- On October 10, 2022
An air conditioning unit is an indispensable appliance in homes within the Phoenix area. AC units help cool the rooms to enhance your comfort. So how much electricity does your AC use? The amount of energy consumed by your AC depends on several factors. Your installation technician can help you reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption. Read on to learn more.
How Much Electricity Does an Air Conditioner Use?
Several factors impact the amount of power your air conditioner consumes. Understanding these factors makes it easier for anyone who wishes to estimate the power consumption of their AC. The primary determinant of the amount of power consumed is the type of air conditioner you have installed in your home.
How Much Power Does a Central Air Conditioner Use?
Most central air conditioners use between 3000 and 3500 watts per hour during a warm month. Since Phoenix is a warm area, you can expect your power consumption to be within that range. However, if your ac runs on fan mode, the power consumption can be as low as 750 watts per hour.
How Much Electricity Does a Portable Air Conditioner Use?
The size of your portable air conditioner matters a lot when it comes to power consumption. A medium-sized portable ac consumes about 2900 watts per hour, while a fairly larger one can consume up to 4100 watts per hour.
Window Air Conditioner Energy Usage
Like portable air conditioners, energy consumption in a window ac unit depends on its size. Larger window air conditioners use about 1440 watts per hour, while medium-sized ones use about 900 watts per hour. However, if you have a smaller one, your energy consumption drops to about 500 watts per hour.
Understanding Air Conditioner Power Consumption
The energy usage provided in the previous sections gives you an estimate of what most air conditioners use. So does ac use a lot of electricity? To get the actual energy consumption for your AC, you need to compute it. Calculating energy consumption should not be complicated; just check the power rating on your AC. This information is provided in watts, but your electricity tariffs are in kilowatts.
You will need to convert the watts to kilowatts by dividing the hourly consumption rate by 1000. If the power rating of your AC is 100 watts per hour and it runs for 60 hours, your energy consumption is 6000 watts, which is equivalent to (6000 ÷ 1000) kilowatt-hours or 6 kWh. From this, you can get your energy consumption in dollars by multiplying the value by the cost of electricity in your area. In the state of Arizona, the cost of electricity averages 12.8 cents per kilowatt-hour.
However, your AC does not run continuously but in two cycles of 15 minutes each per hour. That means your electricity consumption is about half what you calculated using the energy rating. Most homeowners spend about $400 annually on air conditioning. However, this figure may change depending on several factors.
Factors That Affect Air Conditioner Electricity Usage
Now that you know how much electricity your air conditioner uses, the next step is to learn why your AC consumes more energy than others. While the type and size of your ac may determine your power usage, other factors may make you pay more. Here are some of those factors:
Your Air Conditioner’s Capacity
The air conditioner’s capacity measures the ability of the AC to cool your entire home. Your air conditioner’s capacity is measured in British thermal units (BTUs). You need 20 BTUs to cool an area of one square foot. The larger your home, the more BTUs are required to cool every room. Homeowners with large homes spend more than those living in smaller ones.
Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency Rating
How much electricity an air conditioner uses is based on the efficiency rating of the AC. Each ac unit has a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The SEER rating gives you the maximum efficiency of the ac unit per season of cooling. A higher SEER rating means the ac is more efficient. Federal regulations set the minimum SEER rating at 13 or 14, depending on where you live. However, you can still get an ac with a SEER rating of 25.
Why does ac use a lot of electricity? This question is common in areas that have a warm climate. Since the primary role of the AC is to cool your home, you would expect it to use more electricity in warmer areas like Phoenix than in cooler regions.
Your Maintenance Routine
Poorly maintained air conditioners consume more energy. Regular maintenance can help reduce the energy consumption of the ac unit. To keep the air conditioner at its optimal efficiency, you should schedule professional maintenance twice a year. In-between the professional maintenance schedules, you can change or clean the filters on your own. If you are among those who wonder whether an AC uses a lot of electricity, you will be surprised to learn the amount of energy you can save through regular maintenance.
The temperature settings on your ac also impact your energy consumption. Most ac manufacturers recommend setting the temperature to 75 degrees. If you keep changing the temperature settings, your energy consumption goes high.
It’s important to consider all components of the air conditioning system to help distribute the air it’s blowing. Have your registers been cleaned and sealed? Is your ductwork clear and free of particulates? Is your system’s blower motor operating at maximum performance? Has your coil been cleaned in the last year? If you don’t know or have answered “no” to any of these, it’s time for a professional duct cleaning. This will not only promote proper airflow in the home but help keep it free and clear of contaminants. Get professional duct cleaning from Howard Air for as low as $65 a month with special zero-interest financing from Howard Air.
Insulation helps retain the cooled air in the room or prevent hot air from getting in. A well-insulated room reduces the workload of the ac to save energy. We recommend a minimum of 3 to 4 inches of insulation with an R-value of at least R-30 for maximum energy efficiency. Increase your energy efficiency today with attic insulation from Howard Air – now 25% OFF with special 0% financing for R-19 to R-49 grade insulations.
Professional Air Conditioner Installation & Maintenance in Phoenix
The question, how much electricity does an air conditioner use is common among homeowners looking for AC installation and repair services in Phoenix.
At Howard Air, we understand your quest to learn how to reduce your air conditioner’s energy usage. Our experienced ac installation and maintenance technicians can help you select the best air conditioner for your home and provide regular maintenance to keep your energy bills low. To schedule ac maintenance or installation services, contact us for more information.
FAQ: Air Conditioner Power Consumption
Air conditioning units enhance comfort, particularly during hot summers. In addition, a well-installed air conditioner unit improves air quality in your home. But how much electricity does an air conditioner use? The answer to this question can help you budget for your energy expenses and decide how to run the unit. So does AC use a lot of electricity? Continue reading for our FAQs, or contact us to learn more.
HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY DOES A 12,000 BTU AIR CONDITIONER USE?
BTU is a unit of measurement that shows the amount of energy consumed by your AC. Air conditioners have different BTUs allowing you to buy one that fits your needs. The air conditioners have an efficiency score known as the SEER rating. Most ACs have a 12,000 BTU with a SEER rating of 13 and use about 900 watts per hour. You can lower the energy consumption by getting an AC with a higher SEER rating.
HOW MUCH DOES YOUR ELECTRIC BILL GO UP WITH AN AIR CONDITIONER?
Like any other electric appliance, your air conditioner consumes power depending on the watt rating. An AC with a lower watt rating consumes less energy than one with a higher rating. Therefore, you would expect your electricity bill to go up when you start using your AC or installing a larger one. In Phoenix, most homes spend an average of $400 on air conditioning annually.
DO AIR CONDITIONERS USE A LOT OF ELECTRICITY?
If your air conditioner runs all day most of the time, it could be the highest power consumer in your home. However, the benefits of installing one justify the energy expenses.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RUN AN AIR CONDITIONER ALL DAY?
The cost of running an AC depends on its power rating. A 900-watt air conditioner that runs eight hours daily consumes 10.8 kWh (900*12/1000). Since electricity costs about 12 cents per kilowatt hour, you spend around $1.3 daily for air conditioning.
HOW MANY WATTS DOES AN AIR CONDITIONER CONSUME?
Getting the number of watts used by your AC may not be straightforward. You may have to compute the wattage since consumption depends on several factors. That said, you can estimate the daily watt usage by multiplying the watt rating by the number of hours the AC runs. A 3000-watt central air conditioner uses 3000 watts per hour. If you run it for eight hours, it consumes about 24000 watts.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE AN AC’S POWER CONSUMPTION?
If your concern is, “how much electricity does an air conditioner use,” you first need to calculate its power consumption. You can get information about power consumption on the energy-saving label. If the information is provided in watts, multiply the wattage by the number of hours the AC runs, then divide the answer by 1000 to convert it to kilowatts. Take an AC unit rated 900 watts and running for 8 hours, for instance. Its power consumption will be 7.2 kWh, kilowatt-hours of electricity.
HOW CAN I REDUCE AIR CONDITIONING ENERGY BILLS?
You can reduce your energy bill by ensuring your air conditioner runs optimally. One way of enhancing its efficiency is scheduling regular maintenance. If you have an older inefficient AC, replacing it with a more efficient one can help you lower the energy bills. Further, you can reduce your bills by regulating the warm air that enters your home. You can close windows and doors to control the amount of sunlight that gets into your home.
You can also lower your bills by adjusting the temperature settings on the AC and the number of hours it runs. Most air conditioners work efficiently with a temperature setting of about 72 to 75 degrees.
Avoid running the AC continuously. You can turn it off as you go to bed or during cooler days. You can also reduce power consumption by keeping cabinets closed to reduce the volume of air circulating in your home. Finally, get a suitable unit for your home. If your air conditioner unit is too large or too small, your power consumption is high.
IS IT OKAY TO LEAVE AC ON ALL DAY?
If your AC is in the best working condition, there is no harm in leaving it on the whole day. However, leaving it on all day may increase your energy bills. You can turn it off at night or on cooler days to lower energy bills.
HOW MANY HOURS SHOULD AC RUN PER DAY?
In hot summers, run the AC 8 to 9 hours a day and fewer hours in cooler months. There is no general rule, provided your home remains comfortable.
IS IT CHEAPER TO RUN FANS OR AC?
Fans consume less energy compared to air-conditioning units, so running fans to cool your home is cheaper than using air conditioning units. However, fans may not be as effective as AC units, especially in hot summers.
HOW CAN I PREVENT HIGH ELECTRIC BILLS FROM AIR CONDITIONING?
Air conditioning may be the highest consumer of electricity in your home. Fortunately, you can lower the energy bills by ensuring the AC runs efficiently. You should schedule regular maintenance to preserve the efficiency of your AC unit.
WHAT IS DUCT CLEANING?
As part of regular maintenance, duct cleaning involves cleaning the duct system, supply, intake, and return vents. Regular duct cleaning boosts the efficiency of your unit and lowers its energy consumption.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS I COULD KEEP MY HOME COOL MORE EFFICIENTLY?
How much electricity does an air conditioner use? The answer varies, but if you want to lower energy consumption, then you need a more efficient method of cooling your home. As a first step, installing a new AC unit could be the most viable solution. Modern air conditioning units use advanced technology to cool your home at lower costs. Besides lowering your energy bills, a new AC unit runs more quietly.