How to Select and Wire a 120 or 220 Volt Air Conditioner
Which Air Conditioner Costs More to Run, One that Runs on 110volt, or 220volt? Consider Air Conditioner Efficiency and Electrical Consumption which will make a difference with Your Energy Bill.
Air Conditioner Efficiency
Electrical Question: Which Air Conditioner Costs More to Run, One that Runs on 110volt, or 220volt?
- I was wondering if it made any difference in cost to run or in performance if a window unit ac is 110volt or 220volt?
This electrical question came from: Tom, from Ocala, FL.
Thanks for your electrical question Tom.
Air Conditioner Electrical Consumption
Consider Air Conditioner Efficiency and Electrical Consumption which will make a difference with Your Energy Bill.
Air Conditioner Voltage and Efficiency
- If I were to purchase a new air conditioner I would choose a 220 volt over a 120 volt model.
- Our homes in the USA have a 220 volt electrical service, which consists of two main lines of incoming power to the electrical service panel.
- A typical room air conditioner unit requires a fairly high amount of power and if the voltage is 120 then all that power must come through one leg of power which can cause your over all consumption to be unbalanced.
- A 220 volt air conditioner will split the electrical requirement evenly between the two lines of the circuit thereby creating more of a balanced consumption of electrical power.
- The goal as an electrician is to balance the electrical consumption of the electrical service which is best for the electrical wiring and will in most cases create a lower energy bill.
- When selecting an air conditioner it may be good to consider the following:
- Stick with a well know brand that is rated high for longevity and reliability
- Has a good in site service or carry in warranty
- Has a high efficiency rating for a lower energy bill
- Is easy to operate and an optional remote control if you desire
- Most air conditioners require a dedicated electrical circuit for both 120 volt or 220 volt.
- See the owners manual for the specific circuit requirements.
- The resources below may assist with the electrical circuit requirements and wiring.
- For best results locate a licensed electrical contractor in your area who can assist you with the installation.
More about Electrical Wiring for an Air Conditioner
Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers for Air Conditioners
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
Wiring a 220 Volt Electrical Outlet
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are commonly used for air conditioners. See how electrical outlets are wired.
Electrical Wire for Air Conditioners
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for air conditioners with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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