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ByDave Rongey © Ask the Electrician 2017 Author, Licensed Electrical Contractor
» Home Electrical Wiring Guide Book

Do I Need a Special Circuit for my Air Conditioner

Do I Need a New Circuit for an Air Conditioner? Air Conditioner Electrical Circuit Requirements, Replacing an Older Air Conditioner, Converting an Existing Circuit.

Air Conditioner Circuit
Electrical Question: Do I Need a New Circuit for an Air Conditioner?

I am replacing an old air conditioner with a more energy efficient model. Do I need a new circuit? I am replacing an old 18,000 BTU Air Conditioner that ran on a 220volt circuit, the new AC Unit is a more energy efficient model that is 15,000 BTU that runs on 115 volts. I was told a 115volt is what we know as 110volt, but that it is really 110 to 120volt. The 220volt is on it’s own breaker and I want the 115volt to also have it’s own breaker. How do I do this, do I have to trade out the circuit breaker? If I can isolate a 110volt that is close by and make sure nothing else is running on it but the air conditioner can I just use that until I get an electrician who will be upgrading our wiring? The lines I’m taking about are 20 to 30 years old and are up to specs, as far as I know.

This electrical wiring question came from: Eileen, from Lawrence, Kansas.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Eileen.

Air Conditioner Electrical Requirements

Application: Air Conditioner Electrical Circuit Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits and Extension Cord for installing a new circuit.
Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the type of construction and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the installation should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring for an air conditioner should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

The Basics of Electrical Circuits for Air Conditioners

NOTE: A Dedicated circuit is a circuit that is not shared by any other device.

More about Air Conditioner Circuit Wiring

Electrical Circuit Breakers

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220 Volt Wiring Diagram

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