Updated at: 21-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Forecasts for hotter weather are only a few weeks away. Many people think it’s time to acquire an air conditioner at this point in the year.

The electrical component of an air conditioner is something that many people overlook when searching for a new unit. When it comes to air conditioning, what is the ideal size and power of the unit you need for your space? When it comes to plugging the appliance into an outlet, make sure it has enough power. Then how can you be sure?

Buying the wrong size air conditioner can waste a lot of electricity and money, therefore it’s not surprising that air conditioners use a lot of power.

To make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, do some research on air conditioner voltages and amps before making a purchase for your house or office.

What’s the Difference Between Voltage, Amperage, and Wattage?

It’s common to see the three separate electrical measurements of voltage, amperage, and wattage on air conditioner labels when you begin your search for one. Each one refers to a certain aspect of the air conditioner’s electrical operation.

  • Electrical potential between two places is called voltage. Because of the decreased amp draw of higher voltage machines, the units are able to last longer and have greater capacity.
  • You may measure the quantity of electricity that flows between two sites using amperes, which are sometimes known as “amps.” In order for appliances to function properly, they must be connected to a power source that can manage the quantity of amps they draw.
  • Finally, watts represent the amount of electricity needed to run a machine. On our electric bill, the watts we utilized in a given month are often listed.

For example, if you’re trying to figure out what kind of unit is ideal for your location, knowing the difference between these two measurements can help.

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Types of Air Conditioners and Their Electricity Requirements

Mini Split Air Conditioner Electricity Requirements

208/240 volts are required by the great majority of mini-split systems. Smaller capacity units may only need 110/120 volts of electricity.. The required amps might range from 15 to 45 amps, depending on the BTU capacity of the system. All mini splits necessitate a separate power supply. Voltage spikes can be mitigated with the use of a surge protector.

PTAC Unit Electrical Requirements

Each and every PTAC unit requires 208/240 volts (or 265/277 volts, for some commercial applications). They come in 15, 20, and 30 amp models. It’s possible to hardwire PTAC units if desired, however most are plugged in. If a unit does not have an interchangeable cord, it must be ordered that way. To check how many amps each plug face can handle, click here. Contact us if you’re unsure which one you need before placing an order. There must be a separate circuit for PTAC equipment.

Window Air Conditioner Electrical Requirements

A wide range of electrical needs can be accommodated by window units. It is normal for smaller devices to be powered by 110/120 volts and to be plugged into a typical wall socket, as well. 208/240 volts is required by some large models. Depending on how much power they need, these machines use a variety of socket types.

Through the Wall Air Conditioner Electrical Requirements

Both 110/120 and 208/240 volt variants of TTW devices are commonly available. Using a dedicated circuit for your through the wall unit is strongly recommended.

Central AC Electrical Requirements

208/240 volts are needed for central air conditioning systems. Dedicated circuits are required for them to work. Depending on the unit’s weight, it can draw anywhere from 15 to 60 amps.

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Read Carefully, Plan Accordingly

You may also want to keep an eye out for a picture of the plug type that is necessary for the item you are searching for. Use these receptacles to assess whether the outlet you intend to use for your air conditioner is enough or needs to be installed by a professional.

You may also need a dedicated circuit if your air conditioner is large enough to prevent other appliances from being connected to the outlet at the same time. For example, if you’re installing an air conditioner in an area where there are likely to be other appliances that need to be plugged in, it’s crucial to keep in mind this.

Know Your Air Conditioner Electricity

To ensure that you spend your money wisely and chill your home effectively, it’s vital to learn a little bit about how an AC system’s power works.

Make a note of the differences in the units you’re looking at, such as the ones between voltage (electrical potential), amperage (electrical flow), and wattage (electrical power). If you’re planning on using a central air unit, keep in mind that it requires a lot more power than a window unit. Consult a specialist if you’re unsure what you need.

Finally, before to going shopping, make a game plan. Consider where you’ll plug in the air conditioner and whether or not you’ll need a separate electrical outlet for it if that’s a need.

If you have a basic understanding of how air conditioning units and systems work, you should be able to pick the best solution for your home or office.

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How Many Amperes Does A Central Air Conditioner Use?

According to the size and BTU rating of the Central Air Conditioner, it consumes a different amount of amps. Between 15 and 60 amps of current are possible using amperes. In addition, it is able to run on 208 to 240 volts of power. Because central air conditioners use so many amps and volts, you should not plug them in like portable and window air conditioners. Hardwired into the house is the preferred method.

As previously stated, the amount of amps an air conditioner uses depends on a number of variables. Voltage, power, cooling capacity, and size are all part of this. British Thermal Units, or just BTU, are commonly used to express this. Electrical power consumption increases linearly with BTU rating.

A unit’s amps rating indicates how much current it consumes. At a given point in time, how much electricity does it use? In order to determine how much electricity the air conditioner uses, you must know the amp rating. Using this method, you can figure out the cost of electricity.

On an air conditioner’s label or user manual, you may find out how much power it uses. It’s frequently stated in that place, unfortunately. There are two simple measures you can do to find out if it isn’t. You need to know the air conditioner’s capacity or BTU rating first.

This can be calculated by dividing the EER by the power rating in watts. Ratings for energy efficiency are often mentioned in the user manual. However, the range for air conditioners ranging from 5000 to 18000 BTUs is 8 to 12.

Once you’ve calculated the BTU rating of the air conditioner, multiply it by the voltage to get the current in amps. then divide the EE rating by the preceding answer to get the amps of current in a given device. For the most part, 115 volts are required for air conditioners up to 15000 BTU.

115 volts can be used if the voltage is not specified and the BTU is not more than 15000. I recommend that you always buy air conditioners that have a higher Energy-Efficiency Rating because they require less electricity.

As a result, you’ll save money on your electric bill and have more to spend on other necessities. Consider the size of the air conditioner in relation to the available space in your home as well. Don’t make the costly assumption that the more power you have, the more cooling you get, and hence the more power you save.

If you get one that’s too big for your space, you’ll end up with a higher electric cost. A higher investment will yield a lower return. It is impossible to remove all of the humidity from the air with air conditioners that are too large for the space.

You shouldn’t buy an air conditioner that’s too small for your room, either! If your air conditioner is too tiny, it will have to run nonstop for the most of the day in order to chill your home. Using a lot of amps means you’ll have to pay a lot more for electricity this way, too.

Because of this, the size of your room’s air conditioner should always be proportional to its size. Over or under-sized is not acceptable.

Using an air conditioner with an amp rating higher than your home’s circuit breakers is likewise a bad idea. A dedicated 240 volt circuit breaker is required when an air conditioner draws more than 30 amps of power. If you ever find yourself in need of an electrician, remember to call a professional right away.

How Many Amperes Does A Portable Air Conditioner Use?

Portable air conditioners consume a specific amount of amperes based on their BTU rating. Most portable air conditioners ranging from 8000 BTU to 18000 BTU draw between 3.52 amps and slightly under 20 amps of power.

A typical 8000 BTU air conditioner consumes between 5.8 and 8.7 amps of current, depending on the model. A 10000 BTU air conditioner, on the other hand, consumes between 7.3 and 10.9 amps of power. However, a 12000 BTU air conditioner uses current ranging from 8.7 amps to nearly 13.1 amps.

Additionally, a 15000 BTU-rated air conditioner consumes between 10.9 amps and 16.3 amps of electricity, depending on the model. On the other hand, an 18000 BTU air conditioner uses 13.1 to 19.6 amps of electricity. You can see from this that a greater BTU rating means a higher amperage requirement.

Standard outlets should not be used to connect large-sized air conditioners with BTU ratings of 15000 or greater. The excess current requirements will not blow it.

An air conditioner’s energy consumption is quantified in BTUs. The BTU is an abbreviation for British Thermal Unit, as previously stated. Your air conditioner’s ability to extract heat from the air in your home and discharge the heat outdoors is measured in kilowatts.

As a result, the more BTUs the air conditioner has, the better it is at this task. This does not imply that purchasing an air conditioner should cost you a small fortune.

It is sufficient to use a 5000 BTU air conditioner for cooling a space that is 150 square feet in size. However, the size of the space is simply one factor to consider when making your choice of a portable air conditioner.

Some additional things to think about are your home’s design and size, as well as how high your ceilings and air conditioners are and how much insulation you have.

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How Many Amps Does A Window Air Conditioner Use?

Voltage ratings for most window air conditioners range from 115 volts to 220 volts. Additional requirements include a power rating of between 3.5 and 20 amps, respectively. 115 and 125 volts are the most common voltages for smaller units. Units with 15000 BTU or more are more likely to use 220 volts.

Before purchasing a window air conditioner, it is critical to know its amps rating. It’s because window air conditioners use more amps than other types of air conditioners and electrical equipment found in the average home.

Standard household outlets may power window air conditioners as tiny as 115 volts and 15 amps. As an alternative, larger window air conditioners that use more power will need a separate outlet.

Because of this, a Window Air Conditioner can draw a current of between 3.5 amps and 20 amps. Although this relies on the air conditioner’s BTU rating.

How Many Amperes Does A 5000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?

A 5000 BTU air conditioner draws between 3.6 and 5.4 amps of electricity. Because of this, it can draw a maximum current of little over five amps. The voltage ranges from 115 to 125 volts for these compact units. Consequently, these devices are compatible with any common household outlet.

A 5000 BTU air conditioner should be used in spaces that are less than 150 square feet in size. The air conditioner’s cooling capacity will be maximized as a result.

How Many Amps Does An 8000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?

To work properly, an 8000 BTU air conditioner needs a current of 5.8 to 8.7 amps. Window air conditioners and portable air conditioners are the most common models. An 800 BTU air conditioner is appropriate for a 350-square-foot room.

How Many Amps Does A 10000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?

To find out the current BTU rating of a 10000 BTU air conditioner, look no further. 10000 BTU air conditioning uses 7.3 to 10.9 amps of current to cool your home effectively.

Window air conditioners and portable models predominate. The most efficient way to cool a 400-450 square-foot space is with a 10000 BTU air conditioner.

How Many Amps Does A 12000 BTU Window Air Conditioner Draw?

In contrast, a 12000 BTU Window Air Conditioner consumes between 8.7 amps and 13 amps of electrical current. Large air conditioners like this one use a lot of electricity, thus they need a special circuit to handle the load.

For homes without a dedicated circuit, it’s best to hire an electrician to put one in. Window, portable, and mini-split air conditioners are all options for these types of air conditioners. To effectively chill a 500-600 square foot space, you’ll need an air conditioner with a 12000 BTU capacity.


Having a working air conditioner is a need year-round, but it’s especially important in the hot summer months. However, before making a purchase, make sure to check the amps rating.

The air conditioner’s BTU rating affects the amps rating, among other things. Lower BTU values typically equate to lower amp requirements. Air conditioners with larger BTU ratings, on the other hand, necessitate more power.