Choosing the Right Window Air Conditioner for Your Apartment

Bigger isn’t always better, at least when choosing a window air conditioner is concerned.    Why?  An air conditioner serves two functions – the primary is cooling a room.  The second, and also important function, is to dehumidify the room.  An air conditioner too large for your apartment will cool it to your desired temperature, but will shut off before the room can be properly dehumidified.  This poses an issue, because a room not properly dehumidified will still feel “sticky” and uncomfortable.  Choosing an air conditioner with the proper BTU rating (cooling capacity) for the size of room you are trying to cool properly dehumidifies the room, and also save electricity.  Energy Star™  offers the recommendations below.

Area To Be Cooled (square feet)

Capacity Needed (BTUs per hour)

100 up to 150


150 up to 250


250 up to 300


300 up to 350


350 up to 400


400 up to 450


450 up to 550


550 up to 700


700 up to 1,000


1,000 up to 1,200


1,200 up to 1,400


1,400 up to 1,500


1,500 up to 2,000


2,000 up to 2,500



  1. Also, make the following adjustments if any of the following apply to you or the room you are cooling:
    • If the room is heavily shaded, reduce capacity by 10 percent.
    • If the room is very sunny, increase capacity by 10 percent.
    • If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.
    • If the unit is used in a kitchen, increase capacity by 4,000 BTUs.
    • Consider where you install the unit. If you are mounting an air conditioner near the corner of a room, look for a unit that can send the airflow in the right direction.


  2. If you’re looking for a cool apartment in one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods (Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and the Gold Coast) book an appointment with us online or call (773) 570-3744.  One of our expert leasing agents will give you a tour of some of our 3000 Chicago apartments in the neighborhood you’re interested in.  Or, if you cannot be there in person, we are happy to walk you through an online tour.


0 thoughts on “Choosing the Right Window Air Conditioner for Your Apartment

  1. This is good information! I wouldn’t have any idea how to even start looking for an appropriate AC for the space.

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