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The ability of a heating or cooling system to heat or cool a given amount of space. For heating, this is usually expressed in BTUs. For cooling, it is usually given in tons.

  • Cooling capacity (Tons)
    The cooling capacity of an air conditioner describes how powerful the unit is.
    A ton is the cooling capacity of an air conditioning system.
    One ton is equal to the amount of heat required (288,000 Btu) to melt one ton of ice in a 24-hour period.
  • Heating capacity (BTUs)
    Heat capacity means the amount of heat that a piece of HVAC equipment can provide.
    Matching the heating capacity of available replacement furnaces with the results of the heat load calculation is the final step in determining the proper sized unit for your home.

How is HVAC capacity calculated?

In order to calculate how much air conditioning you will need

  1. Divide the square footage of your house by 500
  2. Multiply this number by 12,000 BTUs
  3. Add to that number the additional heat generated by windows, workers or areas such as kitchens