How many amps does an air conditioner use?

The amount of amps that an air conditioner uses will be specific to the model, and will be dependent on the capacity and type of air conditioner.

There are various factors about your space and about the electrical components of an air conditioner (AC) to consider before you purchase a unit.

How many amps an air conditioner uses will be determined by the type of air conditioner it is and its cooling capacity, but amperage is specific to each model.

The importance of buying the right air conditioner for your space

When the weather gets extremely hot and humid outside, you may consider running out to purchase some kind of air conditioner for your space.

However, there are several factors about your space that you should take into account before you settle on a particular air conditioner model.

The most important considerations are the size of your space and the capacity of the air conditioner that you need to buy to cool the space effectively.

The other considerations are your home’s electrical systems. Different kinds of air conditioners also have varying electrical requirements and usage levels.

How many amps does an air conditioner use?

As a result of the differences between air conditioner types, models, and brands, it can get confusing when you compare the options to find the one that is right for your home.

This is especially true when it comes to understanding electrical terms like amps, volts, and watts. Fortunately, the differences between these terms can be easily explained when they are placed next to each other, as follows:

Term Explanation
Amps (or Ampere) This measures the electrical current that flows past a certain point within a second and indicates how much current is drawn through the electrical cables in your home to your air conditioner
Voltage This indicates how intensely power is being transported through a circuit
Wattage This indicates the amount of electrical power flowing through a device

Although all of these electrical terms are important and can help you to distinguish between different air conditioner models, the current that an air conditioner draws, which is measured in amps, can affect how much your air conditioner costs in terms of your monthly electricity bill and this is why the amperage of a unit is important when you are shopping around.

Every air conditioning unit has its own amperage, which will also be printed on a label included with the unit and it can be helpful to look at specific examples to narrow down the averages, but in general, the kinds of air conditioners and their amps are as follows:

Type of air conditioner Average amps (A)
Window air conditioners 3.8 A to 20 A
Portable air conditioners 3.1 A to 12.8 A
Mini-split air conditioners 8.7 A to 20 A

Specific examples of window air conditioners and how many amps they use

Window air conditioners are usually smaller and have a lower capacity than other types of air conditioners. As a result, they also usually use a lower amount of amps, as follows:

Specific window air conditioner model Capacity Amps (A) Where to buy
Emerson Quiet Kool EARC5MD1 Window Air Conditioner 5000 BTU 3.9 A

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GE AHEC05AC Window Air Conditioner 5000 BTU 4.1 A

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Friedrich CEW08B11A Chill Premier Smart Air Conditioner Window Unit 8000 BTU 6.3 A

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Keystone ‎KSTAW12CE LCD Window Mounted Air Conditioner 12 000 BTU 8.7 A

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These examples show how much the capacity of your air conditioner unit can affect its amp usage. It also shows how the amps that an air conditioning unit uses can differ between models, even when they have the same capacity.

Specific examples of portable air conditioners and how many amps they use

Portable air conditioners come in a variety of capacities and, as a result, they can differ in amperage from one model to the next, for example:

Specific portable air conditioner model Capacity Amps (A) Where to buy
BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner 8000 BTU 11.5 A

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Honeywell HF0CESVWK6 Smart WiFi Portable Air Conditioner 10 000 BTU 11 A

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De’Longhi PACEX390LVYN Portable Air Conditioner 14 000 BTU 11.7 A

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Specific examples of mini-split air conditioners and how many amps they use

The same is true for mini-split air conditioners and the amount of amps that they use to operate, as is evident with the following models:

Specific min-split air conditioner model Capacity Amps (A) Where to buy
DAIKIN Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split Inverter Air Conditioner 9000 BTU 6.95 A

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Commercial Cool CSAH1820AC Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner 18 000 BTU 8.11 A

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From all of these examples, it becomes clear why it is so important to find the amperage for your specific unit. This can also be done using a snap-on electrical meter when the unit has been installed.

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