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What is AC Tonnage?

We know what you might be thinking – and no, tonnage does not refer to the physical weight of your air conditioner. Although tonnage is often referred to as the AC’s “size”, this really means its cooling capacity. More specifically, it tells how much heat the unit is able to remove from your house in one hour. For instance, a one ton air conditioner can remove 12,000 Btu’s of heat from your house in one hour’s time. A two ton air conditioner can remove 24,000 Btu’s, and so on.

So, what size of air conditioner do you need to effectively cool your home? That depends on various factors such as your home’s square footage, the number of occupants and the number of windows. Here’s a chart containing some of the typical AC sizes by square footage. If your home is larger than these examples, you may need multiple air conditioners working simultaneously. Anything over a 5-ton air conditioner is considered a commercial size and is not available for residential use.

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                                         Typical Tonnage by SQFT

       SQFT                                                                           Size in Tonnage


 750 to 1,000                                                                            1.5 - 2


1,050 to 1,400                                                                           2.5     

1,450 to 1,700                                                                           3         

1,750 to 1,900                                                                          3.5        

1,950 to 2,200                                                                          4           

2,250+                                                                                      5           

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