Air Conditioning Electrical Circuit Requirements
How to Know if your Air Conditioner Requires a New Electrical Circuit© By: Dave Rongey
Will You Need New Circuit For Your Air Conditioner?
Electrical Question: I want to buy a stand-alone room air conditioner.
- Most of them are 9000 – 12000 BTU.
- Most of them say they are for a single circuit. What does that mean.
- Do they have to have a separately wired plug-in?
- My house is small and the circuit breakers are mostly labeled front- room, kitchen, etc.
- Would I have to do wiring, and would it be worth the cost?
Background: Sue, a Homeowner from Indiana
See more about Home Wiring for Indiana
Thanks for your electrical question Sue.
How to Know if your Air Conditioner Requires a New Electrical Circuit
Will Your New Air Conditioner Require a Dedicated Electrical Circuit?
Sue these are all great questions.
- The air conditioner you choose should also say what size space or room it will be capable of providing cooling for.
- Then the installation manual will specify the electrical circuit requirements.
- If the amperage is less than 7 amps or half of the circuit size for the room then you might be able to plug it into a room outlet, however this really depends on a few things such as the age of the home, how many circuits there are, how many of the room outlets are being used for other devices which may prevent the added load of the air conditioner.
- So as you can see there are several factors just having to do with the existing electrical circuits.
- If you find that a new circuit is required for the air conditioner then there are considerations having to do with the location of the electrical panel, the available capacity of the panel and where the air conditioner outlet will be required, and of course the type of access that will be used to install the new circuit.
Should You Purchase and Install an Air Conditioner?
- Then of course you ask will it be worth it?
- Well that depends on just how uncomfortable you are without an air conditioner.
- No doubt Indiana can have some very warm summer days and an air conditioner surely will keep your space cooler.
- Alternative would be installing a ceiling fan if you do not already have one.
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