How many square feet can a 7,200 btu/hour air conditioner cool?
A rule of thumb is a ton (12,000 Btu/hr) for every 1,000 square feet. That being said, this is a very conservative rule of thumb. So, I'd say between 600 -900 square feet.
We have a 10,000 BTU window unit that cools our 180 sqaure foot master bedroom very nicely.
At least there is a point of reference for you.
I agree with Quelisto.
I would guess about 750 sq. ft. for a normal ceiling height room, on an average summer day.
Your comfort while using air conditioning depends both on reducing air temperature and removing humidity. An air conditioner should ideally run for 20 minutes or more on each cycle to cool the indoor air and to reduce humidity.
Oversized air conditioners run in short inefficient cycles. They waste energy since they must run for a few minutes at the beginning of every cycle just to cool down their coils, fins, and ducts. Only then can they cool and de-humidify your home. That original cool-down energy is lost after the air conditioner shuts off.
An air conditioner's ability to remove heat is expressed in Btus per hour, or “tons” of cooling. Each ton equals 12,000 Btus per hour. Your air conditioner should have a ton of cooling capacity for every 600 to 1,200 square feet of floor area, depending on your home's energy efficiency and your local climate. Your 7200 BTU unit is .6 tons.
A poorly shaded home with little insulation and lots of air leaks might need a ton of air conditioning for every 600 square feet of floor area. A well-insulated and well-shaded home with few air leaks might only need one ton per 1200 square feet.
12,000 BTU per 600 ft² = 20 BTU/ft²
12,000 BTU per 1200 ft² = 10 BTU/ft²
Using an average of 15 BTU/ft², your 7,200 BTU unit could serve 7200 ÷ 15 = 480 ft²
Other things to consider are:
- What direction are the external walls facing?
- How many people will be occupying the room?
- You do not want an over-sized AC that will short-cycle.
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