Air conditioning professionals often throw around unfamiliar terms that are hard to interpret, such as “ton.” When they mention that a 5-ton AC weighs x, that doesn’t indicate its actual weight – rather, “ton” refers to how much cooling capacity an AC has.
The term “ton” originates in an era prior to modern air conditioning being available; building owners would order ice to cool their buildings, which they referred to in terms of tons. When mechanical cooling came along, this terminology stuck and is still widely used when measuring air conditioner cooling capacity in tons. A ton is equal to the heat required to melt one ton of ice within 24 hours – therefore 12,000 British Thermal Units per hour of cooling capacity equal one ton.
Selecting an air conditioner with sufficient tonnage is key for both comfort and energy efficiency. A unit that is too small will struggle to cool your space efficiently while being more costly in electricity costs and maintenance than necessary. On the other hand, selecting one too large can cause excessively dry air, higher maintenance costs and high electricity usage rates – leading to excessively dry conditions in your space and increased maintenance needs.
When purchasing an air conditioner, make sure you look for tonnage information on its outdoor condenser unit or visit its manufacturer’s website. To ascertain this number accurately, look for models with even numbers between 18-60 in their model number sequence before dividing total BTU rating by SEER rating to get its tonnage value.
A heavy 5 ton air conditioning can weigh considerable depending on its design and manufacturing materials. Generally, heavy cooling systems feature more metal parts than their lighter counterparts – including components like compressor, evaporator coil and liquid refrigerant that add bulk.
Window air coolers are among the heaviest units available, even at their smallest capacities. Heavier 12,000 BTU units can weigh as much as 75% more than their lighter counterparts in the same capacity category due to a heavy-duty compressor and higher quality materials used. Furthermore, heavier models require additional metal parts than lighter units as well as thicker insulation – typically an increase in weight of 30 to 48 pounds between heavy models in a category and their lightest models.
Similar to the 3-ton unit, the term “5 ton” in relation to an air conditioner refers to its cooling capacity, not its weight. The actual weight of a 5-ton air conditioning unit will vary based on the manufacturer, model, and type.
For a residential split system air conditioning unit:
- Condensing Unit (Outdoor Unit): The weight of a 5-ton condensing unit typically ranges between 250 to 350 pounds, but it can be more for certain models or brands.
- Indoor Unit: The weight of the indoor components (which might include an air handler or a furnace with an evaporative coil) can vary widely. Just the evaporative coil section might weigh between 60 to 175 pounds, depending on its construction and features.
Again, these are general estimates. For exact weights, you’d need to consult the technical specifications of a specific model or the manufacturer’s product catalog or website.