0
$\begingroup$

I live in a relatively old apartment complex near Manhattan Beach (Los Angeles, CA, USA). No A/C. I'm looking at buying a portable one, the kind where you exhaust the hot air out a tube out the window. I'm researching what capacity I would need to be comfortable.

The number that's thrown around is 20 BTU/sq ft (because in 'Merca, we measure A/C capacity in BTU/hr...). I don't understand where this number comes from. My calculations tell me it takes 3.253e-2 BTU per K per ft^3 to cool (or heat) air. I'll pretend that the A/C is going to evenly cool the entire air column equally. Which means, with my 8 ft ceilings, 20 BTU/sq ft would result in a temperature change of more than 75 K/degrees C. Obviously that's not happening. What am I missing?

Given my 8 ft ceilings and my ~500 sq ft living room and the fact that I live in a very pleasant climate and only need to cool my apartment by a few degrees, the recommended 20*500=10,000 BTU/hr air conditioner seems like major overkill.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The A/C doesn't just cool the air once. You need to remove all the heat energy that is entering the room. Computers, lights, people, pets, cooking all add BTUs each hour. Sunlight, heat flow through windows, walls, ceiling... It gets complicated very quickly. $\endgroup$ – DJohnM Sep 5 '16 at 5:07
0
$\begingroup$

Air conditioner capacity is usually given in BTU/hr or Tons. One Ton cooling capacity is equal to 12000 BTU/hr. Some times the hr is omitted, so 12000 BTU would really be 12000 BTU/hr. Also, some times, vendors also omit the 1000's. So your 20 BTU would actually be 20000 BTU/hr.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.