5000 BTU Air Conditioner Room Size: How Many Square Feet?

Even in air conditioning, size matters. When buying a 5000 BTU air conditioner, the most common question is this:

How many square feet will a 5000 BTU air conditioner cool?

The short answer: About 150 sq ft.

But here is the interesting part:

According to the EPA’s rule of thumb role, 5000 BTU room size should be 250 sq ft.

If you have a 150 sq ft room to cool, 5000 BTU will be more than enough.

However, EPA in their rule of thumb specifically recommends that we should calculate:

“20 BTU of cooling output per 1 sq ft.”

If we use this rule, we get the above stated 5000 BTU room coverage:

5000 BTU room size = 5000 BTU / 20 BTU per sq ft = 250 sq ft

So, how many square feet does a 5000 BTU air conditioner actually cool?

The 150 square footage coverage actually comes from the Energy Star air conditioner room sizing guide which states the following:

“5000 BTU air conditioner can cool a 100 to 150 sq ft room.”

Energy Star guidelines for 5000 BTU AC room sizing also recommends that you:

  • Increase capacity for a room with high sun exposure; +10% cooling output. That would reduce the 5000 BTU AC room size to 90-135 sq ft.
  • Decrease capacity for a room with low sun exposure; -10% cooling output. That would increase the 5000 BTU AC room size to 110-165 sq ft.
  • Adjustments for more than 2 people and kitchen are not really relevant for this smallest size of air conditioners.

Air Conditioners With 5000 BTU Cooling Output

Once you answer how big of a room will 5000 BTU AC cool, you should find the best 5000 BTU air conditioners.

Of all types of air conditioners – from portable, thru-the-wall, window, mini-split, central air conditioners – there is only one that can produce as little as 5000 BTU:

Window air conditioners. 

You can check the list of the best 5000 BTU window air conditioners here.

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