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How Many Amps Does A 12000 BTU Air Conditioner Draw?

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:25 pm

Before buying a 12000 BTU air conditioner, the first thing that comes to your mind is the number of amps it would need.

This information is necessary because it would help you know if it’s compatible with the energy input of your house.

Hence, this article will help you with all the information you’ll need when going for a 12000 BTU air conditioner.

A 12000 BTU air conditioner can draw up to nine Amps but can go as high as 13 Amps. However, the number of Amps your air conditioner can draw depends on its British thermal unit (BTU). Hence with a 12000 BTU, I’d advise that you hardwire your air conditioner into your home. 

How Much Electricity Does a 12000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?

Amps Does a 12000 BTU Air Conditioner Draw

A 12000 BTU air conditioner can consume electricity between 900 to 1000 Watts/hour.

This air conditioner Watt depends on the seasonal energy efficiency (SEER), which in this case is either 13 or 14.

Hence, having a standard SEER rating would render your 12000 BTU more efficient with improved power consumption.

However, it would be wise to keep a close watch on the power consumption of your 12000 BTU air conditioner. Your AC is the major determinant of your electricity bill for your home.

Hence I’ll let you in on some common factors that can influence directly or indirectly the amount of electricity your AC can use.

#1. AC Capacity

The AC capacity is a major determinant and directly affects your air conditioner Watts. Hence, a 12000 BTU air conditioner would use a higher Watts than a 5000 BTU air conditioner.

#2. Size of Your Home

The larger your home is, the more the cooling capacity it would require and, therefore, the more electricity it would consume.

This case is the reverse for a smaller home where you’d require less electricity to run your air conditioner. 

#3. Climate

If your home is in a hot region, you would need a higher BTU air conditioner than when in a cooler environment.

This fact ultimately translates to the amount of power consumption. In like manner, you spend less on electricity bills during winter periods than in the summer.

#4. Maintenance

When you service your air conditioner regularly, it runs at a peak efficiency rate. This effect is important because electricity consumption will be at an optimal rate.

Hence, with this fact in mind, regularly cleaning the filters can improve the capacity of your AC.

#5. Temperature Setting 

The temperature at which your air conditioner runs daily is one big factor. The lower temperature all day equals higher power consumption and vice-versa.

Air Conditioner Amperage Chart

The air conditioner amperage chart illustrates the calculated amperes of electricity of different AC types against their BTU range.

Hence, to get the amperes, divide the BTU by the SEER of your air conditioner, then divide the answer by its voltage.

But, if you don’t know the SEER of your air conditioner, you can use the standard value of 10.

However, the SEER for a 12000 BTU air conditioner is 11.

AC Capacity in BTUAmperes of electricity (Amps)

Also, you must know that the size of your air conditioner influences its amperage .

In clearer terms, a large RV air conditioner has a higher amperage than a window air conditioner or a portable air conditioner.

And so, this fact takes us to the air conditioner amperage draw chart.

Air Conditioner TypeBTU RangeAmperage Draws (Amps)
RV AC11 – 1500014 – 15
Window AC 5 – 240006 – 10
Portable AC8 – 140008 – 13.5
Mini Split6 – 480004 – 17

Is a 12000 BTU Air Conditioner a 110 or 220?

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The 12000 BTU air conditioner runs at 110 to 120 irrespective of size. So, whether it is a portable air conditioner or a window air conditioner, it would still run at 110.

Nonetheless, a central air conditioner with a much higher BTU would run at 220 volts.

Can You Plug an Air Conditioner Into a Regular Outlet?

Yes, you can plug your air conditioner into a regular outlet as long as it isn’t a portable one.

This is because most portable air conditioners have higher electricity demand than others.

So, rule out this possibility before attempting to plug your air conditioner into a regular outlet.

Furthermore, you’d assume and attempt to connect your AC to a regular outlet because other appliances don’t require much electricity.

However tempting, do not try it because it comes with many negativities.

  • It could result in a fire outbreak.
  • It could also cause a fluctuation in power input and output.

At this point, I’ll show you factors that determine whether or not you can connect your air conditioning to a regular outlet.

#1. Size of the Portable AC

BLACK+DECKER 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White

This factor is pretty straightforward because the bigger the portable AC, the more the power consumption and vice versa.

Hence, a smaller PAC can tolerate a regular outlet, but a much bigger one won’t.

#2. Electrical Requirement of Your BTU 

You can connect a 12000 BTU AC with little power to a regular outlet without issues.

But an attempt to do the same for a 5000 BTU of higher electricity demand would pose a danger.

#3. Housing Regulations

A Lot of buildings nowadays have strict regulations guarding outlet connections.

These laws would prevent you from attempting risky connections of your home appliances to regular outlets.

Is It Cheaper To Run a 110 or 220 Air Conditioner?

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The cost of running a 110 or a 220 is roughly the same because the two voltages consume the same electricity.

However, the 220 volt has a higher cooling capacity than the 110 volts, giving you a higher cost of hardwiring. Also, the amperage draw of the two voltages count. 

So, the amperage draw of the 110 voltages is higher than the 220, which will cause more load in the circuit.

Moving on, when your AC has a BTU with a certain cooling capacity, its Watts of electricity would depend on the efficiency.

Therefore, a higher BTU, say 18000, running at 110 or 220 will have an equal wattage but a higher 110 amperage.


One main factor that increases the charges of your electricity bill is the use of an AC. This case worsens when you own a high BTU AC, just like the 12000 BTU.

Hence, having an idea of its amperage and the electricity demand would help you streamline how you use it.

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