By Erik Watkins

How Many Watts Do Air Conditioners Use? (5000 – 10000 BTU)

Last updated: May 19, 2023
How Many Watts Do Air Conditioners Use ? (5000 - 10000 BTU)

Does your family regularly use air conditioning and want to know the air conditioner capacity and amount of electricity it consumes to consider saving electricity? Each type of AC will have different consumption. Keep scrolling for more details.

How Many Watts Do 5000, 6000, 8000, and 10000 BTU Air Conditioners Use?

5,000417 – 625 
6,000500 – 750
8,000667 – 1,000
10,000833 – 1,250
12,0001,000 – 1,500
15,0001,250 – 1,875
18,0001,500 – 2,250

The above table is just for reference, given that the EER is from 8 to 12. In fact, the wattage varies with different types of ACs.

How Much Electricity Does A Window AC Use?

On average, a window air conditioner can produce power between 500 and 1,500 watts, with a cooling capacity of about 5,000 BTU to 25,000 BTU (British Thermal Units). For example, 6000 BTU air conditioner watts is 600.

If you want to know about the energy efficiency of your window AC, you can use the EER rating (Energy Efficiency Ratio). The formula calculates this EER index: EER=BTU/W (BTU is the cooling capacity, and W is the power consumption).

A window AC will give high efficiency if the EER is high. For instance, if your window AC has a rating of 5,000 BTU and consumes 600W of power, the EER rating is 5,000 BTU/600W = 8.3. Window AC units typically have an EER rating between 8 and 12 (from energy inefficient to energy efficient).

If calculated within a month, a window AC using 900 watts of electricity will consume about 200 kWh of electricity when used for about 8 hours a day.

How Much Electricity Does A Central AC System Use?

Typically, central air conditioners use 3,000 to 4,000W, with a cooling capacity of around 36,000 BTU to 48,000 BTU. On average, it can consume about 55 kWh of electricity a day. Each month you will spend about 100 dollars for the electricity your central AC consumes.

However, prices may vary from season to season. Demand for air conditioning in the hot months will be higher than in the warmer months, so fuel consumption in the summer months will be higher.

In addition, depending on the height of the ceiling, users can adjust the appropriate cold level. If your home is 2,000 square footage with high ceilings in conventional designs, the power of a central air conditioning system will be 3,500-watt usage.

How Much Electricity Does A Portable AC Use?

Portable air conditioners use more watts than window AC and less than central AC. On average, the portable ac wattage is about 940 to 1,650W, and its cooling output is 8,000 to 14,000 BTU. For example, 8000 BTU to watts is 940, and 10000 BTU wattage is 1,180.

According to the formula for calculating EER rating, a portable AC unit has an EER of about 8.5. However, environmentally friendly portable ACs have an average EER ratio of 10, and the highest is 11.20 (Whynter ARC-14S). Thus, products with higher EER always come with higher prices.

How Much Electricity Do Mini Split Air Conditioners Use?

The power of each mini-split air conditioner is different, but all fluctuate in the range of 500 to 700 watts of power per zone.

They are designed with very small, mid-range, and big multi-zone units. So mini-split air conditioners consume less power than other AC units because they are designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly. 

For a very small unit, its cooling capacity is around 9,000 BTU. The mid-range unit has a cooling output of 24,000 BTU, and the big multi-zone unit is 60,000 BTU.

On average, the EER rating of the mini-split AC is around 12, which is extremely energy efficient.

Factors Affecting AC Power Consumption

Types Of Air Conditioners You Are Using

Older AC models will consume more electricity than newer AC models today. The reason is that as technology advances, improvements in new designs will save more energy instead of spending electricity on useless operations of the machine.

In addition, AC annual maintenance is also quite important. The dirt accumulating in the machine for a long time will cause it to consume more operating power. It will need more energy to maintain the required temperature in your zone.

The Capacity

In addition, the amount of energy that an AC eats up depends on its capacity. The larger the capacity with the same cooling demand, the higher the AC’s energy consumption.

Besides, the EER or SEER rating will tell you how much energy your device has. Normally, ducted air conditioning units will use more power.

An AC is considered energy efficient if its EER rating ranges from 13 to 14. It proves that its operating efficiency is quite high and will not consume too much electricity. You can find the EER rating through the AC brand or the product brochure.

The Temperature In Your Area

The temperature in your area is also a factor that affects your electricity usage. If the outside temperature is too high, the power consumption will increase.

Therefore, strong ACs are often used to obtain higher operating capacity in areas with long winters and usually have colder temperatures.

In addition, when your usage demand is less due to frequent outings, the power consumption will be less than usual.

The Number Of People In The House

If many people are in your house, your AC will have to operate at a higher capacity. Since the human body generates heat, many people staying indoors will cause the temperature in that area to rise.

To reduce the temperature of a room with many people, the AC must do more than cool a room with only one person. Usually, crowded homes will use larger AC units, so power consumption is also higher.

How To Save Electricity Used By Your AC?

How To Save Electricity Used By Your AC?

Use Your AC Properly

If your AC is too old, replace it with more modern models to help save energy. Besides, using AC properly will help you cut down a lot of electricity.

One of the first rules when opening the air conditioner is to close all doors and windows to prevent hot air outside from entering the room. Your AC will have to operate at an unnecessarily higher capacity.

In addition, you need to regularly clean the machine to prevent dirt from sticking to it, causing it to operate at a higher capacity. You can replace the filter regularly to keep dust from clogging up the cold airflow.

Set Temperature And Time

Setting the temperature and time will help the AC be used when needed, avoiding wasting electricity when no one is using it. It is also especially convenient for those with busy work. They often forget to turn off their AC when leaving the house, so setting a timer is essential.

Normally, the AC temperature should be maintained about 8 degrees below the outside temperature. Note that you have to turn off the AC before going to bed to avoid unnecessary electricity consumption.

Maintain AC Regularly

It’s best to have the machine serviced once a year to promptly handle problems that your AC encounters. Professionals will inspect filters, refrigerants, wiring, and other components directly affecting AC operation.

You should choose a machine that suits your family’s living space. If your family is small and lives in a mid-range house, buying an oversized AC will cost you a lot of money because the operating capacity of the big AC is quite large.


How Many Watts Does An Air Conditioner Use Per Hour?

Assuming all ACs operate for the same amount of time, central AC will consume the most electricity, between 3000 and 3500 watts per hour.

A portable AC uses around 2900 to 4100 watts per hour, and window AC uses about 900 to 1440 watts.

On average, the energy cost of an air conditioner is around $0.06 to $0.88 per hour. So, given that you use it 8 hours each day, your AC monthly electricity bill will be between $14.40 and $211.20, depending on your needs and the type of AC you are using.

Will A 1000 Watt Generator Run A 5000 BTU Air Conditioner?


A generator is very necessary, especially in a power outage. A 500W generator is ideal for 5000 BTU AC. But you can also use a 1000W generator. The capacity of the generator must be greater than the capacity of the AC.

Before choosing generator sizes to power your AC, you need to consider its wattage, output wattage, and fuel consumption.

Determining the power level that the machine can provide will ensure the operation of both the AC and the generator. Besides, the output power ranges of the generator indicate the maximum power it produces. This wattage needs to be higher than the AC’s wattage for it to power the AC.

Generators run on gasoline or gas. You need to determine if your generator is fuel efficient.

Can You Run An Air Conditioner On Solar Power?

Yes. The number of solar panels depends on the type of AC you are using. Central AC uses 3000 to 4000 watts, so you need to use a solar panel system with a capacity of 250 to 300 watts.

15 solar panels will be enough to power your central AC, running 6 hours a day. You will need 4-6 solar panels for the window or portable AC.

See more: Are car batteries AC or DC?


In short, each type of AC will have different energy consumption. Portable and window AC have the same power consumption. Mini-split air conditioners consume the least amount of power, while central AC has the highest capacity. We hope you found this post useful. See you next time.

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Automotive Mechanic at PowerAll

With 7 years experience in management positions leading automotive mechanics at PowerAll, Erik Watkins wishes to share useful knowledge and information about automotive mechanical equipment.


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