What does ‘Ton’ mean in air conditioning and why is it important?

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air conditioning

Every business has its own language and with that language comes its own set of jargons. Unfortunately, it is often assumed that customers have the knowledge of these industry terms and therefore can make an informed decision by themselves. Don't worry, we are here to change that, one business jargon at a time.

To begin with, let us discuss one of the most popular and important components of air conditioning – the ton. When you ask people to recommend an air conditioner, you may have come across many people saying "buy the ac 1 ton" or perhaps the salesman or woman themselves asking "kitne ton ka?" To answer this and make a final purchase, we first need to understand what ton stands for.

What is a Ton?

Contrary to widespread belief, a ton does not stand for the weight of the AC. Rather, ton or tonnage is the unit used to measure the cooling capacity of the air conditioner based on the size and other features of your room. Now, you may wonder, how is the cooling capacity calculated to determine the ton? The answer is, it is calculated via British Thermal Units per hour, more commonly denoted as BTU/hr. The BTU for air conditioners ranges from 5000 to 24000 BTUs and 12000 BTUs is equal to 1 ton.

Why is tonnage important?

BTU is the standard measuring unit and as per internationally recognized standards, for every square foot of your room you need 20 BTU/hr. By this logic, it is safe to assume that the higher the BTU/hr value, the more powerful your air conditioner is. However, this does not mean that you should always invest in the highest value or the biggest tonnage AC as you need to consider your room size for the same, else the AC will not be energy or cost efficient.

Therefore, you can find out if an inverter ac 1 ton 5 star, for example, is a suitable AC for you based on the square footage of your room. Other factors such as light in the room, room occupancy capacity and ambient climate also play a role to determine what ton AC you should invest in.

Pro tip: A 1 ton AC is generally suited for a 50-150 square feet bedroom!


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