Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

How Much Electricity Does Your AC Use in Hot Weather?

Cooling season is almost upon us, meaning it’s time for your AC to battle the relentless Arizona heat. You can’t do without your cooling system, but using it costs a fortune in electric bills. How much energy does it take to cool your home, and how can you lower the associated costs? Here are some basics about AC electricity use.

Your System’s AC Electricity Use

On average, your central AC uses 3,000 to 3,500 watts of electricity per hour. (Smaller systems may use less, while larger systems use more.) If you’re running it in fan-only mode, it uses only 750 watts per hour. However, while the system circulates the air, it doesn’t actually cool on that setting, except via the windchill factor, so you’ll likely only use it on mild days.

If you have a portable AC, it uses 2,900 watts for a midsize unit and up to 4,100 watts for a larger unit. A window AC uses anywhere from 500 to 1,440 watts, depending on the size. However, since they’re only designed to cool a single room, all told, they’re still less efficient by capacity than a central air system.

Lowering AC Electricity Use

How can you use less electricity while still getting enough cooling for your home? Start by turning on the ceiling fans. We talked earlier about the windchill factor. The breeze on your skin makes it feel cooler than it is. If you use your ceiling fan with your AC, you can raise the thermostat a few degrees and get the same comfort level with less energy.

Also consider upgrading to a more efficient unit. Look at the SEER rating. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio measures how much cooling the system provides for the energy it uses. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Finally, make sure your unit is properly sized for your home. An AC that’s too small or too big won’t just waste energy; it will leave your home uncomfortable.

For help reducing your AC electricity use and maximizing home comfort, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We provide Yuma with top-quality heating and cooling solutions.