BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and is a standardized measurement of energy. One BTU is roughly equivalent to the amount of energy it takes to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. When referring to air conditioners, this measurement shows the BTUs per hour.
Select the amount of BTUs necessary depending on the size of the space you wish to cool. Refer to the following list to find the appropriate number of BTUs for your space.
Area in square feet
Most air conditioners have a built-in safety mechanism that will shut off the unit when too much pressure builds up in the coils. You can prevent this from happening by making sure your air conditioner is in the shade. If your air conditioner shuts off from overload, wait 20 minutes, then use a sprinkler to mist the coils at the back of the air conditioner to reduce the pressure.
If your air conditioner has removable filters, periodically take them out and wash them with soap and water. If you notice a build-up of mold or other matter in your air conditioner, you probably want to get it checked out.
There are a few steps you can take to save energy with your air conditioner. First, make sure it is installed in a shady location so it will not have to work as hard. Second, check the temperature after 30 minutes of operation to make sure your air conditioner is working properly. Third, pay attention to the weather forecast. If a hot day is predicted, turn on the air conditioner early so it can get a head-start on the day and start operating with the cooler air. Fourth, insulate your home to keep cool air in during the summer, just as you would to keep cool air out during the winter. Make sure doors and windows are closed and draw the curtains to prevent the cool air from escaping.