Confused about the right AC unit size for a 1200 square foot space? You’re in the right place.
Understand the factors and calculations in depth. Ensure your space stays comfortably cool without breaking the bank on energy bills.
Get set for a chill summer ahead!
What Size AC Unit Do I Require For 1200 Square Feet?
For a 1200 square foot area, you generally need an AC unit with a cooling capacity of 24,000 BTUs per hour. Factors like insulation, sunlight exposure, and local climate can influence the ideal size.
AC unit size chart for 1200 Square Feet:
|Type of AC Unit
|Cooling Capacity (BTUs per hour)
|Central Air Conditioner
|18,000 – 30,000
|Mild to Hot
|Ductless Mini-Split System
|12,000 – 18,000
|Mild to Hot
|18,000 – 30,000
|Mild to Cold
|12,000 – 18,000
|Mild to Hot
|12,000 – 18,000
|Mild to Hot
Types of AC Units Suitable for 1200 Square Feet
Central Air Conditioners
Central air conditioners are systems designed to cool an entire building. They channel cool air through vents and ducts.
Within this setup, the outdoor section contains both a compressor and a condenser. Meanwhile, the indoor segment boasts an evaporator and blower.
This intricate mechanism essentially works by extracting the warmth from the indoor atmosphere and releasing it outside, ensuring the residence is filled with cool, refreshing air.
While central air conditioners are famed for evenly cooling every corner of a house and operating with a hush, they come with a significant price tag.
They also demand substantial ductwork, which can occupy valuable space, potentially leak, and even lose a chunk of its cooling energy.
Ductless Mini-Split Systems
Opting for a ductless mini-split system means choosing a unit that cools particular rooms without the use of ducts.
Its outdoor portion has the same compressor and condenser found in other systems, but what makes it unique is its multiple indoor counterparts, each housing an evaporator and blower.
These indoor and outdoor parts are connected by a slender refrigerant line.
While installation and maintenance are fairly straightforward, and there’s no need for bulky ducts.
Such systems can be noisier and have a limited cooling range, and integrating them with existing heating systems might prove challenging.
Transitioning to a heat pump system introduces a dual functionality of both cooling and heating.
By merely toggling the refrigerant cycle’s direction, homeowners can dictate whether they’d like to introduce warmth or coolness to their interiors.
This versatility, combined with greater energy efficiency compared to standard heaters and the ability to filter out airborne particles, makes heat pumps an attractive choice.
Just like the central air conditioners, they require ductwork, can be affected by extreme weather conditions, and might not be the most aesthetically pleasing or quiet option.
Incorporating a window unit entails an AC system that’s solely devoted to one room and is typically mounted on a window or wall.
The entire mechanism, from the compressor to the blower, is housed within this single unit.
This mechanism functions by capturing the indoor heat, processing it, and then releasing it outside, ensuring the specific room remains cool.
These units are often celebrated for their affordability and simplicity, but they do come with their set of challenges.
They can obstruct the scenic view outside the window, be a potential security risk, and, over time, inflict damage on windows or walls.
The hallmark of a portable unit is its mobility. Stationed on wheels, it’s designed to cool a singular room.
All its components, from the compressor to the blower, are neatly packed within this roving unit.
A distinct feature is its hose, which is responsible for directing the hot air outside.
While they are undoubtedly versatile, user-friendly, and apt for temporary setups, they might not be the most silent or energy-efficient.
Their footprint also occupies floor space, which can be a tripping hazard for the unwary, and they sometimes run the risk of leaks.
Calculating the Correct AC Unit Size for 1200 Square Feet
BTUs stand for British Thermal Units. This term measures how much heat an AC can remove from the air in one hour. A higher BTU rating means the AC is more powerful.
But a super high BTU rating isn’t always the best. An AC unit too big for your space will cool it too fast. Then it will turn off.
This can cause uneven cooling and wasted energy. An AC unit too small will keep running. It will have trouble cooling your space. Your space won’t be cool enough.
The AC unit might wear out faster. You need an AC unit that fits your space just right.
The Role of Insulation
Insulation is a material. It slows down heat moving between two places. The better your space’s insulation, the less heat will move in or out.
A space with good insulation needs less cooling. That’s because less outside heat comes in. And less cool air goes out.
Sunlight and Windows Consideration
Sunlight and windows can make a space hotter. They let in more heat. If your space has more sunlight or windows, it might get hotter.
Then you’d need an AC with a higher BTU rating. You can use a table to help you adjust your BTU estimate.
This table uses correction factors. These factors consider the number and direction of windows.
|Number of Windows
|Orientation of Windows
|East or West
|North and South
|East and West
|3 or more
For example, you have two windows. One faces east. The other faces west. You would use a correction factor of 1.35.
Multiply your BTU estimate by this number. Now you have the right AC unit size.
Factors Influencing AC Unit Size Selection for 1200 Square Feet
Climate and Geography
Your location’s climate and geography play a big role. In hot and humid places, you’ll use the AC more. The unit should be strong and handle humidity well.
In cold and dry places, you’ll use the AC less. Look for a unit with cooling and heating. This type also needs to handle dryness well.
Building and Roof Insulation
Building and roof insulation decide how heat stays or leaves. Good insulation means less heat enters or leaves. You’ll need a lower BTU rating.
Bad insulation means more heat moves. So, you’ll need a higher BTU rating.
Number and Type of Windows
Windows decide how heat moves too. More windows mean more heat movement. So, you’ll need a higher BTU rating. But window type is key too.
Double-pane windows are better than single-pane ones. They have an air gap that keeps heat out. Low-emissivity windows are great too.
They have a special coat that bounces back heat.
Tall ceilings mean more air in the space. You’ll need a higher BTU rating for more air.
Number of Occupants
More people means more body heat. So, with more occupants, you need a higher BTU rating.
Energy Efficiency Ratings
Energy efficiency ratings show how well the AC uses power. Higher ratings mean less power for the same coolness. Two main types are SEER and EER.
SEER is for a full season. EER is for a specific outdoor temperature. High SEER or EER means the AC is super efficient.
For example, in the USA, central air conditioners should have a SEER of 13 or 14. Their EER should be 11.5 or 12.
Desired Temperature Settings
Your desired temperature affects cooling power needs. Lower temperatures need more power. The best range is 75°F to 78°F.
This balance gives comfort and saves energy.
Zonal Cooling Preferences
Zonal cooling preferences decide if you want even coolness. For even coolness, choose a single-zone system. This is a central AC or heat pump.
If you want different coolness in rooms, pick a multi-zone system. Here, ductless mini-splits or multiple window units work well.
Your budget decides what you can spend. AC unit prices depend on many things. This includes type, size, brand, and features. More advanced AC units cost more.
But they might save money in the long run. They can be more efficient and last longer.
Available Warranty and Service Options
Warranty and service options give you peace of mind. They protect if something goes wrong. Look for long and detailed warranties.
They may cost more but are often worth it. Some need online registration. Some need you to use certain service people. Always check the details.
Tips for AC Efficiency and Performance in a 1200 Square Foot Area
Here are some tips for AC efficiency and performance in a 1200 square foot area:
You need regular maintenance for your AC unit. Regular maintenance keeps it working well. Clean or replace the air filters often. Clean the coils, fins, and drains.
Check the refrigerant level and pressure often. Moving parts need lubrication. Always inspect the electrical parts. Following the maker’s guide is key.
You can also get a professional to help. Maintenance boosts airflow and performance. It also helps your AC last longer.
Using Programmable Thermostats
Use a programmable thermostat. It adjusts the AC temperature for you. Set the temperature to fit your daily routine. Raise the temperature when you’re away.
Lower it when you’re home. Different rooms can have different temperatures. This thermostat cuts down your cooling costs. You can save up to 10% this way.
Proper Placement of Units
Place your AC unit in the right spot. Avoid direct sunlight and heat. Keep away from obstructions and vents. Your AC unit needs space around it.
This space helps with airflow. Proper placement stops overheating. It also prevents other problems.
Sealing and Insulation
Seal and insulate your space. Seal doors and windows well. Use caulk or weather stripping. Add insulation to walls and the roof. Cover windows with curtains or blinds.
Put rugs or carpets on the floors. Sealing and insulating keep heat out. Your AC works less and your room feels better.
FAQs About The Right Size Air Conditioner For 1,200 Sqft
Is It Possible To Replace A 2-Ton Air Conditioner With A 3-Ton For A 1,200 Sq Ft?
Perhaps, this is dependent on the condition of your home.
Where Should I Place The AC In My Room?
A room with a conventional 9-foot ceiling height has less volume than a home with a high ceiling.
What Sort Of Plug, And Voltage Do I Require?
The voltage and amperage needs of your new AC will be determined by the plug type.
Attempting to put your air conditioner into a different plug type or voltage outlet may be quite dangerous.
Is Direct Airflow Important?
If you want to place the air conditioner in a window behind a couch or other impediment, directional ventilation is very critical.
Choosing the right AC unit size for 1200 square feet can be challenging. Many factors play a role, from climate to ceiling height.
Remember, it’s not just about square footage. Consider insulation, windows, and energy efficiency ratings. Always keep your desired temperature and budget in mind.
With the right knowledge, you can optimize comfort and savings. You’ll be glad you did when your summers are over.