What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need For 2,000 sq ft House

The capacity of your air conditioner determines its efficiency and effectiveness. Buying the right size unit for your home is, therefore, critical. It will keep your home comfortable while enhancing energy efficiency.

Perhaps, you're wondering, “How big of an ac unit do I need for a 2,000 sq ft house?” In this article, we teach you a simple method you can use to estimate the size of your ac. Also, we show you how to get a more accurate answer using our AC BTU calculator.

The Estimation Method

The estimation method is a simple way of calculating how many BTUs you need to cool your home.

How many BTU per square foot do you need? Well, according to the rule of thumb, you need 20 BTU per square foot.

The formula is straightforward: Multiply the area in sq ft by 20 BTU.

How Many BTU Do I Need for 2,000 sq ft?

We will use the estimation method above to calculate how many BTUs you need to cool your home. That is the area (2,000 sq ft) multiplied by 20 BTU (rule of thumb).

2,000 sq ft x 20 BTU = 40,000 BTU

In short, you will need 40,000 BTUs to cool a 2,000 square feet house.

What Ton Size Air conditioner do I need for 2,000 sq ft?

You can estimate the ton size of your air conditioner by converting BTUs to tons. The rule is one ton equals 12,000 BTU.

So, you need to divide 40,000 BTU by 12,000 to convert it to tons.

40,000 BTU ÷ 12,000 BTU = 3.3 tons

The only tonnage sizes for air conditioners are 1.5 ton, 2 ton, 2.5 ton, 3 ton, 3.5 ton, 4 ton, and 5 ton. The closest to 3.3 is 3.5.

Therefore, you need a 3.5-ton air conditioner to cool a 2,000 sq ft house.

You can look at the ac tonnage chart (link to AC Tonnage Calculator article) to see which ac tonnage size corresponds to specific room sizes.

The Accurate Method

The estimation method only accounts for room size and does not consider other factors. These include the number of windows and doors, insulation, number of people living in the house, and ceiling height.

If you hire a professional contractor, they will consider these and other factors when calculating the cooling load. That’s because they use the Manual J process, which the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) recommends.

But you can use our AC BTU calculator, which simplifies the process if you don’t want to spend time and money hiring a professional.

Let’s use the calculator to answer the question: How many BTU do I need for 2,000 sq ft?

We will use the following conditions

  • Climate region: Zone 5
  • Sun exposure: Average
  • Insulation: Good
  • Number of windows: 6
  • Number of doors: 1

According to the calculator, you need an ac capacity of 29,800 - 37,000 BTU. The option for this size range is a central air conditioner.

AC Sizing Chart for 2,000 sq ft House in Different Climate Zones

The following table displays the recommended air conditioner tonnage sizes for a 2,000 sq ft house in different climate zones.

Climate ZonesRecommend Air Conditioner BTU SizeRecommend Air Conditioner Tonnage Size
Climate Zone 1 & 2 (hot)44,000 - 60,000 btu3.5 - 5 ton
Climate Zone 3 (warm)40,000 - 48,000 btu3 - 4 ton
Climate Zone 4 (moderate)36,000 - 44,000 btu3 - 3.5 ton
Climate Zone 5 (cool)32,000 - 40,000 btu2.5 - 3 ton
Climate Zone 6 (cold)28,000 - 36,000 btu2 - 3 ton
Climate Zone 7 (very cold)24,000 - 32,000 btu2 - 2.5 ton

How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cost for a 2,000 sq ft home

Central air conditioner units differ in price depending on their size. The cost of buying a 29,800-37,000 BTU (2.5 to 3 tons) central ac ranges between $2,750 and $4,500.

Final Word

In summary, you can use the estimation method to calculate what size air conditioner you need. If you want a more accurate result, however, use our ac BTU calculator. It accounts for other factors apart from size. These include climate region, sun exposure, insulation, and the number of windows and doors.

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