Is 7000 BTU Good Enough For Portable ACs?
There comes a point every Summer when the temperatures soar and it becomes uncomfortable to just sit indoors. That’s the point when most of us start thinking about ways to cool the house or at least the room that we’re in.
Often our first thoughts are about fans, but all any fan does is push that hot air around the room, it can’t cool it down. For that you need an air conditioner. But living in the UK it’s not really worth going to the trouble and expense of installing a full air conditioning system.
Even window mounted A/Cs are more than likely going to sit idle and unused for 9 or even 10 months of the year. Buying a portable A/C makes perfect sense with weather as unpredictable as we have in the UK. But is a 7000 BTU portable A/C good enough?
That’s what this article is all about, we look at the whys and wherefores of getting a 7000 BTU portable A/C.
What Are BTUs & Why 7000?
The heat content in fuels and energy sources is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) . It is actually the amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of liquid by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
In air conditioners, it’s the amount of heat removed from the room. 1 BTU is equal to the heat released by 1 burning match. Which means that 7000 BTUs is able to remove the equivalent heat of 7000 burning matches.
How Much Area Will A 7000 BTU Portable A/C Cover?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that you need 20 BTUs of cooling power per square foot of room. This means a 7000 BTU portable A/C is suitable for a room of 350 square feet.
Which is wonderful as long as you know how to calculate the square footage of a room.
How To Calculate The BTUs Needed For Your Room
All you need to do is measure the length of the room, the width of the room and the height of the ceiling. Then do this simple calculation;
Length X Width X Height X 5 = BTU requirement.
So in a room with the following measurements;
- 14 foot long
- 12 foot wide
- 8 foot high
A portable A/C with a BTU rating of 7000 would be perfect because – 14 X 12 X 8 X 5 = 6720 BTU
Is 7000 BTU Enough For A Small Room?
If you consider a room with the measurements of 14 foot by 12 foot small, then a 7000 BTU portable A/C is enough for a small room.
However, there are other factors that need to be included with your calculation when it comes to buying the correct portable A/C for your room size.
If the room is in direct sunlight for example you’ll need to add 10% to your total BTU requirement.
If there are more than two people that regularly use that room, you’ll need to add 1000 BTU per person over and above two.
Any sources of heat in the room will also need to be taken into account. This includes;
If the room you’re trying to cool is a kitchen, you’ll need to add 4000 BTUs over the room’s dimensional requirements.
So, does this all mean that when it comes to portable A/Cs bigger is better? Well, yes, but only up to a certain point (more on this later).
You also don’t ever want the A/C unit to have to work too hard. Which means we would recommend a 7000 BTU portable A/C should only be used in a room with an area of 300 square feet.
This should keep the temperature cool without overworking the A/C.
Is 7000 BTU Enough For A Large Room?
The answer to this question depends on your idea of a large room. As we’ve seen already, a portable A/C with a 7000 BTU rating should be ideal for a room with a total area of 300 square feet.
So if a 14 ft by 12 ft room is a large room by your standards then yes, a 7000 BTU portable A/C will be enough.
What Would Happen If You Put A Too Small Portable A/C In A Large Room?
Firstly, the room wouldn’t be able to cool sufficiently but more importantly, the A/C would have to work too hard to try to cool the room which would eventually cause the motor or other internal components to break down.
Even if the unit didn’t break down, it would be using a great deal more electricity than is considered normal. Which of course, would mean higher than average electricity bills.
Is 7000 BTU Enough For A Living Room?
As we have seen, a 7000 BTU portable A/C should be the correct size for a room with a total area of between 300 to 350 square feet. However, there are other factors that need to be considered before buying an A/C for the living room.
Most people have a number of electrical appliances in the living room. Many of which produce some form of heat which will all affect the successful running of a portable A/C.
TVs, PCs, even lamps and ceiling lights can all add to the heat value of the room. Added to this is the number of people likely to use the room at one time. Remember to factor in the extra BTUs for any number of people above two, and don’t forget about sunlight.
Is 7000 BTU Enough For A Bedroom?
Once again, you’ll need to take into account the size of the room and the number of electrical devices in the room. But generally, most people don’t have many electrical appliances in their bedrooms.
Plus most people sleep at night so sunlight is not a factor, and the curtains are usually drawn as well.
So this all means that as long as the area of the room is between 300 and 350 square feet, a 7000 BTU portable air conditioner will be fine.
This could all change if you live in a bedsit or a houseshare and you spend all of your time in your bedroom using a PC or watching TV.
Is 7000 BTU Too Much For A Bedroom?
Taking all of the above into consideration, it is possible for a 7000 BTU portable A/C to be too much for a bedroom. Especially if that bedroom is around, say, 150 square feet.
What Would Happen If You Put A Portable A/C With Too Much Power In A Small Room?
We already pointed out the pitfalls of placing a small powered A/C in a large room, but what about having too many BTUs?
Putting a portable A/C unit which is too high powered or has too many BTUs would cool the room down extremely fast. But it could mean that because the air has cooled so fast it has left a lot of humidity behind.
This humidity would then go on to cause problems associated with dampness in the room.
The overpowered A/C would also use more power than was actually required and extra power means using more electricity.
How Many Watts Is 7000 BTU?
A 7000 BTU portable A/C uses around 650 watts when running on average. It will probably take around twice as much to start up, but once it’s running, it will use anywhere between 0.60 to 0.70 kilowatts.
What Are The Running Costs Of A 7000 BTU Portable A/C?
Running a 7000 BTU portable air conditioner will cost around 22p per hour to run. We based our calculation on the current electricity costs of 34p per unit and a kilowatt value of 0.65.
The average run time of a portable A/C is 6 hours per day which would cost around £1.32p.
Other Things Worth Considering
There are a few other things worth considering when looking at portable A/Cs. These include;
Eco-settings allow you to strike a perfect balance between keeping cool and the cost of the energy needed to achieve this.
- A/C Placement
The portable A/C will need to be positioned close to a window to operate. But to prevent the unit from working too hard, you need to position the A/C away from any heat source. This is because all the time the A/C can detect any heat, it will keep running.
- 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
A 7000 BTU portable air conditioner can cool a room with an area of between 250 to 350 square feet.
A 7000 BTU portable air conditioner uses an average of 650 watts.
A 7000 BTU portable A/C is enough for a room with an area of between 250 to 350 square feet. You should allow 20 BTU for every square foot according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In general terms, a 7000 BTU portable A/C is enough for a bedroom with an area of between 250 and 350 square feet.
At current electricity prices of 34p per unit, it will cost around 22p per hour to run a 7000 BTU portable A/C.
British Thermal Units (BTUs) are the way that heat is measured in fuels and energy sources. 1 BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise 1 pound of liquid by 1 degree Fahrenheit. In portable A/Cs, it is the amount of heat removed from the room. 1 BTU is roughly the amount of heat generated by 1 match. So 7000 BTUs is the equivalent to the amount of heat produced by 7000 matches being lit simultaneously.