Before purchase an air conditioner, you need to make the AC tonnage calculation. Not sizing one AC unit properly can reason $100s in wasted unit expenses or future power costs.

You are watching: How many square feet in a ton

According come the DOE,

“…an air conditioner typically needs 20 BTU for each square foot of living space.”

We need to convert BTU come tonnage. 1 ton equals 12,000 BTU. That way that, top top average, us will need 0.0016 tons per square foot.

To properly get the tonnage the the AC you need, you can use the AC tonnage calculator here:

For example, a standard 1,500 sq ft home would require a 2.5-ton waiting conditioner. To help us out, here is a quick table reflecting how numerous tons (and BTU) air conditioners we need for particular square footage:

Tonnage Table

Area (Square Feet):BTUTonnage
600 sq ft12,000 BTU1 Ton
900 sq ft18,000 BTU1.5 Tons
1,200 sq ft24,000 BTU2 Tons
1,500 sq ft30,000 BTU2.5 Tons
1,800 sq ft36,000 BTU3 Tons
2,100 sq ft42,000 BTU3.5 Tons
2,400 sq ft48,000 BTU4 Tons
2,700 sq ft54,000 BTU4.5 Tons
3,000 sq ft60,000 BTU5 Tons
3,300 sq ft66,000 BTU5.5 Tons
3,600 sq ft72,000 BTU6 Tons

Here is the most frequently asked question around tonnage, BTU, and area (square footage):

How many Tons the AC every Square Foot? (Tonnage every Square Foot)

Simple answer: You need 0.0016 lots of AC per square foot.

In short, if you’re looking to cool under a 600 sq ft area, you would certainly need:

AC capacity = 600 sq ft * 0.0016 tons/sq ft = 1 Ton

In general, because that every 600 sq ft, you need 1 ton the AC. This is a basic estimate.

You deserve to use the ‘tonnage per square foot’ formula to calculate how numerous tons the AC girlfriend need. Here is the formula:

AC capacity (Tonnage) = (INSERT AREA IN SQ FT) * 0.0016 tons/sq ft

You have the right to insert the area and calculate how countless tons that AC you need per details square footage.

When you calculation the tonnage, friend can check out several 1-4 ton mini-split air conditioners here:

Hope this helps. If you have any kind of questions, you deserve to pose them in the comments below.

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44 thoughts on “AC Tonnage Calculator: Insert Tons, acquire Square Footage”


Based on the tables & calculations ns can discover online, mine unit have to be somewhere between 4.5 tons and practically 6 tons.

I would suppose an under-spec’d device to run all the time just trying to keep up. Yet ours go not. We had actually an A/C service come the end recently and also he suggested that us add more return ducts.

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I to be trying to grasp what the symptom are as soon as the unit is under-sized. I would have actually expected the unit come burn out long prior to now if the was functioning to as well hard.

What am i missing?


I to buy a 15 year old two story home in Houston. My appraisal shows the residence is 4300 sqft (2400 on very first floor and 1900 on second floor). There’s high open up ceiling native entrance every the method through the life room. Property deals with west, so it it s okay a lot of evening sunlight in the front. The house has actually tall high ceiling glass windows in the back, but the morning sun in the back is partially shaded by high a ceiling patio. The home seems to have good insulation (but the is 15 year old). The house has actually the initial system mounted by the builder with two 3 ton units (Evaporator coils were readjusted in 2013). Ns am around to replace this system. Is this tonnage enough for this house? need to I go to a 4 ton/3.5 ton combo or possibly a 5 ton/4 ton combo? in ~ what suggest do us run into the problems of an overlapping AC?