If you are buying a window air conditioning unit or a mini split the heating or cooling capacity is almost always in BTU.
Most often home air conditioning units will be rated in Tons which can be confusing.
Both BTU and TON are used in HVAC to get an idea of how much cooling or heating capacity a unit has.
How Many BTU is 1 TON?
12,000 BTU is roughly equal to 1 TON.
BTU to TON Conversion Table
Why Do We Use TON?
When refrigeration was first introduced there were several methods for calculating the amount of energy needed.
One method which became very popular was the amount of energy needed to melt or freeze 1 ton of ice over 24 hours.
A machine that could freeze 1 Ton of ice over 24 hours was called a 1 TON unit.
This naming scheme for the amount of power an A/C unit can output has carried over to today and is still wildly used.
Why Do We Use BTU?
BTU or British Thermal Unit is another way to measure heating and cooling.
A BTU is the amount of heat or cooling power needed to raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
Since a BTU can measure heating and cooling capacity on a small scale it is often used for window air conditioners and mini split units.
If you are thinking about buying an HVAC unit such as a mini split and wonder how the sizes compare to standard home HVAC unit the above conversion table can help.
Most homes have a 2-3 TON unit that heats or cools the entire home.
The square feet of a home dictates how big a unit is needed to heat or cool it.
For example, a 1200 Square Foot home often has a 24,000 BTU or 2 TON unit.
Of course, the size can also vary depending on the climate and how well insulated a home is.
For example, in a very hot climate, a 1200 Square Foot home may have a 2 1/2 TON unit to give extra cooling capacity on a very hot day.
Both BTU or TON can be used to get an idea of how much cooling or heating capacity is needed for a home.
If you need to convert BTU to TON it is easy to do using the conversion table above.