How Many Watts Does A Portable Air Conditioner Use? - Portable Air Conditioner Power Consumption Explained

5 min read

If you are thinking of buying a new portable air conditioner you might be wondering what the wattage of the device is. Average portable air conditioners use between 1000 and 3500 watts of electricity. The running wattage however is lower, because it doesn’t run on full power all the time. For an average portable air conditioner you can expect it to be half of the wattage. 

The power consumption for a portable ac with 2000 watts will therefore be around 1000 watts per hour. If you use your portable air conditioner 12 hours per day for 5 months every year, you can expect it to use around 1,680 kWh per year. If you have to use it all-year around or longer than 12 hours per day, it will be more. .

It’s important to keep in mind that the exact power consumption varies depending on the model and size you choose. Age also plays a role when calculating the energy efficiency of electronic devices. Generally speaking, if you purchase a new portable ac unit, you can expect it to use less watts than an older model. 

Power Consumption Of A Portable Air Conditioner Summarized

Average Power UsageTimekWh Used
1000 Watts
1 Hour
1000 Watts
1 Day
1000 Watts
1 Week
1000 Watts
1 Month
1000 Watts
1 Year

(Energy consumption is calculated based on an average usage of a portable air conditioner.)

If you want to find out how much it costs to power your portable ac unit, you need to multiply the kWh used in a specific time period by your electricity rate. In 2024 the average price of electricity for residential customers in the US is currently $0.16 per kWh. Running an average portable air conditioner for one year will therefore cost around $268.80. If you live in California, where electricity currently costs $0.26 per kWh it will cost you around 60 % more. In the State of Utah, which currently has the cheapest electricity in the USA at only $0.11 per kWh, you can expect to pay around 30 % less to power your portable air conditioner. 

The power consumption of your portable air conditioner is important to consider, when trying to save energy or planning a solar system. If you want to verify the exact wattage of your device, we recommend looking out for the EnergyGuide label on the packaging. 

Buying An Energy-Efficient Portable Air Conditioner

As you can see, the operating costs for a portable air conditioner can quickly sum up. If you are about to buy a new portable air conditioner, we recommend choosing an energy efficient model. Keep an eye out for the ENERGY STAR labels. Unlike the EnergyGuide label, the ENERGY STAR label only marks devices that have proven to be particularly energy-efficient. 

Additionally, consider the following tips when purchasing your new portable air conditioner:

  1. Research Before You Buy: Before making a purchase, it’s wise to do some research. Look for customer reviews and ratings to understand the performance and reliability of different models.
  1. Compare Energy Consumption: Check the energy consumption details of various models. Sometimes, spending a bit more on a more energy-efficient model can save you money in the long run through reduced utility bills.
  1. Size Matters: Ensure that the size of the portable air conditioner fits your needs. Larger models often consume more energy, so buying a bigger size than necessary can be less efficient.
  1. Look for Advanced Features: Some modern portable air conditioners come with advanced features that help save energy. Features like programmable settings or eco-modes can make a significant difference in energy consumption.
  1. Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership: Remember to consider not just the purchase price, but also the long-term operating costs. An energy-efficient portable air conditioner may have a higher upfront cost but can lead to significant savings over its lifetime.

By choosing an energy-efficient portable air conditioner, you are not only saving money but also contributing to a more sustainable environment. Always balance your immediate needs with long-term efficiency and costs.

Power Your Portable Air Conditioner With A Solar System

Did you know that you can produce enough electricity to continuously power a portable air conditioner with 3 solar panel(s)? That’s because a standard 400 watt solar panel in the USA generates on average around 600 kWh of electricity per year. If you live in the northern parts of the country, you can expect a slightly lower output, while the output in the southern parts of the country, especially in Texas and Arizona, will be slightly higher. 

Factoring all other devices you already have in your house, a solar system might save you tens of thousands of dollars over a period of 20 years. With these savings, the decision to go solar becomes not only environmentally responsible but also financially wise.

When considering the switch to solar, it’s important to get the best deal and the right setup for your needs. That’s where Quote For Solar comes in. By choosing Quote For Solar, you can easily request quotes from 3 local solar installers near you. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to power your portable air conditioner and other appliances in a cost-effective and sustainable way. 

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