AC load calculation is the process of calculating the amount of power that your air conditioner will consume. You have to take into account the electrical load of your unit for two reasons – to know the capacity of the circuit that you will need and to know the cost of the electricity that it will consume.
The load calculation for an air conditioner is a basic power calculation, where the inputs are the electrical and mechanical properties of the compressor and motor and the output is the electrical and mechanical properties of the motor, compressor, and condenser fan motor.
The electrical load of an air conditioner is determined by the amount of electrical energy needed by the air conditioner to compress the refrigerant to the pressures required to turn the compressor on and to maintain the setpoint temperature.
The electrical load is affected by various factors which include the type of compressor, the refrigerant, and the design of the condenser fan motor.
How do you calculate the outlet (plug socket) needed for your air conditioner?
Disclaimer: If you’re not an electrician, we do not advise you on doing this outlet installation by yourself. It is always recommended to hire a professional. This article is for educational purposes only and always consider your safety.
You don’t want this to happen in your air conditioner outlet.
In residential and commercial aircon installations, the correct-sized plug socket of the aircon will be needed as well as the correct wiring size used in the AC circuit.
The question should be, what is the correct wiring size for an air conditioner outlet?
You’ve probably seen a burnt outlet and you’re wondering why it happened. Well, electrical outlets are burnt because the electrical wires used cannot handle a load that feeds to them.
These wires tend to melt and touch the surface of the electrical outlet causing them to spark, burn the outlet, and worse cause fire.
Let’s make an example:
You have a brand new 1 HP air conditioner and decided to install it by yourself. Without knowing the correct electrical materials needed to run your new AC, you purchased cheap and substandard materials.
After you finished your project, you decided to turn the AC on, and suddenly your breaker trips and you smell a burnt wire and your new AC is not working anymore because the motor is damaged.
Here are some of the reasons it happened:
- You didn’t hire a professional air conditioner installer.
- You used substandard electrical materials.
- You did not do the correct computation and used the wrong circuit breaker and wiring size.
After this mistake, you learned your lesson and decided to hire a professional for your future projects.
You changed your mind and tried to install it again. But this time, you are more prepared.
- You used the correct circuit breaker, which is 20 Amperes. Because you considered the 20% safety margin.
- You used #12 AWG wire because you don’t want to repeat your mistake.
Everything is working fine because you either hired a professional or used the correct materials and followed all the safety precautions.
Do air conditioners need a special outlet?
While installing an air conditioner is generally straightforward, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing to consider is the power outlet required.
These come in various sizes determined by how much current they can safely provide. Typically, an air conditioner that needs to cool a larger area will require a more powerful outlet.
However, there are some special instances where you might want to use a dedicated circuit for your air conditioner.
- If you have a lot of electronics in your house that you are afraid may suffer from power outages during the summer months, it is probably a good idea to set up a separate circuit.
- If your home has old wiring or is not properly grounded, you may need to have an electrician upgrade your house’s electrical system to support the air conditioner.
Can you plug an AC into a regular outlet?
Should you plug an A/C into a regular outlet? And the answer to that is no.
You may have a smaller AC unit and it may be tempting to just plug it on a regular wall outlet.
But it is always recommended to have a separate circuit and outlet for air conditioners.
This applies to all motor-based appliances and equipment. These motors are expected to run continuously and you wouldn’t know when a sudden current surge will happen. It is better to spend on electrical safety than damaging your equipment.
Summer is in full swing, and that means millions of homes are blasting the AC to keep their homes cool. But you can’t just plug something into the wall willy-nilly—you need the proper electrical socket for your air conditioner to work safely and efficiently.
There are a few different types of electrical plugs that you can use to power your air conditioner, and the type you choose will depend on how big your air conditioning unit is and how strong of a current it needs.