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How Much Electricity Does Your AC Use?

An air conditioner provides much-needed comfort and coolness but consumes a lot of electricity. It can cost you much money and take a huge bite off your battery storage that you’re saving in case of an outage.

Being the responsible adult you are, you should know how much electricity an AC unit can consume, so you can allocate enough power to keep it running on battery storage.

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

An AC unit can consume around 1,000 watts of electricity, but the number can vary depending on your AC type. For instance, a portable AC uses 700 to 1,500 watts, a window AC uses 500 to 1,00 watts, and a central AC can eat up 3,000 to 5,000 watts.

The number varies based on the size and quality of the AC. It will also change based on the size and temperature of the area it’s in. The larger and warmer your space is, the harder your AC needs to work to cool it down and the more power it needs to use.

What are BTUs, and why are they important?

BTUs are also called British Thermal Units. It’s a measurement of how capable an air conditioner is in eliminating heat from an area and cooling it down within a specific time frame (e.g., 1 hour).

A typical window AC used in residential areas has 5,000 to 10,000 BTUs, while a residential central AC has a minimum of 20,000 and a maximum of 50,000 BTUs.

So, why is this important? A BTU tells you an AC’s cooling capacity and the energy it needs to function at such capacity. For example, A 5,000-BTU AC needs 41-625 watts, while a 15,000-BTU AC needs up to 2,250 watts.

Other factors that affect an air conditioner’s power usage

An air conditioner’s efficiency can affect its electricity usage, measured in the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). An air conditioner with a 13 SEER rating is a safe choice.

Moreover, your room’s temperature and humidity levels and how long you keep your AC running can affect its energy consumption.

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