Is 6000 BTU Good Enough For Portable ACs?
As soon as the temperature begins to rise we all start looking for ways to cool down. There are times when an electric fan just isn’t enough to lower the temperature at all.
We all know that realistically, the only way to cool down indoors is to use air conditioning. But for the short time that we get treated to tropical weather here in the UK, it’s not worth the faff or the expense of installing air conditioning.
Even window A/Cs would spend at least 75% of the year sitting dormant which means installing a window A/C would be an unnecessary expense as well.
The only logical solution is to get a portable air conditioner. But with so many different size models available, how do you know which one is the right one for you?
In this article we take a look at 6000 BTU portable air conditioners and answer all of the questions you’re likely to have concerning the 6000 BTU portable A/C. If, after reading this article you have any questions we haven’t covered, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section below.
What Does 6000 BTU Mean?
A BTU or British Thermal Unit is the international unit of measurement for the heat content of fuels and energy sources. 1 BTU is equal to the amount of energy needed to raise 1 pound of liquid by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
In A/Cs it’s the amount of heat removed from the room so not raised, but decreased.
1 BTU is the equivalent to the amount of heat energy that comes from a burning match. In this case, that’s the equivalent to the heat removing power of 6000 burning matches.
What Size Area Is A 6000 BTU Portable A/C Enough For?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US, states that 20 BTUs of cooling power are needed for each square foot of room.
This means a 6000 BTU portable A/C is sufficient for a room with an area of up to 300 square feet.
We know what you’re thinking, how do you work out the square footage of a room? Well, it’s actually not that difficult, all you need is a measure, calculator and the following equation.
L x W x H x 5 = BTUs where L=Length, W=Width and H=Height.
Once you have the measurements for the length, width and height of the room you can easily determine the square footage.
A standard room that measures 12 foot by 12 foot with a ceiling height of 8 foot has an area of 5760 square feet. We calculated this using the above formula which looked like this;
12ft X 12ft X 8ft X 5 = 5760 BTU
So a 6000 BTU portable A/C would be the perfect size for a 12 foot long by 12 foot wide room with a ceiling height of 8 feet.
Is 6000 BTU Enough For A Small Room?
The answer to this question has to start with a question, do you consider a 12 foot by 12 foot room small? It all depends on the size of your house really.
As we’ve just seen, a 6000 BTU portable air conditioner is the correct size for a 12 foot by 12 foot room. But that’s only part of the story, because it’s not just the room size that needs to be taken into account.
There are other factors that will also add to the BTU count for effective cooling. Factors including;
- Direct sunlight
- Internal heat sources
- The number of people in the room.
These factors all need to be considered when calculating the correct BTU rated A/C for the room.
- Direct sunlight in the room means you need to add an extra 10% to the area total.
- The number of people over and above 2 in the room means you’ll need to add 1000 BTUs per person.
- Internal heat sources like TVs, PCs, Stoves and ovens all need to be taken into account. In fact, you should add an extra 4000 BTUs over and above the rooms dimensions for kitchens.
If the room only gets indirect sunlight, never has any more than 2 people in it and has no visible heat source other than a TV, then a 6000 BTU portable A/C will be perfect for this room.
However, you never want the portable A/C to have to work too hard (more on this later) and there are some guidelines in place that state that a 6000 BTU portable A/C should only be used in rooms with a total area of 250 square feet.
Is 6000 BTU Enough For A Large Room?
This depends on your concept of large and small, if you consider a 12 foot long by 12 foot wide room to be large, then yes, 6000 BTU is enough.
The maximum area a 6000 BTU portable A/C will work efficiently (assuming there are no outlying factors) is 300 square feet.
If a 12 X 12 room is large to you, then yes, 6000 BTU is enough for a large room. However, if your room is larger than this, you will need to get measuring and do the above calculation to find the perfect size portable A/C for your room.
What Happens If You Use A Portable A/C With Too Few BTUs?
The reality is, using a portable A/C unit which is not powerful enough will cause the A/C to work harder. It will need to run continuously to try to maintain the cool temperature.
This puts pressure on the internal components of the unit which will make it more liable to break down and need more maintenance.
Plus as the unit will be running constantly, it will use more energy which means it will cost more to run. And with energy prices as they are now, nobody wants to be using more power than they need to.
Is 6000 BTU Enough For A Living Room?
Even after measuring the room and doing the calculation above, you might still need a bigger A/C than you planned if it’s for a living room.
You will already have accounted for sunlight and the number of people using the room but there’s another factor that needs to be considered when working out the requirements for a living room.
That is electrical appliances, things like; TVs, PCs, laptops, even lamps and light bulbs can all add heat to the room. This heat can be anything from 50 to 500 watts. This extra heat will need to be factored into your final BTU tally.
Is 6000 BTU Enough For A Bedroom?
Most people have less electrical appliances in their bedrooms because they have different rooms designated for different activities. Which often means the bedroom needs less power when it comes to a portable A/C.
Plus most people use their bedrooms during the hours when there’s no sunlight and with the curtains closed. So as long as the overall area is less than 300 square feet, a 6000 BTU portable A/C will be enough.
This could all change however, if you live in a bedsit or a houseshare. If you spend all of your time in that bedroom, and you have a TV, PC, laptop and lamps etc, you might need to recalculate your BTU requirements.
Is 6000 BTU Too Much For A Bedroom?
Unless your bedroom is very small, you will probably find that a 6000 BTU portable A/C is adequate for cooling the room. Obviously, you’ll need to do the measuring and work out exactly. But there’s only one size of portable A/C lower than a 6000 which is a 5000 which is suitable for rooms with an area of around 250 square feet or less.
What Happens If You Use An Air Conditioner With Too Much Power?
If you were to decide to buy the portable A/C with the highest BTU rating you could find. And you were to use it in a small room. It would cool the room extremely fast which you would think was great right?
However, if the room cools down too fast, it would leave too much humidity behind. That humidity would cause the room to become damp.
Added to which, the powerful A/C would use an awful lot of electricity too which would cost more to run.
How Many Watts Is 6000 BTU?
A typical 6000 BTU portable air conditioning unit uses between 500 to 600 watts of power per hour. To get an approximate wattage just divide the BTUs by 10.
How Much Will It Cost To Run A 6000 BTU Portable A/C?
It will cost about 20.5 p per hour to run a 6000 BTU portable A/C that’s at the current UK price of 34p per unit of electricity. We worked this out by multiplying the rate of electricity by the kilowatt value of 6000 BTU.
What Else Should You Consider?
To save money on the running costs of a portable A/C, there are a few hacks that can be applied.
- Choose an A/C with “eco-settings” ; these will help you keep energy costs lower while still keeping the room cool.
- Keep the A/C as far away from any heat source in the room as possible. Things like the TV, PC etc that produce heat will all make your A/C unit work harder. This is because it will detect the heat produced by these electrical appliances and keep trying to cool them down.
- Portable Air Conditioner BTU (what it means & how to choose)
- Portable Air Conditioner Vs Air Cooler
- How Much Does It Cost To Run A Portable Air Conditioner? (UK prices)
Frequently Asked Questions
As a general rule, a 6000 BTU air conditioner will cool a room with an area up to 300 square feet.
The more BTUs an A/C can cool, the more electricity it will consume.
A 6000 BTU portable A/C has enough cooling power for an area of between 250 to 300 square feet. As long as your bedroom is no larger than that, 6000 BTU will be enough.
At the current rate of electricity in the UK of 34p per unit, it would cost around £4.90 to run a 6000 BTU portable A/C for 24 hours. However, once the desired temperature has been achieved, the A/C’s motor would cut out which would mean the A/C would not be running for a full 24 hours.
A 6000 BTU portable A/C is good for rooms with an area of between 250 to 300 square feet.
If you use an under powered portable A/C in a large room, the A/C would be running all the time to try to cool the room. This would lead to the internal components of the unit to wear out prematurely. As well as costing more to run due to the constant power demand of the unit.
A 6000 BTU portable air conditioner uses anywhere between 500 to 600 watts per hour.
6000 BTU is the amount of cooling power a portable A/C has. BTU stands for British Thermal Units and is the way the heat content is measured in fuel and heat sources. It is the amount of heat needed to raise 1 pound of liquid by 1 degree Fahrenheit. In A/Cs it is the amount of heat removed from the room. 1 BTU is the equivalent heat produced by a burning match, which means 6000 BTUs is equal to 6000 burning matches.