE 4 ZONE 5
30 - 35 Btu's per square foot 35 - 40 Btu's per square foot 40 - 45 Btu's per square foot 45 - 50 Btu's per square foot 50 - 60 Btu's per square foot

Heating Guide

Use the lower of the two numbers if your home is well insulated and the higher number if it is older or poorly insulated. (Hint: Use the larger of the two numbers above if you're unsure of your home's insulation)

Simply multiply the appropriate factor above by your home's total heated square footage to arrive at your approximate required heating capacity. For example, if you live in the yellow zone, your home is well insulated, and you have 2000 heated square feet, the equation will look like this:

 2000 square feet
X .40 heating factor
(from the chart above)
80,000 Btu actual output

Then, to calculate the output on a gas furnace, multiply its efficiency rating by its listed input rating for the actual Btu output of heat. For example, if a furnace has a listed input rating of 100,000 Btu's and an efficiency rating of 80%, it will produce

100,000 Btu input
X .80 efficiency

80,000 Btu actual output

If the same 100,000 Btu furnace has an efficiency rating of 93% it will produce:

100,000 Btu input
X .93 efficiency

93,000 Btu actual output

For this example, using an 80% efficient furnace, the 2000 square foot home above would require a 100,000 Btu input furnace which will produce the necessary 80,000 Btu's output of heat.

If you're still unsure which system size is right for you, please e-mail us or call our toll free number at 1-866-862-8922. An experienced design technician will be happy to assist you.

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Insulation Variables

Variables such as your insulation, type and number of windows, number of stories, construction type, etc. will greatly affect the required Btu's per square for both heating and cooling. A general rule of thumb is that if your home is well insulated with newer style windows, you can select the smaller size system that falls within your total square footage.

If your home is two story it will place less of a load on the system in the downstairs area as the second floor acts as additional insulation. If your home is not well insulated, has older style windows, and/or a larger than average number of windows, you will want to select the larger system which falls within your square footage range. The less insulated and more windows within the environment, the more likely you will experience greater air and heat loss.

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Contact Us for More Info

If you're still unsure which system size is right for you, or if you're having difficulty downloading the Air Conditioner Size Calculator, please e-mail us or call our toll free number at 1-866-862-8922. An experienced design technician will be happy to assist you.

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