How Many Watts Does an Air Conditioner Use?

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The watts required to operate an air conditioner can vary based on many factors, including the type of cooling system, the cooling output and the frequency of maintenance.

A central air conditioner averages a usage of approximately 3,500 watts, and the operation of the air conditioning fan without use of the compressor averages 750 watts. Window air conditioning units can vary from 500 watts for small units to 1,440 watts for large units. A dirty air conditioning unit may operate inefficiently, using more energy to attain ideal comfort levels because of problems with airflow and with the ability for heat exchange to occur between refrigerant and the surrounding air.