How Many Watts Do 1,2,3,4,5,6 Ton ACs Use? (Central, Mini Split)

Knowing AC wattage will help you determine power requirements and estimate cooling costs. A lot of homeowners are interested in how many watts does a 3-ton or 5-ton air conditioner use, and so on.

Mini-split and central air conditioners can use anywhere between 480 watts and 5,143 watts (average running wattage). Their maximum running wattage (at 100% output) is between 1,241 watts and 8,867 watts.

Here is a useful summary of how many watts home appliances use in comparison with an air conditioner:

air conditioner wattage and wattage of other home appliances

Air conditioner wattage has quite a range. We can easily narrow it down for your specific air conditioner power consumption by understanding that AC wattage depends on only two factors, namely:

  1. Size of the air conditioner (AC tonnage). Central air and mini-splits can produce anywhere from 1-ton to 6-ton of cooling output. Obviously, a smaller 2-ton AC will require fewer watts to run than a bigger 5-ton AC unit.
  2. Energy efficiency (SEER rating). If you compare the wattage of 16 SEER vs 20 SEER 5-ton AC unit, 16 SEER will draw 3,750 watts while 20 SEER unit will draw 3,000 watts for the same cooling output. How an energy-efficient AC unit is directly correlated to how much electricity does an AC unit use.
air conditioners can use more than 2000 watts
Most watts air conditioners require to run are used to power the electricity-hungry AC compressor. Compressors can use several 1,000s watts.

These are two only two metrics you need to know to determine how many watts does any air conditioner use. AC wattage calculations use these two metrics to calculate how much electricity does an AC unit use.

We are going to take a structured approach for all AC wattages. Below you will find 10 AC wattage tables in total (it’s quite a long article) for:

  • How many watts do 1 ton, 1.5 ton, 2 ton, 2.5 ton, 3 ton, 3.5 ton, 4 ton, 5 ton, and 6 ton central air or mini-split air conditioners use.
  • How does SEER rating affect AC wattage. In the tables, you will see different wattages for 14 SEER, 15 SEER, 16 SEER, 17 SEER, 18 SEER, 19 SEER, 20 SEER, 22 SEER, 23 SEER, 24 SEER, and 25 SEER AC units.

In short, you just have to find a table with tonnage and SEER rating that matches your AC and you can just read off how much power does it run on.

To help you out even further, we have created an ‘Air Conditioner Wattage Calculator’. Here you simply input how many tons your AC has (1-6 tons) and what is the SEER rating (14-25 SEER) the calculator will automatically determine how many watts does your AC use.

Note: As always, if you have any problems finding your AC wattage, you can use the comments below, describe your AC, and we will help you found out the wattage.

Before we check out the tables, let’s learn how you can calculate AC wattage based on tonnage and SEER rating:

How To Calculate Air Conditioner Wattage (Formula)

First of all, we need to distinguish between maximum wattage and average wattage:

  • Maximum running wattage is how many watts does an AC use when running at 100% cooling output. Example: Maximum running wattage of an 18 SEER 3-ton air conditioner is 3,450 watts.
  • Average running wattage is how many watts (on average) your AC actually uses. This is determined by the SEER rating; SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio predisposes that an air conditioner runs on 58% average cooling output (it’s a weighted average, you can learn more about how to calculate the SEER rating here). Based on the SEER rating, we can also calculate maximum AC running wattage (we include maximum wattage in the tables below).

Here is how you can calculate how much power does an air conditioner run on (average wattage):

Average AC Wattage = Tonnage × 12,000 BTU / SEER Rating

Basically, the average wattage of AC is calculated by dividing air conditioner capacity in BTUs (that’s why 12,000 BTU conversion factor) by SEER rating.

Example: We had an 18 SEER 3-ton air conditioner. Here is how to calculate how many watts it runs on:

Average AC Wattage (18 SEER 3-Ton) = 3 Tons × 12,000 BTU / 18 SEER = 2,000 Watts

This means that 18 SEER 3-ton AC will, on average, consume 2 kWh per hour. During the on and off cycles, it can run on 100W, 500W, 1,500W, 2,000W, 3,000W or even 3,450W, but the average will be about 2,000W.

We can calculate the maximum wattage – how many watts AC uses when operating at 100% output – by knowing that the average wattage represents 58% of the maximum wattage. Here is a formula to calculate the maximum AC wattage based on average AC wattage:

Maximum AC Wattage = Average AC Wattage / 0.58 

If we use the 18 SEER 3-ton AC unit example from above, we get:

Maximum AC Wattage (18 SEER 3-Ton) = 2,000 Watts / 0.58 = 3,450 Watts

In short, 18 SEER 3-ton mini split air conditioner or central air has a maximum wattage of 3,450W and average wattage of 2,000W.

This is just one example to illustrate how to calculate air conditioner wattages. Here are the promised calculated tables that will tell you how many ways do 1-6 ton and 14-25 SEER rated AC units use (you will get all the combinations).

Below the tables, you can also automatically calculate the AC wattage by using the ‘Air Conditioner Wattage Calculator’:

How Many Watts Does A 1-Ton AC Unit Use?

1 ton AC unit produces 12,000 BTU of cooling output. This is the smallest mini split or central air capacity. As such it uses the least amount of electricity to run.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 1-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 1-Ton AC Average Wattage: 1-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 1-Ton AC 857 Watts 1478 Watts
15 SEER 1-Ton AC 800 Watts 1379 Watts
16 SEER 1-Ton AC 750 Watts 1293 Watts
17 SEER 1-Ton AC 706 Watts 1217 Watts
18 SEER 1-Ton AC 667 Watts 1149 Watts
19 SEER 1-Ton AC 632 Watts 1089 Watts
20 SEER 1-Ton AC 600 Watts 1034 Watts
21 SEER 1-Ton AC 571 Watts 985 Watts
22 SEER 1-Ton AC 545 Watts 940 Watts
23 SEER 1-Ton AC 522 Watts 900 Watts
24 SEER 1-Ton AC 500 Watts 862 Watts
25 SEER 1-Ton AC 480 Watts 828 Watts

As you can see, 1-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 480 watts and 857 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 1-ton AC unit uses 857 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 1,478 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 1-ton ac unit uses only 480 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 828 watts.

It’s quite interesting to see the effect SEER has here: A 25 SEER 1-ton unit will require less power to run at maximum wattage (100% output) than a 14 SEER 1-ton AC unit will require to run at average wattage (58% output).

How Many Watts Does A 1.5-Ton AC Unit Use?

1.5 ton AC unit produces 18,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 1.5-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 1.5-Ton AC Average Wattage: 1.5-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 1286 Watts  2217 Watts
15 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 1200 Watts 2069 Watts
16 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 1125 Watts 1940 Watts
17 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 1059 Watts 1826 Watts
18 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 1000 Watts 1726 Watts
19 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 947 Watts 1633 Watts
20 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 900 Watts 1552 Watts
21 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 857 Watts 1478 Watts
22 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 818 Watts 1411 Watts
23 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 783 Watts 1349 Watts
24 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 750 Watts 1293 Watts
25 SEER 1.5-Ton AC 720 Watts 1241 Watts

As you can see, 1.5-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 720 watts and 1,286 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 1.5-ton AC unit uses 1,286 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 2,217 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 1.5-ton ac unit uses only 720 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 1,241 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 2-Ton AC Unit Use?

2 ton AC unit produces 24,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 2-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 2-Ton AC Average Wattage: 2-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 2-Ton AC 1714 Watts 2956 Watts
15 SEER 2-Ton AC 1600 Watts 2759 Watts
16 SEER 2-Ton AC 1500 Watts 2586 Watts
17 SEER 2-Ton AC 1412 Watts 2434 Watts
18 SEER 2-Ton AC 1333 Watts 2294 Watts
19 SEER 2-Ton AC 1263 Watts 2178 Watts
20 SEER 2-Ton AC 1200 Watts 2069 Watts
21 SEER 2-Ton AC 1143 Watts 1970 Watts
22 SEER 2-Ton AC 1091 Watts 1881 Watts
23 SEER 2-Ton AC 1043 Watts 1799 Watts
24 SEER 2-Ton AC 1000 Watts 1724 Watts
25 SEER 2-Ton AC 960 Watts 1655 Watts

As you can see, 2-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 960 watts and 1714 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 2-ton AC unit uses 1,714 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 2,956 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 2-ton ac unit uses only 960 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 1,655 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 2.5-Ton AC Unit Use?

2.5-ton AC unit produces 30,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 2.5-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 2.5-Ton AC Average Wattage: 2.5-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 2143 Watts 3695 Watts
15 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 2000 Watts 3448 Watts
16 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1875 Watts 3233 Watts
17 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1765 Watts 3043 Watts
18 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1667 Watts 2874 Watts
19 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1579 Watts 2722 Watts
20 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1500 Watts 2586 Watts
21 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1429 Watts 2463 Watts
22 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1364 Watts 2351 Watts
23 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1304 Watts 2249 Watts
24 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1250 Watts 2155 Watts
25 SEER 2.5-Ton AC 1200 Watts 2069 Watts

As you can see, 2.5-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 1,200 watts and 2,143 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 2.5-ton AC unit uses 2,143 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 3,695 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 2.5-ton ac unit uses only 1,200 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 2,069 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 3-Ton AC Unit Use?

3 ton AC unit produces 36,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 3-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 3-Ton AC Average Wattage: 3-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 3-Ton AC 2571 Watts 4433 Watts
15 SEER 3-Ton AC 2400 Watts 4138 Watts
16 SEER 3-Ton AC 2250 Watts 3879 Watts
17 SEER 3-Ton AC 2118 Watts 3651 Watts
18 SEER 3-Ton AC 2000 Watts 3448 Watts
19 SEER 3-Ton AC 1895 Watts 3267 Watts
20 SEER 3-Ton AC 1800 Watts 3103 Watts
21 SEER 3-Ton AC 1714 Watts 2956 Watts
22 SEER 3-Ton AC 1636 Watts 2821 Watts
23 SEER 3-Ton AC 1565 Watts 2699 Watts
24 SEER 3-Ton AC 1500 Watts 2586 Watts
25 SEER 3-Ton AC 1440 Watts 2483 Watts

As you can see, 3-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 1,440 watts and 2,571 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 3-ton AC unit uses 2,571 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 4433 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 3-ton ac unit uses only 1440 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 2,483 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 3.5-Ton AC Unit Use?

3.5 ton AC unit produces 42,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 3.5-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 3.5-Ton AC Average Wattage: 3.5-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 3000 Watts 5172 Watts
15 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 2800 Watts 4828 Watts
16 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 2625 Watts 4526 Watts
17 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 2471 Watts 4260 Watts
18 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 2333 Watts 4023 Watts
19 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 2211 Watts 3811 Watts
20 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 2100 Watts 3621 Watts
21 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 2000 Watts 3448 Watts
22 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 1909 Watts 3292 Watts
23 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 1826 Watts 3148 Watts
24 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 1750 Watts 3017 Watts
25 SEER 3.5-Ton AC 1680 Watts 2897 Watts

As you can see, 3.5-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 1,680 watts and 3,000 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 3.5-ton AC unit uses 3,000 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 5,172 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 3.5-ton ac unit uses only 1,680 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 2,897 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 4-Ton AC Unit Use?

4 ton AC unit produces 48,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 4-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 4-Ton AC Average Wattage: 4-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 4-Ton AC 3429 Watts 5911 Watts
15 SEER 4-Ton AC 3200 Watts 5517 Watts
16 SEER 4-Ton AC 3000 Watts 5172 Watts
17 SEER 4-Ton AC 2824 Watts 4868 Watts
18 SEER 4-Ton AC 2667 Watts 4598 Watts
19 SEER 4-Ton AC 2526 Watts 4356 Watts
20 SEER 4-Ton AC 2400 Watts 4138 Watts
21 SEER 4-Ton AC 2256 Watts 3941 Watts
22 SEER 4-Ton AC 2182 Watts 3762 Watts
23 SEER 4-Ton AC 2087 Watts 3598 Watts
24 SEER 4-Ton AC 2000 Watts 3448 Watts
25 SEER 4-Ton AC 1920 Watts 3310 Watts

As you can see, 4-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 1,920 watts and 3,429 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 4-ton AC unit uses 3,429 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 5,911 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 1-ton ac unit uses only 1,920 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 3,310 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 4.5-Ton AC Unit Use?

4.5 ton AC unit produces 54,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 4.5-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 4.5-Ton AC Average Wattage: 4.5-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 3857 Watts 6650 Watts
15 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 3600 Watts 6207 Watts
16 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 3375 Watts 5819 Watts
17 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 3176 Watts 5477 Watts
18 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 3000 Watts 5172 Watts
19 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 2842 Watts 4900 Watts
20 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 2700 Watts 4655 Watts
21 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 2571 Watts 4433 Watts
22 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 2455 Watts 4232 Watts
23 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 2348 Watts 4048 Watts
24 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 2250 Watts 3879 Watts
25 SEER 4.5-Ton AC 2160 Watts 3724 Watts

As you can see, 4.5-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 2,160 watts and 3,857 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 4.5-ton AC unit uses 2,857 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 6,650 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 4.5-ton ac unit uses only 2,160 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 3,724 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 5-Ton AC Unit Use?

5 ton AC unit produces 60,000 BTU of cooling output.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 5-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 5-Ton AC Average Wattage: 5-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 5-Ton AC 4286 Watts 7389 Watts
15 SEER 5-Ton AC 4000 Watts 6897 Watts
16 SEER 5-Ton AC 3750 Watts 6466 Watts
17 SEER 5-Ton AC 3529 Watts 6085 Watts
18 SEER 5-Ton AC 3333 Watts 5747 Watts
19 SEER 5-Ton AC 3158 Watts 5445 Watts
20 SEER 5-Ton AC 3000 Watts 5172 Watts
21 SEER 5-Ton AC 2857 Watts 4926 Watts
22 SEER 5-Ton AC 2727 Watts 4702 Watts
23 SEER 5-Ton AC 2609 Watts 4498 Watts
24 SEER 5-Ton AC 2500 Watts 4310 Watts
25 SEER 5-Ton AC 2400 Watts 4138 Watts

As you can see, 5-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 2,400 watts and 4,286 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 5-ton AC unit uses 4,286 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 7,389 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 5-ton ac unit uses only 2,400 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 4,138 watts.

How Many Watts Does A 6-Ton AC Unit Use?

6 ton AC unit produces 72,000 BTU of cooling output. This is one of the highest tonnages for air conditioners. As such, these big air conditioners consume the most power to run.

Here is the full table on how much electricity 6-ton air conditioners use:

SEER Rating: 6-Ton AC Average Wattage: 6-Ton AC Maximum Wattage:
14 SEER 6-Ton AC 5143 Watts 8867 Watts
15 SEER 6-Ton AC 4800 Watts 8276 Watts
16 SEER 6-Ton AC 4500 Watts 7759 Watts
17 SEER 6-Ton AC 4235 Watts 7302 Watts
18 SEER 6-Ton AC 4000 Watts 6897 Watts
19 SEER 6-Ton AC 3789 Watts 6534 Watts
20 SEER 6-Ton AC 3600 Watts 6037 Watts
21 SEER 6-Ton AC 3429 Watts 5911 Watts
22 SEER 6-Ton AC 3273 Watts 5643 Watts
23 SEER 6-Ton AC 3130 Watts 5397 Watts
24 SEER 6-Ton AC 3000 Watts 5172 Watts
25 SEER 6-Ton AC 2880 Watts 4966 Watts

As you can see, 6-ton central and mini-split air conditioners use anywhere between 2,880 watts and 5,143 watts.

Namely, the least energy-efficient 14 SEER 6-ton AC unit uses 5,143 watts to run. Its maximum wattage at 100% output is 8,867 watts.

The most energy-efficient 25 SEER 6-ton ac unit uses only 2,880 watts to run. It has a maximum wattage of 4,966 watts.


These were the calculated tables for AC wattages. You can also use the following calculator that automatically calculated how many watts do AC units with different capacities (tonnages) and energy efficiencies (SEER ratings) use:

Air Conditioner Wattage Calculator

 

Using this calculator should be quite easy. Just insert the tonnage and SEER rating and the calculator will automatically estimate how many watts does your AC unit use. You can also check how much does all of this electricity cost in an article about how much does it cost to run an air conditioner here.

Hopefully, now you have all you need to check how many watts should your AC use. If you haven’t found the answer here, you can use the comments below, tell us about your air conditioners, and we will try to help you out with the AC wattage calculation.

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