Is 10000 BTU Good Enough For Portable ACs?

If you’re looking to buy your way out of the latest heatwave, and you don’t want the expense or hassle of installing a full air conditioning system into your home. And all the facts and figures concerning portable air conditioners seem too complicated, keep reading.

In this article, we look at the 10000 BTU portable air conditioner range and explain all you need to know to understand whether it’s the right sized unit for your home.

What Is 10000 BTUs?

All fuels and heat sources are measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) – 1 BTU equals the amount of energy required to raise 1 pound of liquid by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

1 BTU is also equal to the amount of heat produced by 1 burning match.

When used in terms of air conditioners, BTUs are used to describe the amount of heat that can be removed and not produced. This means that a 10000 BTU portable air conditioner can remove the heat equivalent of 10000 burning matches per hour.

How Big Of A Room Will A 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Cool?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that you need 20 BTUs of cooling power for every square foot of area. Which means a 10000 BTU portable air conditioner has enough cooling power for a room with an area of 500 square feet.

However, you don’t need a degree in mathematics to work out how many BTUs you will need to cool your room. All you need is a measure, a calculator and the following equation.

L x W x H x 5 = BTUs

So all you need to do is find the length and width of your room plus the height of the ceiling and you can determine the number of BTUs you will need to cool it.

If your room is 18 ft long, 15 ft wide with a ceiling height of 7 ft the calculation would look as follows

18ft X 15ft X 7ft X 5 = 9450 BTU

If your room has similar dimensions to this, a 10000 BTU portable A/C will be perfect.

SEE ALSO: The Top Portable Air Conditioners You Can Get In The UK


Is 10,000 BTU Enough For A Small Room?

Yes a 10000 BTU portable A/C is enough for a small room. In some cases, a 10000 BTU unit could be too powerful for a small room if it isn’t used correctly.

This is because if the heat is removed from the room too quickly, it could leave humidity behind. That humid air can lead to the room becoming damp which can cause mould, peeling wallpaper, and other problems associated with damp.

Also, running a portable A/C with more power than is required will use extra electricity. The Higher the BTU rating the more electricity the unit will draw. Which means higher than necessary electricity bills.

Is 10000 BTU Enough For A Large Room?

Yes, a 10000 BTU portable A/C is enough for a large room. Well, a large room with an area of up to 500 square feet. Which we would consider to be a large room, in fact there are many flats and apartments that have less area than 500 square feet.

But, the size of the room isn’t the only consideration when it comes to the power of a portable A/C. You see certain outside sources of heat need to be factored into your overall BTU requirements.

For example; If the room gets direct sunlight, you’ll need to add 10% to the overall BTU count, any people over 2 using the room at any 1 time, you’ll need to add 1000 BTU per person, if the room is a kitchen, you’ll need to add 4000 BTU to your final tally.

Plus there are any other heat sources that need to be considered, these are usually electrical devices like TVs, PCs, lamps etc. Which can all add to the total BTU requirement.

What Would Happen If You Were To Install An Underpowered Portable A/C?

If you installed a portable A/C which had a too low BTU rating, the room would never get cooled to the desired level. Plus, the motor would be constantly running in an attempt to cool the room which would cause the motor and other internal components to wear out prematurely.

So using an underpowered portable A/C would cost more to run due to the constant demands on power, and the A/C would break down frequently and need extra maintenance.

Portable Air Conditioner

Is 10000 BTU Enough For A Living Room?

Yes a 10000 BTU portable A/C is enough for a living room as long as the area of the room doesn’t exceed 500 square feet and you’ve taken into account all of the other factors.

Remember sunlight, the amount of people using the room and any other heat sources all need to be taken into consideration.

Is 10000 BTU Enough For A Bedroom?

A 10000 BTU portable A/C is definitely enough for a bedroom. In many cases, a 10000 BTU unit will be too powerful for a bedroom.

Bedrooms are typically smaller rooms than living rooms for example. Which means there’s a smaller area to cool. Added to which, most of us sleep through the hours of darkness which means the A/C doesn’t have to contend with the heat of the sun.

Plus most people don’t have too many electrical appliances in the bedroom and most bedrooms only have 1 or 2 occupants.

The only outlier to this is a bedsit or a houseshare. In those circumstances, you might find yourself spending a lot of your time in the room during the day and you could also own a TV, PC, etc.

Is A 10000 BTU AC Too Much For A Bedroom?

In many cases, a 10000 BTU portable A/C will be too much for a bedroom. Unless you use it correctly, a portable A/C with too much power could cause issues with damp.

This is the reason we always recommend purchasing the correct size portable A/C for the size of your room.

How Many Watts Is 10000 BTU?

A 10000 BTU portable A/C will consume around 1 kilowatt of power per hour. You can determine the wattage of a portable A/C by dividing the BTU by 10.

How Much Will It Cost To Run A 10000 BTU Portable A/C?

At current UK electricity prices of 34p, it will cost 34p per hour to run a 10000 BTU portable A/C. This means if you were to run your 10000 BTU portable A/C for a full 24 hours it would cost £8.16p.

Energy Saving Hints

There are a couple of ways to save energy and money when running a portable A/C, these are;

  1. Choose a model with “eco-settings” which help to keep the room cool without using too much energy.
  2. Keep the A/C away from any sources of heat in the room. If the A/C detects heat from appliances like TVs, PCs, lamps, etc, it will keep trying to cool them down. Which it can’t while the TV etc is running.

The positioning of the A/C is critical to keep it running efficiently. As the unit needs access to an outside window, positioning can be limiting but by keeping it away from electrical devices, you will save energy.


Frequently Asked Questions

How big of a room will a 10000 BTU portable air conditioner cool?

A 10000 BTU portable A/C will comfortably cool a room with an area of up to 500 square feet. However if there are other factors such as multiple people in the room and heat emitting appliances, it might do better in a 400 to 450 square feet room.

Is 10000 BTUs good for a portable AC?

10000 BTUs is good for a portable A/C as long as your room has an area of under 500 square feet. 400 to 450 square feet might be better if it’s a room with lots of people in or appliances that kick out heat, such as TV’s, computers and lamps.

How much does it cost to run a 10000 BTU portable air conditioner for 24 hours?

The cost of running a 10000 BTU portable A/C at current UK electricity prices is around £8.16p.

How many watts does a 10000 BTU portable air conditioner use?

A 10000 BTU portable air conditioner uses around 900 to 1000 watts (1 kilowatt) per hour.

Is a 10000 BTU portable A/C enough for a bedroom?

A 10000 BTU portable A/C  is enough for a bedroom and, depending on the size of the bedroom, it could be too powerful. There are often less factors to draw on the BTU count in a bedroom. For instance; as we tend to sleep during the night, there is no sunlight to affect the heat level.

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