Summers are just round the corner and the need for a good air conditioner arises again. Now, what most people have trouble with is deciding on the capacity or tonnage of the AC. The potency of an air conditioner at cooling is what is decided by the tonnage. To make the best purchase, you would have to understand the difference between the types of air conditioners available in the market and their specifications, especially the tonnage. For example, the difference between 1 ton and 1.5 ton AC is slight, but depending on your requirements, it could make a huge difference.

The rest, brand, energy rating, split or window, and warranty are all very important things to note too. Do not miss these crucial factors just focusing on the capacity of the air conditioner. This article will delve deep into the difference between 1 ton and 1.5 ton AC, and also give you an idea about which one to purchase against your requirements.

What is the Difference Between 1 Ton and 1.5 Ton AC?

When it comes to tonnage, there are a handful of different versions out there. Besides the usual difference between a split and window AC, specifically talking about capacity is what we are here for, no matter the kind of air conditioner. Then there are the differences between split ACs and window ACs and how tonnage affects them.

So, what really is the difference between 1 ton and 1.5 ton AC? Firstly, let us figure out what the capacity of an air conditioner refers to.

Tonnage in Air Conditioners – What is it?

One of the most confusing things about an air conditioner is its capacity. While we all understand that a higher capacity means better cooling potential, it is a better idea to get a full-fledged idea about what exactly tonnage actually refers to.

Technically, tonnage is a term for rating air conditioning units. It is not related to the weight of the appliance, instead it describes how much air your AC unit can remove from a room in an hour. The measurement unit for heat is measured in BTU’s, or British Thermal Unit. Practically speaking, 1 ton of air conditioning can remove 12,000 BTUs of air on an hourly basis. With that logic, a 4 ton AC can remove 48,000 BTUs. So, for the Layman, tonnage actually refers to the potential of an air conditioner to cool the air inside a room.

Think of it as “horsepower”, where a 1 ton air conditioner can remove 12,000 BTUs of heat from a room per hour, while a 1.5 ton AC can remove 18,000 BTUs.

This directly translates into higher initial price and usage costs. A 1.5 ton AC is not only more expensive to purchase over a 1 ton AC, but also ends up consuming more electricity overall. Then, you must also keep in mind the size of your room. If you have a small room, getting a 1.5 ton AC is just overkill. A 1 ton AC would be sufficient for a small to medium sized room. If your room is pretty large with a high ceiling, it is advised to get a bigger AC with a higher capacity to ensure proper cooling.

That said, there are a lot of factors the potential of an air conditioner must be tested on other than the tonnage. The brand is essential to determine against maintenance and customer support, energy rating is a very important aspect of buying an air conditioner, while warranty and maintenance are crucial for you to keep an eye on as well. To save up on electricity bills, look for the energy rating of the appliance.

Higher the rating, better, more energy efficient it ends up being. Which in turns saves you a lot of money as electricity bills. Inverter technology is huge these days in the air conditioner market, and inverter ACs are known to consume hugely less energy than their earlier counterparts.

Check the purchase against your requirements and make the call accordingly. We will list a few products for you to look at in case you need help buying the exact appliance based on your requirements..

Is a 1 Ton AC better at Cooling than a 1.5 Ton AC?

Well, yes. A 1.5 ton AC can potentially remove 18,000 BTUs from a room, while a 1 ton AC can only remove 12,000. This directly translates into the appliance’s cooling potential. So, yes, a 1.5 ton AC is better and faster at cooling than a 1 ton AC.

That said, it is also necessary to make sure your room is sufficiently sized to make proper use of a 1.5 ton AC. A small room with a large capacity AC would be just overkill and not serve any purpose.

For small to medium sized rooms, a 1 ton AC is perfect. While for bigger rooms, you should totally invest in a bigger 1.5 ton AC. This is essentially one of the biggest difference between 1 ton and 1.5 ton AC.

How much power does each consume?

Obviously a bigger, more potent air conditioner consumes more energy. The wattage in a 1.5 ton AC is more than the wattage of a 1 ton AC, which directly translates into higher energy consumption.

1 Ton AC Power Consumption = 3.5 kilo-watt
1.5 Ton AC Power Consumption = 5.2 kilo-watt

1 Ton AC vs 1.5 Ton AC – Comparison Table

Parameters1 Ton AC1.5 Ton AC
Cooling Capacity12,000 BTUs per hour18,000 BTUs per hour
EfficiencyFairly competent at coolingMore efficient at cooling
Electricity ConsumptionFairly low electricity consumption due to lower wattageMore electricity consumption due to higher wattage
PriceMedium price rangeHigher price range
WarrantyComes with an average warranty periodMuch longer warranty periods
ExpensesEasy to manageHigher overall electricity bills

Whether you need a 1 ton AC or a 1.5 ton one, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at the following articles where we’ve reviewed the best products.

Factors to look for in an Air Conditioner – Buying Guide

Now, there are a few things you must always keep an eye out for when you are out to buy yourself a new air conditioner.

  1. Tonnage/Capacity: The capacity of an AC, as discussed above, refers to the potency of the appliance to cool down a room. A higher capacity AC is much quicker and potent at cooling than a lower capacity AC. However, the room size also factors into how much exactly the capacity of your AC should be. A small room with a high capacity AC would be overkill. While a smaller capacity AC for a larger room would be inconsequential.
  2. Power consumption: Buying any appliance, check for the energy rating on priority. A higher energy rating out of 5 means the appliance is energy efficient and would help lower your electricity usage, thus reducing electricity bills. Also, check for inverter-based appliances. This relatively new technology allows you much more energy efficient appliances.
  3. Durability: Air conditioners can last you a long time if you maintain them properly. Buying one that is branded and provides ample customer support would also help you in making the appliance last longer.
  4. Maintenance: Maintenance is a huge issue when it comes to air conditioners. Make sure you get a product that does not require a lot of maintenance to function. That said, some form of maintenance is hugely necessary in making your appliance last longer and function to the best of its abilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to choose between 1 ton and 1.5 ton AC?

To choose between a 1 ton AC and a 1.5 ton AC, you need to first check how big your room is. For any small to medium sized room, a 1 ton AC works best. For larger rooms, a 1.5 ton AC works much better. Also, 1.5 ton ACs are bigger in size and take more electricity to run.

What is ton in ac?

Tonnage in ACs refers to their capacity to cool a room. Higher the tonnage, better the appliance is at cooling a room. That said, you also need to find a form fitting AC for the room you are about to install it in. A bigger AC in a smaller room would just prove excessive and useless.

Will 1.5 ton AC cool room faster?

Technically yes. A 1.5 ton AC is much faster at cooling than a 1 ton AC. However, getting an AC also depends on the size of the room you are planning to install it in. A bigger room requires you to install a 1.5 ton AC, but a smaller room can work perfectly, and better even, with a simple 1 ton AC. One of the difference between 1 ton and 1.5 ton AC is that a 1.5 ton AC is faster and more efficient at cooling a bigger room.


There are obviously many different factors to look for when buying an air conditioner. One of the primary factors includes the capacity of an AC. Now, a lot of new consumers have trouble understanding what the tonnage in an AC means. Most of them might confuse tonnage with the weight of the air conditioner, but that is not the case. The capacity of an AC essentially describes how good it would be at cooling a room, while also being dependent at the size of the room. We have listed the difference between 1 ton and 1.5 ton AC above, have a look and figure out which one suits your requirements the best.