Just how much does an air conditioner AC weigh? Glad you asked! As you probably know, air conditioning systems come in all different shapes and sizes, and while there are essentially 6 different types of air conditioners, a few of the most common and the ones being discussed here are window air conditioners, portable air conditioners, and centralized units. However, there are also mini-split systems, hybrid ACs, and geothermal systems.
Understanding the different specs of your AC system is useful for a variety of reasons. Weight, for example, will tell you whether or not you will need assistance installing the unit, and it may even dictate where you put it. Most air conditioners tend to be on the heavier side of things, so unless you are using an HVAC company, you will want to have some help when your unit arrives.
It is also important to understand the terminology associated with air conditioners. If you are shopping, you will frequently see the initialism “BTU,” for example, which stands for British Thermal Unit and is a unit for energy. The BTUs will tell you the capacity of the system.
While you will be able to handle both window ACs and portable ACs on your own, centralized cooling systems will probably require some assistance, especially if your home is not properly set up for the equipment. An HVAC company will be able to tell you what system is right for your own, and they can also get all of the equipment and install it for you.
If you are concerned about the weight of your air conditioner or are curious about what they weigh, the following details standard weights for some of the most common types of air conditioning units. You will also learn a little about what makes them weigh what they do and what you could expect after purchasing one.
How Much Does a Window AC Unit Weigh?
Window air conditioning units have certainly gotten more efficient and high-tech over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed much is the weight. This is because all of the heaviest components are also the most essential, so as of right now, there is no getting around the weight if you want a functional and efficient air conditioning system.
Also, keep in mind that not all window air conditioners will weigh the same. Obviously, the smaller the unit is, the lighter it will be, but you probably won’t find a unit that weighs any less than 40 pounds. High-end units can weigh as much as 120 pounds, and the unit you choose will depend on the amount of space you need to cool.
Much of the weight comes from the copper, which makes up both the evaporator and condenser coils, and the compressor, which is largely made of steel. Together, these components circulate the refrigerant and cool the air before it blows into the room.
Regardless of the weight, your window frame should be perfectly capable of supporting the unit, but you want some help lifting it into place. One end of the unit is generally heavier than the other, so if it starts tipping, you may not be able to stop it from falling by yourself.
How Much Does a Portable AC Weigh?
In general, portable air conditioners are going to be heavier than window AC units, and there are basically two reasons as to why this is.
The first reason is that portable air conditioners generally have a higher cooling capacity, which means they can efficiently cool larger rooms than a lot of window air conditioners, but they are also physically larger as a result. Another reason for the weight difference could be that portable AC units have a few components that window air conditioners do not, namely wheels or small legs and the tube that attaches to your window.
Standard units, which are around 12,000 or 14,000 BTU weigh around 70 and 80 pounds. These will cool rooms of about 500 to 700 sq. ft., but portable air conditioners go as high as 36,000 BTUs, and these units weigh over 400 pounds. Portable air conditioners are generally on wheels, so you should be able to easily move them throughout the home, and you will never need to lift them into a window.
Keep in mind that if you are buying a portable air conditioner that higher capacity isn’t always a good thing. You want to match the capacity of your unit to the square footage of the room so that your air conditioner runs efficiently.
How Much Does a 4-Ton AC Weigh?
When you see an air conditioning unit with the “4-ton” prefix, you might think this means that the unit weighs 4-tons, but in this case, the “tons” are actually referring to something else.
4-tons is actually a measurement, and this number is telling you how much heat an air conditioner can remove from your home in a single hour. 12,000 BTUs is equal to 1 ton, so a 4-ton air conditioner can remove 48,000 BTUs of heat per hour. For residential properties, a 4-ton unit is fairly large, and many homes won’t need something this big.
The typical weight for a 4-ton air conditioner is around 275 pounds, but unlike window air conditioners and portable air conditioners, these units sit outside the home, usually on a plastic or concrete pad. These AC units have additional coils, all of which are much larger than you will find in other types of air conditioners, and more coil also means more copper. Outdoor AC units also have a fan with a heavy motor and 4 fan blades, but much of the weight comes from the extra-large compressor.
If you are installing a new air conditioner, you will want to check to make sure your home requires a 4-ton unit. Installing a unit that is too large typically results in inefficiency and seemingly inadequate cooling capabilities. Your HVAC technicians will be able to get you the right sized unit, and they will also supply a pad for the outdoor unit.
How Much Does a 3-Ton AC Unit Weigh?
Now that you know where the “tons” unit comes from, you will know that a 3-ton air conditioner is both smaller and lighter and that it also has a lower cooling capacity. If 1 ton is equal to 12,000 BTUs, a 3-ton can remove 36,000 BTUs of heat from the home every hour.
A 3-ton unit will be a little bit smaller than a 4-ton, but not by much. A normal weight for a 3-ton unit is between 200 and 215 pounds, sometimes less, but keep in mind that the weight also depends on the brand that you buy and the materials that the manufacturers use to build the unit. Less expensive materials tend to be lighter, and if your unit was inexpensively manufactured, it might not last as long or perform as well, so if you can spare the money, you may want to avoid the least expensive air conditioner.
3-ton air conditioners contain all of the same components as a 4-ton air condition but are just slightly smaller in size. 3- tons is also about the maximum capacity for portable air conditioner units, so if your home isn’t set up for a centralized system, you might be able to get away with a large portable unit, and after the additional costs associated with centralized air conditioning, the prices would likely even out.
Whether you choose a 3-ton air conditioner or a 4-ton air conditioner will depend on your home’s square footage, but there are also other variables that affect which system is right for you. An HVAC technician will be able to consider all of the factors and calculate the BTUs needed to adequately cool your entire home.
How Much Does a 10,000 BTU AC Weigh?
Getting even smaller, a 10,000 BTU air conditioner isn’t even big enough to be considered a 1-ton unit, which would require 12,000 BTU. In fact, a capacity this low means that the air conditioner will almost always be a window AC or a portable AC, which also means that the weight will vary depending on the unit that you buy.
10,000 BTU air conditioners can efficiently cool a decently-sized room or rooms, usually around 450 sq. ft. in total, and the general weight for one of these units will be around 65 pounds, give or take a few pounds. These are light enough that you could have them shipped to your home without a tremendous shipping fee, but 10,000 BTU air conditioners can also be picked up at a variety of stores.
Even if you have a centralized system, small, window units such as these are often used in collaboration. If you have a couple rooms that your centralized system does not reach very well, you can use a window AC to keep them cooler. Installing a window AC in the right place might also mean that your centralized system does not need to work as hard, which could result in lower monthly bills.