How Many Square Feet Does a 3-ton Air Conditioner Cool

The size of your AC unit will determine the area it can cool. Getting the right size air conditioner for your home is imperative since it will ensure you cool your house effectively and efficiently.

To calculate how many square feet a 3-ton air conditioner can cool, you need to find the capacity of the ac in BTUs first.

How many BTUs are in a 3-ton Air Conditioner?

One ton equals 12,000 BTU. So, you will need to multiply three tons by 12,000 BTU.

3 tons x 12,000 BTU = 36,000 BTU

How many Square feet does a 36,000 BTU AC cool?

Here, we will rely on the rule of thumb: You need 20 BTU to cool one square foot.

So, we will divide 36,000 BTU by 20 BTU to get the area.

36,000 BTU ÷ 20 BTU = 1,800 sq. ft.

In short, a 3-ton air conditioner can cool 1,800 square feet.

How Much Does a 3-ton Air Conditioner Cost?

Average Cost

On average, it will cost you $5,900 to install a new 3-ton AC with 14 seer rating, which is a common choice for most residential HVAC systems. You should expect to pay between $4,030 and $9,620 for a central air conditioner product and $2,000 – $14,500 for a ductless split unit.

Installation Costs

The cost of installing an AC ranges between $500 and $2,500. It will cost more if you’re installing a brand new system since you need new ducts. Replacing an old unit should cost less since the duct system is already present.

Repair Costs

Replacing the entire ac unit can be expensive. If the AC is not working as expected, it would be better to make repairs.

On average, you should expect to pay $375 to repair your air conditioning unit. That is considerably cheaper than replacement costs that can go as high as $5,000.

3-Ton Air Conditioner Cost Factors

The cost of installing an air conditioner will vary depending on a variety of factors. They include:

  • Type (central ac)
  • Tonnage Size (3-ton)
  • SEER rating
  • Brand
  • Area of the home

Different SEER Ratings 3-Ton AC Cost

You can compare the cost of different SEER ratings 3-ton central air conditioners in the table below. Here, we use Trane single-stage ac as an example.

3-Ton AC SEER RatingsAC Product CostAC Installation Cost
13 seer$4,030$5,560
14 seer$4,290$5,900
15 seer$4,540$6,220
16 seer$4,780$6,540
17 seer$5,150$7,020
18 seer$5,520$7,510
19 seer$5,890$8,010
20 seer$6,280$8,510
21 seer$6,670$9,030
22 seer$7,070$9,550
23 seer$7,480$10,090
24 seer$7,890$10,630
25 seer$8,310$11,180
26 seer$8,740$11,740
27 seer$9,180$12,310
28 seer$9,620$12,880

Different Brands 3-Ton AC Cost

You can compare the cost of different brands of 3-ton central air conditioners in the table below. Here, we use 14 seer rating, single-stage ac as an example.

3-Ton AC BrandProduct PriceInstallation Cost
American Standard$4,270$5,870

3-Ton AC to Square Feet in Different Climate Zones

The temperature and humidity vary depending on the climatic region. Therefore, the climate zone you live in will determine the area your 3-ton air conditioner can cool.

The following table shows how much square footage a 3-ton air conditioner can cool in different climate zones.

Climate ZonesCooling BTUs Per Square FootageBest For (sq ft)
Climate Zone 1 & 2 (hot)22-30 BTUs / Sq. Ft.1,200 - 1,650 sq ft
Climate Zone 3 (warm)20-24 BTUs / Sq. Ft.1,500 - 1,800 sq ft
Climate Zone 4 (moderate)18-22 BTUs / Sq. Ft.1,700 - 2,000 sq ft
Climate Zone 5 (cool)16-20 BTUs / Sq. Ft.1,800 - 2,300 sq ft
Climate Zone 6 (cold)14-18 BTUs / Sq. Ft.2,000 - 2,600 sq ft
Climate Zone 7 (very cold)12-16 BTUs / Sq. Ft.2,300 - 3,000 sq ft

3-Ton Central AC vs. 3-Ton Mini Split AC

A central air conditioner cools the entire house. It can either be a packaged unit or a split system. The former houses all the elements in a single outdoor unit, while the latter has an indoor and outdoor unit.

Central ACs use vents to carry hot and cold air. The indoor unit (if present) is often out of sight, while the vents are not conspicuous.

On the other hand, a mini-split ac consists of an outdoor compressor and a wall or ceiling-mounted indoor air handler that releases cool air into the room.

Unlike central air conditioners, mini-split ACs don’t require vents. The two components connect using a conduit that passes through a three-inch hole on the wall.

A mini-split AC cools a single room by design. However, you can connect the outdoor compressor to multiple air handlers to cool additional rooms.

Which One is Better?

Central air conditioners are cheaper to install. But that is assuming the house already contains vents. Their major disadvantage is the need for regular cleaning and maintenance.

Mini-split units are cheaper to run since you can cool only the occupied rooms. However, they cost more to install and can be aesthetically unpleasing due to the mounted air handlers.

How Many Amps is a 3-ton AC Unit?

The number of amps your air conditioner uses will depend on the size of the unit and its energy efficiency.

A 3-ton AC unit draws between 7.5 and 12.3 amps depending on the SEER rating (14 to 24 SEER). For instance, a 16 SEER AC unit can draw 11.18 amps.

How Many Kwh Does a 3-ton Air Conditioner Use?

It takes 3,500 watts per hour to run a 3-ton air conditioner. To calculate how much power your AC will consume in kilowatts per day, you need to multiply the consumption rate by the number of hours it runs in a day.

Most ACs run for an average of four hours a day. So, how many watts does a 3-ton air conditioner use in a day? We need to multiply 3500 watts/hr by four hours.

3,500 watts x 4 hours =14,000 watts

One Kilowatt equals 1000 watts. Therefore, we will divide the answer by 1000 to get the results in Kwh.

14,000 watts ÷ 1000 watts = 14 Kwh

In other words, a 3-ton air conditioner uses 14 kWh of power per day.


Getting the right size AC unit for your house is critical. It will ensure your home remains comfortable without spending too much.

A 3-ton air conditioner can cool a 1,800 sq. ft. room. However, the area can vary depending on the climatic region, brand, SEER rating, and type of AC.

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