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What’s the Right Size Air Conditioner for My House?

What the right sixe AC for your home

Warmer weather is on the way, and there’s no denying that air conditioning is a summertime savior. However, figuring out what size air conditioner you need for your house can be confusing. Do you need a mini-fridge-sized unit or a more powerful system?

As Los Angeles air conditioning experts, we’re here to help you navigate the world of AC sizes so you can have confidence in selecting the right system for your home.

What Are BTU Outputs?

Understanding the jargon associated with air conditioning units is the first step to choosing a unit that’s right for you.

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It sounds fancy, but it’s just a way to measure the amount of heat an AC can remove from a room. Specifically, it refers to the unit’s ability to remove 12,000 British Thermal Units of heat from a building in an hour.

Think of it like a superhero power rating – the higher the BTU, the more powerful the AC. So if you have a small home with small rooms, a lower BTU is ideal.

However, for more open spaces, opt for a higher BTU rating. But remember, the more powerful your air conditioner, the more electricity you’ll use, meaning higher energy bills.

How to Check Your Air Conditioner’s BTU

Generally, all the information, like serial numbers and safety warnings, is kept in one place. The first three numbers in your model number tell you your unit’s tonnage (BTU).

Does One Size Fit All?

In short, no. You need to work out which unit best fits the size of your home. Choose the wrong one, and you could end up with poor air conditioning and high energy bills.

It might seem like the higher the BTU, the better the air conditioner. But this is a misconception. If you have a small home and a large unit, it will cool your home quickly. However, it won’t take long for the house to heat up again, kickstarting the HVAC back into action. Short cycles like this damage the unit and your bank balance.

On the other hand, if you buy a system without enough power, it’ll need to be on constantly to keep your home cool. But again, this wastes energy.

Choosing the right system means you’ll keep your cool without raising your energy bills.

Different Types of Central Air Conditioners

Different types of air conditioners
It isn’t only BTU ratings you need to investigate. You also need to consider the type of air conditioner right for your home.

Single-Stage Condensers

Looking for your first unit for a small home? A single-stage condenser is an ideal option. These units either work at full capacity to cool your home. You set them to turn on at a specific temperature, and they turn off again when the air goes below that temperature.

The main benefit of a single-stage unit is its low complexity, resulting in lower maintenance bills. However, they’re generally less efficient.

Dual-Stage Condensers

Unlike a single-stage condenser, a dual-stage alters its output depending on the temperature. These units offer two settings – high and low. By contrast, they can keep your home at an even temperature for longer.

Variable Speed Condensers

The most energy-efficient unit, a variable speed condenser has multiple settings meaning it can keep your home at a comfortable temperature regardless of the heat outside. Air flows through the unit almost constantly, keeping your indoor air cool and clean.

There is a downside, though. These units have a higher price tag and must match the same manufacturer as your furnace, thermostat, and evaporator coil.

Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings

Want to save money on your energy bills and care for the environment? Selecting the right energy efficiency for your air conditioner will help you achieve both.

Start by looking for the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). The higher the SEER rating, the better the energy efficiency and the more comfortable the temperature in your home.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, energy-efficient units tend to cost more. But the good news is they’ll save you money in the long term.

A Few More Considerations Before You Purchase

You know which condenser to go for, and you’ve all the knowledge on energy efficiency. But there are still a few other things to think about before buying your new air conditioning unit.


You don’t want to break the bank, so think about how much you can afford to spend. The latest model with all the bells and whistles might sound good, but it’s best to look for something else if you can’t quite fit it into the budget.

Air conditioner prices


Some companies, like Adeedo, offer HVAC financing. Speak to one of our advisors to learn more.

Tax Credits and Rebates

The new Inflation Reduction Act has introduced rebates and tax credits for energy-efficient HVAC models.

Ready to purchase a new HVAC unit? Contact Adeedo today for more information.

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