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What Size AC for 1000 Sq Ft? (Read This First!)

If you’re going shopping for a brand new air conditioner, you would expect the ac to cool your rooms perfectly. If your room becomes too chilly or too warm when the ac is on, the appliance doesn’t serve its purpose.

To make sure that your ac cools your room appropriately, it is important to bring in the right size of ac as well.

Ac size for 1000 sq ft:

For a 1000 square feet space, the most suitable size of ac unit would be 1 to 2 tons or 20,0000 BTU. You would need to consider factors like climate, exposure to the sun, number of windows, and heat insulation to determine the right size. Ductless mini splits are best for a 1000 sq ft area.

If you want your room to become comfortably cool, especially 1000 square feet, determining the right size is pivotal.

However, comfort is not the only factor that could change with the ac side. Energy efficiency, as well as the performance of the appliance is heavily impacted if the right sized ac is not fitted in a 1000 square feet space.

Using an ac that is too large for the space, could make the room too chilly to stay in. Using a smaller sized unit for the same space would mean your room will stay warm. The cost of running the unit would be much higher, with more chances of fast depreciation.

Although there is a set formula to calculate the right size of ac required for a 1000 square feet space, you can always rely on the rules set by the US Department of Energy or DOE.

The official body has stated that, for every square foot of space, with an average ceiling height of 8 feet, you would need a 20 BTU size air conditioner.

Going with the same conditions, if we are to find the size of an ac required for a 1000 square feet area, you would need an air conditioner of size 20,000 BTU.

Now, as you know, most air conditioning units are sold with sizes labeled in tons. If you wish to know what ton of cooling capacity is required, the calculation is simple. All you need to remember is that 1 ton equals 12,000 BTU.

This means, for a 1000 square feet area, you would need a 1.67 ton of ac. Hence most people use air conditioners, sized 1 to 2 tons for the same space.

You may want to remember that certain factors can affect the size of the ac you are planning to buy for your 1000-square-foot area.

You would need to take into consideration the size and number of windows, climate, sun exposure, insulation, the height of the ceiling, and the type of ac you are going to get.

How do I calculate what size air conditioner I need?

Calculating what size air conditioner is simple and knowing how to do it can eliminate hoards of confusion when you go shopping for an ac unit. Hence it is wise to do your homework before you go for the right size.

To calculate the size of the air conditioner you would need, you would first need to know the size of the room in square feet. If you already know the size of the room, you can go on with that number.

If not, you would need a measuring tape. First find out the length of the room, followed by the width. Multiply the two numbers to give you the square foot of the room.

Yet, if it is not one big space, you would need to repeat it for the smaller spaces. Subsequently, add up the size of each room to give you the size of the whole space.

Next, you would need to know what is the official size of ac unit allowed per square foot. This is usually set up by the department of energy of the state and may slightly vary from country to country.

It is usually from 20 BTU to 25 BTU. In the USA, for instance, the energy department has fixed 20 BTU for every square foot area with a ceiling height of about 8 feet.

Now to find out what size air conditioner you would need, simply multiply the per square meter size by the total area of the space. In this case, the cooling capacity or the unit size of the ac would be 20×1000 which is 20,000 BTU. You may also want to note that 1 ton is 12000 BTU.

What type of Air Conditioner is best for a 1000 sq ft space?

You can choose different types for you 1000 sq ft space. Let’s get to know the options.

Central ac:

If you have a 1000sq feet space, you could opt for a central air conditioning system. Central ac systems are perfect for bigger houses and can be up to 6 tons in cooling capacity.

A 1 to 2 tons of cooling capacity central ac could be good for a 1000 sq ft home but the cost of such a system is quite expensive.

Mini air split conditioners:

Since a 1000 square feet space is considered to be somewhat standard, the best option in air conditioner units would be mini air split conditioners.

Mini splits are ideal for both standard or small areas and a ductless one proves to be the most efficient.

One of the biggest advantages of using mini split air conditioners is how they can be used as heat generating appliances as well. With a 20+ SEER, the energy efficiency for mini split ac is at maximum when used in a 1000 sq ft area.

Now only is it cost efficient, but mini split acs can last up to 20 years when maintained. The running cost is also low, unlike central ac units. This is because there is no requirement for extra ductwork.

Things to consider before choosing an AC size for a 1000 sq ft home:

While the right size is mostly determined by the cooling space, there are a few vital factors that you need to consider before choosing the right ac size for your 1000 square feet home. Here are the factors that you need to keep in mind:

The climate in your state:

Climate is one of the most important factors to consider before deciding on the ac size. If you live in a hot state like Florida, a 1 ton ac should be underperforming. You would then need to choose an ac that is about 2 tons or more.

Facing direction:

Whether your house is south facing or west facing would also cause changes to the ac size your 10000 sq ft home requires. If the sun exposure is too much, you would want to get bigger sized units.

You can choose the conventional size if your house faces the north or east since the sun exposure is minimal.

Exterior walls:

The exterior walls of your home play a role in how much heat and light are absorbed and how much is reflected off. If you have a brick house, you would want to get a bigger sized ac.


Windows are a major ac size determining factor because windows either conserve energy or contribute to energy loss.

For instance, if there are too many windows, with single panes, the energy loss with being higher, requiring more tons of ac size.

Ceiling height:

The cooling capacity that we calculate is based on an average ceiling height of 8 feet.

As a rule of thumb, if the ceiling height increases, the cooling capacity and hence the size of the ac for the same 1000 sq ft home would need to increase.

Insulation and heating appliances:

The presence of heating units like we have in the kitchen would require more powerful ac units.

If your home is well insulated, smaller sized units will go a long way in terms of cooling performance.

Air Conditioner Cost for 1000 sq ft:

There are two different costs linked to ac usage. Let’s get to know them.

AC price:

The cost of a central ac price can vary from 2000 dollars to 2700 dollars. This price is for a 2-ton ac unit.

Likewise, a mini split would incur a similar cost of about 2500 dollars for a 1 to 2 tons ac unit.

Running cost:

One of the biggest problems of a central air conditioner system is its running cost which can total up the cost for a 1000 sq ft space ac to up to 5000 dollars. The ductwork, along with the professional installation can be quite robbing.

There is no running cost for mini splits, so you can save up to 6000 dollars.

Final thoughts

The most suitable size of air conditioner that should be used in a 1000 sq ft space should be from 1 to 2 tons. If your space has a higher ceiling height, faces the sun, and is situated in a hotter region, you may want to use bigger size ac. A mini split is a much more energy and cost-efficient.