Let’s start with a quick history of air conditioning units and some useful vocabulary. The air conditioner uses energy to move heat from your home’s interior to a relatively warm environment outside. People used to cool their homes by saving large blocks of ice before air conditioners even existed. These cooling machines were rated by how much ice they could melt in a single day.
The word “ton” continues to be included in the list of air conditioning terminology. The cooling power of a ton is 12,000 British Thermal Units per hour. A window air conditioner generally weighs a lot less than a ton. Now, a central air conditioner for a large house weighs five tons. The air conditioner’s size is determined by how much ‘load’ it will be on your home and what amount of refrigerant you want to use. Air must also travel across the coils at a certain speed. These components all work in harmony to provide a dehumidified, cool home.