Tonnage Capacity in Air Conditioners – Explained

Tonnage Capacity in Air Conditioners - Explained

Tonnage Capacity in Air Conditioners – Explained – Choosing an Air Conditioner that is the best for you out of the hundreds of models manufactured by different brands on the market is no easy task. There’s a certain amount of research needed to determine the specific type of AC that you need. There are various factors that differ in different ACs such as the refrigerant gas, the material used in the condenser coil, the energy rating, etc. But arguably the most important factor to determine is the tonnage capacity that you require for your specific needs i.e. your room size. Why is it the most important, you ask? Well, if you choose an AC with a tonnage capacity lower than what your room needs you will not get enough cooling throughout the room. And if you get an AC with a tonnage capacity higher than what your room needs you’ll just be wasting extra money on your electricity bill not to mention the upfront cost of the Air Conditioner.

What Does Ton Represent in an AC?


A common misconception among people is that the ‘Ton’ mentioned in the description of ACs refers to its weight. But the ‘Ton’ really refers to the amount of heat required to melt one ton (907 Kg) of ice in 24 hours. So the term ‘Ton’ used in Air Conditioners is basically a unit of heat that the AC can remove in one hour. In simpler terms, one Ton equals 12000 BTUs [A BTU is a British Thermal Unit, approximately the amount of heat you get from burning one kitchen match all the way down]. So a one Ton AC can remove 12000 BTUs of heat from your room in one hour whilst a two Ton AC can remove 24000 BTUs of heat in the same amount of time. The amount of heat your room carries depends on its size. This is the reason why we use the area of the room (in square feet) to calculate the right tonnage for it [we’ll explain the formula down below].

Best 1.5 Ton Window ACs in India
Ton refers to the amount of heat required to melt one ton (907 Kg) of ice in 24 hours. 1 Ton equals 12000 BTUs (British Thermal Units).

How to find the right Tonnage Capacity for your room?


Straight to the point, follow these simple steps to calculate the right Tonnage Capacity for your room –

  1. Measure the dimensions of your room in which you wish to install the Air Conditioner using a measuring tape. Let’s say your room is 10 feet wide and 16 feet long. That means the total area of your room in square feet is 16 x 10 = 160 square feet. Further calculations will be performed on this number.
  2. Now take the square root of that value which in our case is 160 = 12.65 or round that up to 12.7.
  3. Now finally take that number and divide it by 10 to get the right Tonnage Capacity for your room which in our case is 12.7/10 = 1.27 or let’s just say 1.3. So an AC with tonnage capacity around 1.3 Tons will be right for us in this example. Now unless you are horrible at maths you must have your final number by now – but wait, it isn’t over yet, there are some more factors to consider.
  4. Some other factors that you may want to consider include any other extra heat sources that your room might be exposed to. Such heat sources may arise as a result of your apartment being on the topmost floor of your building, direct sunlight falling on the walls of your room that might be on the outside, or the concerned room being a kitchen or close to a kitchen. In such cases, we’d recommend adding 0.5 Tons to the number you just calculated to get your final tonnage capacity.

Tonnage Capacities for Different Room Sizes

Room Size100 Sq Ft150 Sq Ft200 Sq Ft250 Sq Ft400 Sq Ft
Tonnage Capacity0.8 Tons1 Ton1.2 Tons1.5 Tons2 Tons

Importance of Choosing the right Tonnage Capacity


As mentioned earlier, if you choose an AC with tonnage less than what our room requires – your AC won’t be able to handle the heat and keep up on the hottest summer days or even hotter afternoons. But this doesn’t mean get the AC with the highest tonnage capacity as an oversized AC unit has its own disadvantages too. Buying an oversized system you’ll not only be wasting money on the unit itself but also on the electricity bill every month as well. Not only that but short cycling causes increased wear and tear of the unit, resulting in more repairs and premature replacement. Short cycling also prevents dehumidification, which will leave you with cold and moist feeling. So even if you have the money, buying an oversized AC is not worth it.


And that concludes the article. We hope you liked it! If you have any further queries you can ask them below in the comments or you can contact us via email.

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