There are a number of ways to measure HVAC energy usage, but when it comes to your AC, the most straightforward way is in watts of electricity. How many watts does your unit use, on average? What factors affect that number? How can you lower it without impacting home comfort? Here’s what you need to know about AC wattage.
How Many Watts Does Your AC Use?
Your central AC uses about 1,000 watts for every ton of cooling it produces. An 1,800-square-foot house needs a system with three tons of cooling capacity. Therefore, assuming it’s sized correctly, the AC for an average Indiana home uses about 3,000 watts per hour in cooling, which is by far the biggest energy consumer in most homes.
A window unit can cool a single, 400-square-foot room for about 500 wph (watts per hour) in AC wattage. A ductless mini-split uses anywhere from 700 to 2,000 watts per hour, depending on its size. While a window unit can only cool one room, a mini-split can cool up to four at a time and is particularly useful for attics, newly added rooms, and other areas that aren’t connected to your home’s ductwork.
Saving AC Wattage
There are several ways to reduce your AC’s energy usage. Putting the system in “fan only” mode uses only 750 watts per hour. It produces no cooling, but it helps air circulation. That, combined with the windchill factor, can help keep you cool on mild days for much less energy.
You can also save energy by using a ceiling fan alongside your AC. When you run your fan, you can turn your thermostat up a few degrees without reducing comfort. The wattage remains the same, but the amount of time the system runs is reduced.
Finally, be sure to get an Energy Star-certified system. It will keep you just as cool as other systems of the same type, using less energy and saving you money.
For more help controlling your AC wattage, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We help Indianapolis homes save money and energy and improve comfort all year long.