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Air Conditioners are heavy.
But just how heavy are they?
How much weight will you be putting on your moving truck, window sill, or floor?
It was a quiet Sunday morning when I caught myself wondering this. So I dove into some research and looked into 99 different air conditioner models to find the answer.
(Yes, I’m that guy).
On average, an air conditioner weighs between 60-180lbs [27-82kg]. The lightest air conditioners are window models, then portable, ductless, and finally whole-house units. The weight of an air conditioner increases linearly with it’s power (in BTU or tons).
Here’s a quick summary for the averages of each air conditioner type:
|Image||Refrigerator Type||Ave Weight (lbs)||Ave Weight (kg)|
|Window Air Conditioner||64||29|
|Portable Air Conditioner||66||30|
|Ductless Air Conditioner (Indoor Unit Only)||26||12|
|Whole House Air Conditioner||179||81|
If you’re looking for more detail, I’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for charts and tables all the reviewed air conditioners.
Let’s start with the lightest first.
How Much Do Window Air Conditioners Weigh?
Window air conditioners are by far the most common type – and I’ve got data for a total of 35 of them. Below are their weights graphed against their power in BTU.
As you can see, the weight of a window air conditioner varies from 39lbs (18kg) all the way up to 130lbs (59Kg).
I also included the average weight per BTU class as orange markers, along with a data label to show the actual figure.
The good news here is that your average window air conditioner doesn’t weigh all too much. While it can be a pain to lift, you don’t need to worry about it harming your window frame.
Going for a heavy-duty model, however, might need a quick inspection. A permanent load of over 100lbs on an old window frame may cause cracking (and could compromise the seal around your windows).
Raw Data Used:
How Much Do Portable Air Conditioners Weigh?
Moving on to the next most popular style of air conditioner – portable units.
Typically bigger and bulkier, I previously found that portable units use more BTU per square foot than window units. Since they tend to have larger BTU output, this also makes them heavier.
As before, the average weight for each BTU range is shown by orange markers with data labels.
From the data, portable air conditioners can weigh between 53lbs to 77lbs. Bearing in mind that I could only find portable units up to 14,000 BTU.
The interesting thing to note here is that the weight doesn’t increase all too much with a powerful portable unit, but it does with the 14k and 18k BTU window units. My theory is that the portable manufacturers might be upping their numbers a little, and the compressor inside the system isn’t all that much bigger.
Raw Data Used:
|Brand||BTU (x1000)||Weight (lbs)||Link|
|Black & Decker||5||53||Link|
|Black & Decker||6||60||Link|
|Black & Decker||8||68||Link|
How Much Do Ductless Air Conditioners Weigh?
Next up, the modern marvels.
Ductless air conditioners have taken over modern apartments everywhere, and for good reason. Their easy installation, multi-zone control, and duct-free operation make them a fantastic whole-home solution.
Now, ductless air conditioners come with two units. The compressor – which does the actual cooling and sites outside – and the air mover – the lighter unit which sits in your room.
For me, the weight of the air mover is more important. Since that’s the one we’ll be mounting on a wall bracket. However for the sake of completeness I’ve included data for all 3.
As we can see, the total weight of ductless systems (indoor units only) ranges from 17lbs to 40lbs, with an average of 26lbs.
Raw Data Used:
|Brand||BTU (x1000)||Outdoor Unit Weight (lbs)||Indoor Unit Weight (lbs)||Link|
How Much Does A Whole-House Air Conditioner Weigh?
Alright. On to the big boys.
These are the largest units available – presenting a big challenge to move, haul, and install. Here’s the chart.
You’ll notice we’ve switched from BTU to Tons here. At this power level, it’s simply what manufacturers prefer to list their models in.
If you’re wondering how to convert, 1 refrigeration ‘ton’ equals approximately 12,000 BTU.
Unfortunately there’s too many different ‘ton’ ratings (i.e. 1.5, 2, 2.5..) to include good averages here.
Jumping straight to the heavy range, whole-house air conditioners range in weight from 112lbs to 258lbs – with an average weight of 179lbs.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a team to lug one of these units around, but it’s also worth calculating how much load your car or truck can take if you’re hauling these plus a bunch of other major appliances back home.
Raw Data Used:
Air Conditioner Weight FAQ’s
Why Are Air Conditioners So Heavy?
Inside their cases, air conditioners contain different parts – most of which are quite heavy. These include:
- The same as an air compressor, this is a heavy combination of a sturdy tank, and metal compressor parts (like pistons and a crankshaft).
- Liquid Refrigerant. Also known as Freon, the refrigerant is a dense liquid which is used for the actual cooling system.
- Evaporator Coils. Often made out of copper – an extra heavy metal – the evaporator coils receive the cool refrigerant and turn it into gas.
- Condenser Coils. Guess what? More heavy coils! These coils are there to remove heat, and are just as heavy.
While an air conditioner’s case looks light, it’s the heavy metal components inside the case which add so much weight to the unit.
Can An Air Conditioner Damage My Window?
Window air conditioners can weigh anywhere between 39-130lbs. Of course, units on the lighter end are nothing to worry about. These kinds of weights are nothing compared to the stress on your walls from supporting your whole house! However, for a larger window air conditioner (14,000 BTU and above), it may be worth asking a professional to take a look. Permanently placing >100lbs on a window sill could cause cracking over time.
Which Type of Air Conditioner Is Best?
We’re blessed to live in a time where modern air conditioners of all types are great at keeping us cool. (At least, the good models are).
So the question isn’t “which type is best”, but “which type suits your home best”? Here’s a quick summary of when you should consider each type:
- Window Air Conditioners. The best for all-around value without taking up floor space. Choose this for a small apartment, or where you only need the cooling in one room.
- Portable Air Conditioners. Although they take up some room, portable units are fantastic for smaller apartments where you can use them for multiple rooms. For example, cooling the living room in the day, and your bedroom at night. They’re also a great second choice for apartments where the Homeowner’s Association prevents you from using Window AC’s.
- Ductless / Mini Split Air Conditioners. The most modern type, ductless units are fantastic solutions for larger modern apartments or smaller-sized homes. They offer the best available multi-room control, and are the easiest to sync up with smart home apps. While expensive to set up, they’re also cheaper than whole-home systems to run.
- Whole-House Air Conditioners. The biggest of the bunch, these traditional units are best used in larger suburban homes. While they often pack the most power, they can be a hassle to install due to the ductwork required.
How Much Does An Air Conditioner Cost To Run?
While I can’t answer for all types of air conditioner, I have also done a silly amount of research into how much it costs to run a window air conditioner.
Here’s what I found:
On average, you can expect a window air conditioner to cost between $40 and $100 per year to run. This mostly depends on the aircon’s power (in BTU) and wattage. The running cost also depends on how efficiently the air conditioner is used, and the cooling demand placed on it. See our calculator for more.
Be sure to check out the full post for a lot more details!
I’ll likely research other air conditioner types soon, so watch this space.
Air conditioners are major appliances – especially the more powerful ones.
I hope this guide has helped shed some light on just how much you can expect an air conditioner to weigh. And of basically any power, type, and size!
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Thanks for reading, and have a great day!