Updated at: 17-03-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

When shopping for an air conditioner, it’s critical to know exactly how many watts it consumes so you can get the best value for your money. However, this can be difficult due to the fact that an AC unit’s power consumption fluctuates depending on its age and size. You can get an idea of how much electricity your air conditioner uses by looking at this helpful information.

How Air Conditioners Work

Heat is removed from an enclosed area and humidity levels are maintained in order to provide a comfortable environment with an air conditioner.

An air conditioner works by removing heat and humidity from inside a room and exchanging it with cold air. This process is one of many techniques used to attain HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Cooling through the air is one approach, but there are others including ventilative cooling and passing cooling. Let us answer your query, “how many watts does an air conditioner use per hour?” instead of delving into the nitty-gritty of how these things work.

Power Consumption of AC | How Much Power Does An AC Use?

1. A Rough Estimate of How Many Watts an AC Uses

Window air conditioners typically utilize between 500 and 900 watts per hour, with the smallest units consuming the least amount of power. The most powerful window air conditioners utilize around 1440 watts per hour. The typical hourly power consumption of a portable air conditioner is 2,900 watts, although larger systems can reach 4,100 watts. On the other hand, a central air conditioning unit consumes an average of 3,000 to 3,500 watts per hour, but the energy consumption is reduced to 750 watts per hour when the fan-only mode is on.

In order to get an idea of how much electricity the device will need, it’s important to know how much it consumes. To begin, figure out your system’s wattage, operating hours, and local electricity rates. Determine how much power your system uses. Assume your air conditioner consumes 3,000 watts and is used for 4.5 hours per day on average at a cost of $0.13 per kilowatt. 3,000/1,000 x 4.5 x $0.13 = $1.755 per hour in utility costs.

Take note that an AC unit doesn’t run for an hour at once. Calculating the cost on an hourly basis yields a greater result because it is on and off all the time. Air conditioners typically cycle for 15 minutes per hour. To find the solution, multiply it by two. You’ll spend $0.8775 per hour if you follow the preceding example.

2. Factors That Affect AC Wattage Use

An AC unit might consume more or less energy for a variety of reasons. In order to maintain a suitable temperature, a smaller unit will have to work harder and consume more energy. However, because it is designed to cool a large area, a bigger unit uses more energy during operation.

In comparison to more advanced models, older air conditioners consume electricity inefficiently. Because conditioned air can escape through the ductwork of a ducted system, it consumes more energy than a split system. You should expect your air conditioner to require more watts to cool your home if you live in a hot temperature location. Heat-emitting appliances in your home like as oven, dishwasher and washing machine raise the temperature in your house. You’ll notice an increase in AC power consumption as a result.

3. Conserving Energy With an AC

An ENERGY STAR-rated central air conditioner will save you money in the long run. It’s also a good idea to look into SEER ratings so you can find the most energy-efficient air conditioner you can afford. You should always keep your windows and drapes closed when using an air conditioner. Keep in mind that your air conditioner will need to chill more hot air if it is exposed to direct sunlight. The air conditioner has to work harder because of holes in the insulation in your house.

When not in use, turn off heat-dissipating appliances. It is recommended that the AC unit be set to between 71 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit, but it should not be set lower than 8 degrees below what is outside. Every three months, clean or replace the air filters. If you live in an area with a lot of dust or if you have a pet that sheds, you should check your air filters every month. As a result, your air conditioner will have to work harder, which means it will use more electricity. An annual expert inspection of the appliance is recommended to ensure optimal performance. You can expect them to inspect your unit’s refrigerant level and look for any leaks that could increase its power consumption.

How Many Watts Does An Air Conditioner Use Per Hour

Air conditioners utilize a wide range of watts, so it is impossible to give an exact figure. The reason for this is that air conditioners come in a variety of models, and there are additional variables, such as the room’s size and the unit itself.

However, most air conditioners require 2.69 kW of power to operate in the HEAT mode and 2.72 kW in the COOL mode. As an example, if you put your unit to cool mode for an hour, it would consume 2.72kWh.

In addition to the fact that the amount of energy used per hour is the same every time, you need also take into account the pace at which thermal energy is lost and the ambient temperature in your room. As a result, if the temperature is too high and you set the unit to a higher setting, it will use a lot of power. Nonetheless, here are the estimated watts an AC consumes:

  • In the smallest window unit, there is a 0.5kW unit available
  • Medium-sized window air conditioners (0.9kW)
  • There are 1.44kW of power in the largest window units
  • 0.75 kW of central air conditioning (FAN only, no compressor)
  • 3.5 kilowatts of central air conditioning

Factors That Affect Your Electric Bill

If you don’t examine the following factors when purchasing an air conditioner, your power cost will skyrocket:

Factor #1. Your environment

A hot and humid environment is the only reason most people use air conditioners. Electricity is a major expense for those who live in hot climates, especially during the summer. Even though you’re sweltering, it’s worth it to switch off your air conditioning once in a while to save money, right?

Factor #2. Local electric bill rates

Additionally, you may have a mini-heart attack due to the high electricity costs. In other words, every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity your air conditioner consumes will be billed to you on a monthly basis.

Hence, it is imperative that you be aware of the local electricity rates and when it is best for you to conserve electricity. A typical homeowner’s annual electric expense is projected by Energy Star to be $1,000, which covers half of the cost.

Now consider the power bill for folks who live in warmer climates, where cooling costs are higher and account for 70% of the bill during the summer. Isn’t it bad for your wallet? So, conserve energy at home by being a wise consumer.

Factor #3. The size of your AC unit

Because they are less expensive, most people choose for smaller appliances, but they have no idea that this could be the root of their rising electric bills. To put it another way, it may take some time for your AC to chill a large space, which will use a lot of electricity.

If you have a small space, you may not need to buy a large air conditioner because it will cool the room quickly and leave behind too much humidity, which could encourage the growth of molds.

When purchasing an air conditioner, you want to be sure that the unit’s size is just suitable for the room’s dimensions. You’ll be able to save more energy this way. Read this article to discover more about ways to reduce your air conditioner’s electricity use.

Survey: 1 in 3 Albertans Has an Air Conditioner at Home – EnergyRates.ca

Will a 6500 watt generator run central air?

A 6500-watt generator, on the other hand, can power most average-sized central air conditioners throughout the summer, a power outage, or for recreational purposes.

How many watts does a 3 ton central air conditioner use?

A three-ton central air conditioner consumes 3500 watts of electricity every hour. A 12,000 watt window unit consumes 1200 watts per hour as a general guideline.

How much electricity does a central air unit use?

On average, central air conditioners utilize 1 kWh per ton per hour. An air-conditioner with a 4-ton capacity uses approximately 4 kWh of electricity per hour. It would use 48 kWh per day if a four-ton air conditioner was running for 12 of the 24 hours of the day.

How many watts does it take to run a 5 ton air conditioner?

A 5-ton air conditioner consumes how many watts? AC wattage for a 5-ton AC unit can range from 4,000W to 8,000W. How many amps does that equate to? (240V circuit).

What size generator do I need to run central air?

In order to be safe, it is generally accepted that you will need at least 2kW of power and ideally 3kW to be on the safe side.

What can I run with a 6500 watt generator?

Most basic home items, such as a refrigerator, dryer, and television, may be powered by a 6,500-watt generator.

  • Refrigerators. A 6,500-watt generator can power refrigerators.
  • Air conditioners for the windows.
  • A clothes dryer powered by electricity.
  • Televisions.
  • A water heater that is powered by an electric source.
  • Other.

How many amps does it take to run a 3-ton AC unit?

2 ton AC draws 15 amps at this SEER rate, 3 ton draws 18 amps at this rating, and 4 ton draws 21 amps at this rating.

Will a 7000 watt generator run central air?

A 7000 Watt Generator’s Starting Watts or Surge Watts For example, a modest window air conditioner will require approximately 3600 watts to start up. Because of how much power is needed to start cooling, operating watts may decrease as low as 1200 once the cooling process has begun.

Will a 5500 watt generator run central air?

Can a 5500-watt generator power a home’s central air conditioning system? Although a 5500-watt running generator theoretically could power a small central air conditioner (which is modern and energy efficient), we prefer an emergency window air conditioner because 5500-watt generators may have insufficient starting power.

Does Central AC use a lot of electricity?

You don’t have to worry about installing individual window units when you have a central air conditioning system. Even with all of these benefits comes a price. Every hour, a typical Central AC unit consumes 3,500 watts of electricity or 12,000 Btu.

Does central air increase electric bill?

In the hot weather, it is difficult to place a value on comfort. When it’s hot outside, the cost of air conditioning can quickly spiral out of control. This time of year, air conditioning can account for as much as half of your electric cost.

How much does it cost to run central air conditioning per day?

It costs an average of $2.51 to $4.18 per day to run your AC for 8 hours a day. An air conditioner’s running expenses can be estimated using these averages. To be clear, these are merely averages and should be taken with a grain of salt.

What size generator do I need to run a 5 ton AC?

You’ll need at least a 17 KW generator if you have a 4-ton (40-Amp, 48,000 BTUs) air conditioning unit. The minimum generator size required for a 5-ton (50-Amp, 60,000 BTU) air conditioner is a 20 KW unit.

What Is The Power Consumption Of Air Conditioners?

What size breaker do I need for a 5 ton AC unit?

8-2 w/ground is the most frequent combination. You might use 6-2 w/ground if you believe the condenser unit uses a 2P50A breaker. Most indoor air handlers are 240v and can be wired with a 14-2 w/ground and a 2P15A breaker based on the assumption that they have no heatstrips. It is also possible to utilize 12-2 w/ground if you prefer to be even more certain of your results.


There is no more to say about “how many watts does an air conditioner consume per hour?” Always keep in mind that the amount of energy required to cool your room is dependent on a number of factors, including the size of the room, the age, type, and size of your air conditioner, as well as the temperature differential and the amount of humidity in the space.

Before you buy an air conditioner, take into account the size of the device and your local electricity rates. Click here if you’d like to read more useful and fascinating articles. I appreciate you taking the time to read this.