Does a 5 000 BTU air conditioner use a lot of electricity?

A 5 000 BTU air conditioner with just the right EER rating can save you a lot, since you pay about half the amount for 1kWH.

A fundamental part of investing in an air conditioner for your home is purchasing the right sized unit for your home. Sizing is very important when it comes to getting an air conditioner as the wrong size will provide either too much or too little heating or cooling.

The size of air conditioning units are measured in BTU’s (British Thermal Units), and to find the correct size for your space, you need to know the square footage of the room. Some people may want to know how much electricity certain BTU’s use.

5 000 BTU air conditioner and electricity consumption

When you are buying an air conditioner, two of the first considerations you should make is how much electricity the unit uses and how much it will cost you.

The BTU size of your unit determines how much power the air conditioner will use. There are various BTU sizes for air conditioners, ranging from about 5 000 to 20 000, and more.

The bigger the BTU size, the greater the unit’s cooling capacity for suitably sized rooms, so how much electricity does a 5 000 BTU air conditioner use?

Does a 5 000 BTU air conditioner use a lot of electricity?

When it comes to having an air conditioner in your home you should choose a unit that can effectively cool the specific space, whether it is a 10 000 BTU unit or an 8 000 BTU unit, your air conditioner will not serve you any good if it is the wrong size for your space.

But how do you determine how much electricity the unit uses according to its BTU size?

The relationship between the BTU size and the power (watts) of an air conditioner is determined by the EER rating of the unit.

The energy efficiency rating of an air conditioner determines whether the unit is an energy saver or not.

Units with good energy efficiency ratings start from about 10 EER, and assuming a 5 000 BTU air conditioner has an EER of 10, you need to divide 10 EER by the BTU size and this tells you how much electricity the unit uses.

In this case, a 5 000 BTU air conditioner with an EER of 10 uses 500 watts of electricity. 1 000 watts uses 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity per hour and the average price of 1kWH in the US is $0.13. This means that 500 (watts) cost half of $0.13.

Wattage (electricity) = AC BTU ÷ EER rating.


How to check the watts of your air conditioner

In addition to the method above, there are supplementary ways to check how many watts your air conditioner uses. You can find this information in the specification sheet for watts, in the same section as the amperage and voltage.

If the information contained does not tell you how many watts your unit uses, you could check the sheet for amperage and volts and simply multiply the amps and volts to calculate the watts of electricity the air conditioner uses.

The general rule of thumb is the method below.

Amps x volts = wattage

Other factors that contribute to the cost of running an air conditioner

In the methods used above, the watts have been calculated with the presumption that the air conditioner has an EER of 10.

But with units that have even higher EER ratings, the amount of electricity used will be significantly lower and electricity costs will be less.

During hotter and more humid summers, you will use the air conditioner for longer periods, which will add to the cost a bit. If you intend to run the unit continuously, electricity consumption increases.

Other factors impacting costs

Positive Negative
Higher EER means less costs Warmer days and longer usage increases costs
Pre-programming the thermostat saves on costs
Frequently replacing filters increases efficiency.

Always know the room size

Since 5 000 BTU units are designed to efficiently cool spaces of up to 200 square feet, it is important that when you buy your air conditioner, your space is not bigger than that.

If it is, you will definitely have increased energy costs as the unit will overwork to try and cool or heat a space bigger than 200 square feet.

This is why knowing the size of the room is imperative, so that the unit can cycle in a consistent manner and is not overcompensating for larger spaces.

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