How Many Watts Does an Air Conditioner Use?

Figuring out how many watts an air conditioner uses is not entirely straightforward. The answer depends on factors such as the model, size and age of the unit and the characteristics of your home. Although you could research the how many watts an air conditioner uses and then calculate the usage of your own A/C, that number is still only going to be a rough estimate. Central air conditioning draws extra power each time it turns on, and you can't tell how efficiently the system is working. 

But rough estimates for how many watts an air conditioners uses are; 

  • Central Air Conditioner - 3500 Watts
  • Central A/C Fan Only - Compressor Off - 750 Watts 
  • Largest Window Units - 1440 Watts 
  • Medium Window Unit - 900 Watts
  • Smallest Window Unit - 500 Watts

What Affects How Many Watts an Air Conditioner Uses

  • Cost to Run an AC - Your monthly power bill depends on local rates, but there are a couple of ways to estimate your costs. Energy Star says the average homeowner spends about $1,000 per year on heating and cooling costs, or about 50 percent of their total energy bills. In a warm state like Florida, cooling can account for as much as 70 percent of your summer electric bills. That adds up to a big chunk of money, so it's smart to think about ways to conserve energy. 
  • Choosing an AC - Rather than selecting an air conditioner based on wattage, choose the unit that's right for the size of the space you need to cool. Buying a model that's too small is as much of a mistake as buying one that's too large. Skimping on size means the system has to work overtime to keep your space comfortable. Over-sizing the unit also keeps it from operating at peak efficiency. The system cools your home too fast, leaving excess humidity in the air. That feels uncomfortable and opens the door to potential mold problems down the road.

A professional HVAC technician from Senica Air Conditioning can assess your existing equipment and the characteristics of your home. Once you know the right size for your space, you can start looking at energy efficiency and other features.

Conserving Energy With an AC
Air conditioner efficiency is shown by the SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The higher the number, the more efficiently the unit is designed to operate. Central air conditioners can also earn the Energy Star designation, a label that is not available for room-size AC units. Because of the lengthy warm season in the Crystal River FL area, it makes sense to purchase the highest efficiency level that you can afford. 

Once you've invested in the right AC, you need to keep the unit running its best. That means arranging for yearly service checks, changing the filters regularly and keeping the outside unit clear of debris. Sign up for a budget-friendly annual maintenance agreement for help remembering to schedule those appointments since performing routine maintenance translates to better efficiency and contributes to a longer operational life.

Our certified HVAC technicians are happy to answer all of your questions about watts, operating costs and annual maintenance agreements. Senica Air Conditioning has been installing and repairing heating and cooling systems in the Crystal River FL area since 1974. Let us share our expertise with you.
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