How to Calculate HP for an Air Conditioning Unit

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Manufacturers usually rate air conditioners in terms of tons or BTUs.
photos stacked on top of each other See More Photos

Air conditioners and motor vehicles both transfer energy. Air conditioners move heat, and technicians describe their cooling capacities in terms of tons or BTUs. Motor vehicles perform mechanical work, and technicians describe their strength in terms of horsepower. But though the two units generally indicate different operations, they both translate into rates of energy transfer. You can therefore specify an air conditioner's output in horsepower.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Step 1

Multiply the air conditioner's size in tons by 12,000 to convert its cooling capacity to British Thermal Units per hour. If the air conditioner has a 1.5 ton capacity: 1.5 x 12,000 = 18,000 BTUs per hour.

Step 2

Divide this answer by 3.412 to convert it to watts: 18,000 / 3.412 = 5,275 watts.

Step 3

Divide the wattage by 745.7 to convert it to horsepower: 5,275 / 745.7 = about 7 horsepower.

Advertisement

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...