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Best 20000 BTU Air Conditioner Guide: Cooling Your Space Efficiently and Comfortably

CEO Khai Intela
Air conditioners are essential during the summer months, but with so many options available, finding the right one can be a challenge. As an HVAC design engineer in New York City, I've seen numerous air...

Air conditioners are essential during the summer months, but with so many options available, finding the right one can be a challenge. As an HVAC design engineer in New York City, I've seen numerous air conditioners in action and know what works best. In this guide, I'll share my top picks and help you find the perfect 20000 BTU air conditioner for your needs. Whether you want an energy-efficient unit or one that can cool a large room, I've got something for everyone. So let's dive in!

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

You might have used an air conditioner before, but do you understand how it works? Let's take a closer look at the science behind it. Air conditioners function based on the principle of evaporation. When water evaporates, it takes heat away. This is why sweating cools down our bodies as the water on our skin evaporates, taking heat with it.

Air conditioners operate similarly. They take warm air from inside your home and pass it over a cold coil. As the air moves over the coil, heat is absorbed and transferred to the refrigerant inside. The refrigerant then evaporates, taking the heat with it. The cooled air is then passed over a hot coil, where it absorbs heat from the refrigerant and releases it outside. This cycle continues until the desired temperature is reached.

Air conditioners are more effective than fans because they remove both heat and humidity from the air. Fans only circulate the air, making you feel cooler but not actually reducing the heat.

Air Conditioner Image: Air Conditioner

Does an Air Conditioner Remove Humidity?

Air conditioners not only cool but also dehumidify indoor air. They achieve this by passing warm, humid air over a cold coil or evaporator. As the air touches the cold surface, the water in the air condenses into liquid form and drips into a drain pan. The cooled, dry air is then circulated back into the room. Air conditioners can remove both seen (sensible) and unseen (latent) humidity from the air. Sensible humidity is removed by lowering the air temperature, while latent humidity is removed by extracting water vapor.

Reducing humidity offers several benefits, such as making the air feel cooler, preventing mold and mildew growth, and minimizing window condensation. Additionally, it can improve indoor air quality. If you want to reduce humidity in your space, an air conditioner can be a suitable option. However, make sure to choose the right-sized unit. Oversized air conditioners cool spaces too quickly, limiting their ability to remove humidity properly and potentially causing humidity levels to rise. On the other hand, undersized units struggle to meet demand, leading to high humidity levels.

Air Conditioner Indoor Unit Image: Air Conditioner Indoor Unit

Air Conditioner Efficiency Rating

Air conditioners are rated for their efficiency using various metrics. The most common rating is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which measures the cooling output per unit of energy consumed. A higher SEER rating indicates higher efficiency. Units with a SEER of 10 or above are considered highly efficient.

Another rating is the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER), which measures the cooling output per unit of energy consumed at a specific temperature and humidity level. A higher EER rating signifies greater efficiency. Additionally, some units are rated based on their Coefficient of Performance (COP), which measures the amount of heat removed per unit of energy consumed.

When selecting an air conditioner, consider both the rating and the size of the unit. A larger air conditioner doesn't necessarily mean it's more efficient. Choose a unit based on the square footage of the area you want to cool. Regular servicing also helps maintain peak efficiency and prolong the life of your air conditioner.

Air Conditioner Efficiency Rating Image: Air Conditioner Efficiency Rating

Air Conditioner Features To Consider

When shopping for an air conditioner, there are various features to consider that will help you find the best unit for your home. Here are some important features to look out for:

  • Timer and Programmable Start: Look for an air conditioner with a timer and programmable start feature. This allows you to set the unit to turn on at specific times, ensuring optimal comfort when you need it.

  • Sleep Mode, Econ Mode, Energy Saver Mode: Many air conditioners now come with different modes that help save energy. Sleep mode gradually lowers the temperature during the night, saving energy and preventing a cold room when you wake up. Econ mode reduces energy consumption when you're not at home, while energy saver mode minimizes unnecessary operation during extended absences.

  • Remote: Look for units that come with a remote control. This convenient feature allows you to adjust the temperature without getting up from your seat.

  • Auto Restart After Outage: Consider air conditioners with an auto-restart feature. This feature ensures that the unit automatically turns back on after a power outage, providing uninterrupted cooling comfort.

  • Wi-Fi: Some air conditioners offer Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling you to control the unit from your smartphone or tablet. This feature is incredibly convenient, allowing you to adjust settings even when you're not at home.

  • Digital Controls: Air conditioners with digital controls make it easy to set the temperature and timer. This feature is especially useful if you want to program the unit to turn on before you arrive home from work or school.

  • Fan Speeds and Fan-only Mode: Look for units with multiple fan speeds so you can choose the airflow that suits your preference. Some units also have a fan-only mode, perfect for circulating air without cooling it down.

  • Fresh Air Option: Certain air conditioners have a fresh air option, allowing you to bring in outside air and circulate it through the unit. This is an excellent way to introduce fresh air into your home without opening windows.

  • Ionizer: Air conditioners with an ionizer help remove particles from the air, promoting better indoor air quality. This feature is particularly useful for individuals with allergies or asthma.

Woman holding phone with running smart home application for air conditioning on living room background. Image: Smart Home Application for Air Conditioning

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

The size of the air conditioner you need depends on several factors, including the size of your home, the climate you live in, and personal preferences. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right-sized air conditioner:

  1. Determine the square footage of the space you want to cool.
  2. Aim for approximately 20 BTUs per square foot. For example, a 500 square foot area would require a 10000 BTU air conditioner.
  3. Consider additional factors such as climate, the number of windows, and ceiling height. Hotter climates may require a larger unit, while more windows or higher ceilings may necessitate a more powerful air conditioner.

Once you have determined the square footage and other relevant factors, you can start shopping for air conditioners. Window and portable air conditioners are popular choices for smaller spaces due to their affordability and ease of installation. For larger spaces or additional features, consider mini-split or central air conditioning systems. Although more expensive, these options offer greater power and a wider range of features.

Size Air Conditioner Image: Size Air Conditioner

Best 20,000 BTU Air Conditioners On The Market Right Now

Now that you understand what to look for in an air conditioner, let me share my top three picks for the best 20,000 BTU air conditioners on the market:

Friedrich™ Kuhl Commercial Window/Wall Air Conditioner, Cool Only, 20,000 BTU, 230V

Friedrich™ Kuhl Commercial Window/Wall Air Conditioner

If you need an air conditioner that can cool large spaces effectively, the Friedrich™ Kuhl Commercial Window/Wall Air Conditioner is your best bet. With a cooling capacity of 20,000 BTUs, it's perfect for businesses or other sizable areas. This ENERGY STAR® qualified unit guarantees energy efficiency and reduced energy bills. The window/wall installation allows for versatile placement, making it suitable for various applications.


  • High 20,000 BTU rating, ideal for large rooms or offices
  • 230V voltage compatibility
  • Equipped with a remote control, LCD display, and four operation modes, making it suitable for commercial settings


  • Slightly higher price compared to other models
  • Some users reported noise issues

Toshiba 18,000 BTU 230-Volt Touch Control Window Air Conditioner with Remote and ENERGY STAR

Toshiba 18,000 BTU 230-Volt Touch Control Window Air Conditioner

The Toshiba 18,000 BTU 230-Volt Touch Control Window Air Conditioner offers a sleek design that complements any home decor. It's packed with features, including ENERGY STAR qualification for energy efficiency and cost savings. The touch control display makes adjusting settings a breeze, while the remote control allows convenience from anywhere in the room. With multiple fan speeds and a sleep mode, this unit ensures maximum comfort tailored to your preferences.


  • Energy-efficient and cost-saving, thanks to its ENERGY STAR rating
  • Equipped with remote control for convenient temperature adjustment
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Some customers reported noise concerns
  • Does not have a built-in heater
  • Limited to window installation only

DAIZUKI MINI SPLIT 18000 BTU Wi-Fi Connected Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner with Heater and Remote Included

DAIZUKI MINI SPLIT 18000 BTU Wi-Fi Connected Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

For powerful cooling with advanced features, the DAIZUKI MINI SPLIT 18000 BTU Wi-Fi Connected Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner is an excellent choice. Its 18000 BTU capacity efficiently cools large spaces, and the included heater ensures year-round comfort. With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can control the unit remotely using your smartphone. The unit also features multi-stage filtration, a programmable timer, and a remote control for added convenience.


  • Quiet operation, suitable for bedrooms and living spaces
  • Remote control for easy temperature adjustment
  • Timer function and Wi-Fi connectivity for added convenience


  • Higher price compared to other models
  • Some users reported remote control issues

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right 20000 BTU air conditioner requires considering factors like energy efficiency, noise levels, and pricing. Based on my expertise and extensive research, I have provided you with the top three options available. Each unit has unique features that cater to different needs and budgets. Remember to consult a professional before making a final decision regarding your cooling system. Stay cool and enjoy the comfort of an efficiently cooled space throughout the summer months!

Original Article by Saigonintela.vn