May 16, 2021
AC Watt Consumption in Champaign, Illinois

Summers in Champaign, IL, are hot and humid. To keep cool at home, you’ll rely on an air conditioner. There are many types of air conditioners, and each of them requires a different amount of electricity. Electricity use is measured in watts per hour, and it’s important to know how many watts your cooling system uses. This information allows you to predict your electricity bill and keep track of your unit’s energy efficiency. Keep reading to learn about how many watts different types of air conditioning systems use in order to cool and dehumidify a house.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners don’t use ducts. They don’t require a window for mounting, but they do need a hose to drain the condensate. Portable air conditioners are often used in finished basements, attics, and garage workshops, but they can also be used to cool a whole house that doesn’t have existing ductwork. Portable air conditioners use more watts per hour to cool the same amount of square footage compared to other types of air conditioning units. The smallest portable air conditioners, which cool about 1,000 square feet, use 2,900 watts per hour. The largest units, which can cool up to 2,000 square feet, use about 4,100 watts per hour.

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners are designed to cool one room or a couple of rooms, such as a small apartment. They range in capacity from units that cool up to 400 square feet to those that cool up to 1,200 square feet. The smallest units use about 500 watts per hour. A medium-sized window air conditioner that cools up to 900 square feet uses around 900 watts per hour. The largest units require about 1,400 watts per hour.

Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Ductless air conditioning systems don’t require any air ducts to deliver cooled and dehumidified air throughout your residence. Instead, these systems use up to four indoor units that are connected to one outdoor unit. Each indoor unit has its own small fan. This fan blows the cooled air into the living space. The result is more efficient cooling. A typical ductless air conditioning system uses about 700 to 2,000 watts of electricity per hour. If you’re cooling one zone, it will use around 700 watts, and if you’re cooling an entire 2,000-square-foot house, it will use closer to 2,000 watts per hour.

Central Air Conditioning Systems

Central air conditioning systems have two possible settings. When they’re on the fan-only setting, they use about 750 watts per hour. This is about 10 times more electricity than one ceiling fan uses.

When a central air conditioning system is on the cooling setting, it uses about 3,500 watts per hour. This watt usage is based on an air conditioning system with a 3.5-ton capacity. A central air conditioning system of this size has the capacity to cool a home that’s up to 2,400 square feet in size. If your house is bigger, gets a lot of direct sunlight, or has a two-story great room or a lot of large windows, you may need an air conditioner with more capacity. The more cooling power the central air conditioning system has, the more watts it will require.

Beware of Increased Watt Usage

If you have a smart thermostat or a smart home automation system, you can keep track of the watt usage of many types of air conditioners. If you notice that your air conditioning system is suddenly using more watts than usual, this is worth investigating. To begin, check the air conditioner’s filter. A clogged filter makes the AC unit work harder. It will have to perform more cooling cycles in order to reach the temperature setting on the thermostat. Clogged filters also impede airflow. The startup phase of each cooling cycle uses the most electricity. If your air conditioner starts short-cycling, this can also account for high watt usage. Some reasons for short-cycling include a worn capacitor, a refrigerant leak, an oversized air conditioner, or a lack of routine maintenance.

At Bash Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., we’re the go-to provider of air conditioning maintenance in Champaign. We’re also available for heating system maintenance as well as heating and cooling repair and installations. Our sheet metal fabrication ensures that your ductwork is efficient and perfectly fits your heating and cooling system. To learn more about the typical watt usage of air conditioners, reach out to us at Bash Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today.

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