The day you buy an Air Conditioner can be one of the most important days of the average human being’s life. I mean, what’s not to like? AC’s are fun and make summers liveable, and they’re sleek and stylish enough that everyone loves having these systems in their home.
No thanks to their enormous success in the market, AC systems today have visibly expanded range in terms of size, type, features, and so on.
If you’ve done your research- you know that such factors play a huge role in your AC’s costs, as well as the satisfaction you derive from it.
However, there’s one more thing to consider: power usage. Studies have proved that AC’s turn out to be one of the biggest consumers of electricity in homes, and are the leading cause behind increasing electricity bills.
This is even more so with larger ACs like Central Air Conditioning systems. But hey, no one signed up for an AC unaware of the drawbacks, right? One knows that having and maintaining a good AC requires some future spending.
Luckily, like many other aspects of your AC, you can control these costs by being well-informed about the consumption of Watts by your AC.
This way, when you are on the search for new models, you will be able to keep an eye on the Watts used and decide for yourself if it is too much, too less, or just right (for the sake of both your home and your wallet).
How To Check The Watt Usage of Your AC?
The Watt usage of your AC is one of the most important details of it. Most customers tend to ignore this number, and consciously look out for BTU and SEER ratings to determine the usefulness of an AC.
However, the Watts used by your AC is equally, if not more, vital as it gives you a clue about the kind of electricity bills you can expect to pay for it in the future.
If you’re puzzled as to where to access your AC’s Watt usage details, here are some ways you can check:
- The first way to find out how many watts your AC unit is consuming is through reference to the specification sheet or page. Here. You’ll easily find a section that details the different features of your AC. The Watt unit is specified next to the Heading ‘Power’ and is closely related to ‘Voltage’, which displays the number of Amperes used to run the AC.
- If you can find the Voltage number but not the Watt number, you can still deduce the number of watts through simple mathematics. You also have to look for the Volts unit specification. Once you’ve found it, multiply the Volts to the Amperes to obtain the result of the Watt usage.
- Finally, a less well-known but much easier way to determine your AC’s Watt usage number is to use the BTU size and the EER rating. These two details can be easily found as they are elaborated right away in the name of the AC or somewhere in the table of specifics. Dividing the BTU size by the EER rating will give you the number of Watts consumed by your AC unit.
What does the Watt usage of your AC imply?
The Watt usage of your AC, much like the amps of the volts, describes the power consumed by your AC to function, i.e, the rate at which electricity flows through a unit.
A higher number of Watts usually indicates that power is moving very quickly through your system, while a low Watt usage is representative of the slower movement of electricity. Usually, the faster the movement of power, the higher the performing capacity.
A bulb with a high Watt rate will be brighter, a fan of the same nature will spin faster, and your Air Conditioner will give you more accurate cooling.
However, higher watt usage is not always considered a good thing. In fact, as ACs go bigger in size, i.e, increasing BTUs, homeowners prefer to see lower Watt rates in the products.
The simple reason is that Watts also decides the energy-saving nature of your AC unit. Obviously, a high Watt unit is then pointless as it consumes the maximum energy required for your AC, and in turn, skyrockets future bills.
As a buyer, you’re already about to spend a load of money on just your AC unit, its installation, and other miscellaneous costs, it is natural to expect lower return costs at the least.
This is why you must look out for lower rates of Watt consumption in order to increase your unit’s energy efficiency. Take, for instance, a 9,000 BTU AC unit which has a power consumption of 900 W.
This gives the unit a decent Energy Efficiency Ratio of, say, 10. The same unit, operating at a lower Watt rate such as 800 W would increase the EER to 11 or 12, and make the prices you have to pay for your monthly AC usage much easier on your bank account.
Moreover, the Watt usage rate is significant to understand whether or not your new AC will be able to comfortably settle in your home without hindering the electricity consumption of other household appliances.
How To Calculate The Watt usage of any AC unit?
One of the simplest ways to find the Watt usage of your AC is to divide the BTU by the EER to obtain the maximum possible Watt level at which your AC operates.
For instance, assuming your AC has a size of 11,000 BTU, and an EER of 10, your watt usage would be equal to the result of 11,000 divided by 10- 1,100 Watts.
This is just an example, as EER ratings vary across BTU sizes as well as AC types. However, if you want a general idea of how this system works, here’s what you can expect:
- A 5,000 BTU AC uses 417 to 625 Watts per hour.
- A 6,000 BTU AC uses 500 to 750 Watts per hour.
- An 8,000 BTU AC uses 667 to 1000 Watts per hour.
- A 10,000 BTU AC unit uses 833 and 1250 Watts per hour.
- The 12,000 BTU AC uses 1000 W to 1500 Watts per hour.
- A 15,000 BTU AC uses 1500 to 2250 Watts per hour.
This is also based on the universal expectation that most AC’s fall between the 8 EER and the 12 EER range. A higher EER rating or a lower EER rating could lead to a Watt usage number outside the given estimates.
Watt usage of Window, Portable, Mini-Split, and RV Air Conditioner
As mentioned, Watts used also differs across different kinds of ACs such as Window AC, Portable AC, RV AC, Mini Split AC, and so on.
Watts used by Window ACs
For window ACs, you can find units with BTU sizes as small as 5,000 to those as big as 25,000. Their EER rating on average is also considered to be between 8 and 12.
This means that, for a 5,000 BTU unit, you can expect watts used to be 625 at an 8 EER and 417 at a 12 EER. Additionally, the watts used are 3,125 at an 8 EER rating for the 25,000 BTU rating, and 2,083 at a 12 EER value for the same respectively.
As you can see, the bigger EER value yields a smaller amount of Watts consumed.
Watts used by Portable ACs
For Portable ACs, you can expect the Watt number to be higher as these units draw more energy than Window ACs in general. Additionally, their EER ratings are also a .5 value higher, i.e, the average EER ratings range between 8.5 and 12.5 for the same BTU size.
Portable ACs, thus, can also be categorized as more energy efficient.
However, their sizes are only available between 8,000 and 14,000 BTU capacity.
For a window AC, an 8,000 BTU unit would use 1,000 Watts at an 8 EER and 666 Watts at 12 EER ratings. However, the portable AC, at the same size, would use 941 Watts due to its 8.5 EER rating and 640 Watts on a 12.5 EER rating.
Watts used by Mini Split ACs
Mini Split air conditioners boast more efficiency compared to the previous models, especially as their average EER rating is considered to be 12, which is pretty high, to begin with.
Mini-Splits come in sizes ranging from 9,000 to 24,000 for single zoned AC types. While multi-zoned models, which are designed to especially support large spaces, are sized as big as 60,000 BTUs.
For a 9,000 BTU mini split AC at a 12 EER, you can expect usage of 750 Watts, while a 24,000 BTU system uses only 2,000 Watts at the same rate.
Watts used by RV ACs
Finally, when it comes to RV ACs, keep in mind that these units require watts to run, and additional watts to simply startup. You can expect an average EER rating of about 10 for these models.
So if you take a 10,000 BTU AC, the watts used are 100 at a 10 point EER. However, additional power of up to 3,500 watts may be drawn for the start-up.
Factors Influencing your AC’s Watt Usage
Your AC’s capacity/size, age, model, etc determine your total AC costs. For instance, a bigger-sized, older model will use up more energy than its lower BTU, newer counterpart.
Similarly, ducted systems such as Central ACs have a higher watt usage than a split or a window AC. The SEER rating, however, when bigger in number can mean that a lower amount of electricity is used to run this unit compared to others of smaller SEER numbers.
Things like the outdoor temperature also make a big difference in how much energy is drawn by your AC to cool the room.
You can find ways to reduce your overall AC expenditure by choosing models with a lower watt usage. Supplementing this by practical methods, such as closing the windows and doors or sealing off any openings or gaps during summers to stop the pressure of outdoor heat; reducing the run time of your AC, not lowering the set temperature more than what is necessary, avoiding running the AC constantly, and maintaining your AC well. All this makes sure that AC costs remain reasonable for a long time in the future.
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