# How many watts does a 6000 BTU air conditioner use? A complete guide to the electricity usage of 6000 BTU air conditioners

In this article, I’ll first discuss the Power usage (Watts) of 6000 BTU window air conditioners and show you how you can determine that of your AC unit. This will be especially helpful if you’re looking to run your AC unit on an inverter or a generator.

If you’re looking to run your 6000 BTU AC unit on solar panels, or batteries, or if you’re just interested in how much it actually costs to run these units, I will also discuss their energy consumption and provide some estimates.

• How many Watts 6000 BTU air conditioners use
• How much energy, on average, units of this size consume
• And how much it actually costs to run a 6000 BTU AC unit

Let’s get into it.

## How many watts does a 6000 BTU air conditioner use?

A 6000 BTU air conditioner will generally have a power rating of 500 to 700 Watts. The exact power usage of a 6000 BTU air conditioner will depend on the efficiency of the unit, which is indicated by an EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating or a CEER (Combiner Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating.

Along with the other electrical specifications usually provided on the side of the unit, the Power Usage (Watts) of your air conditioner is usually specified by the manufacturer as “Power Input”, “Power”, “Wattage”, or simply “Watts”.

For example, here’s a 6000 BTU window air conditioner that has a rated “Input” of 520 Watts:

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER or CEER) of the air conditioner, which is generally in the 11 – 13 range for new models, can also be used to estimate the power usage of the unit. The relationship between the Capacity of the air conditioner in BTUs, the EER or CEER rating of the unit, and its Power rating (Watts) is as follows:

Power Usage (Watts) = Cooling Capacity (BTUs) ÷ Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER or CEER)

For instance, in the specification label above, we can see that this 6000 BTU window unit has a CEER rating of 11.3. The power usage of the air conditioner can be calculated as follows:

Power Usage (Watts) = Cooling Capacity (BTUs) ÷ Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER or CEER)

Power Usage (Watts) = 6000 BTUs ÷ 11.3

Power Usage (Watts) = 531 Watts

The EER/CEER rating can also be found on the (yellow) EnergyGuide label that comes with the unit. For example, here’s a model that has a CEER rating of 12.1, making it more efficient that the model from our previous example:

Power Usage (Watts) = Cooling Capacity (BTUs) ÷ Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER or CEER)

Power Usage (Watts) = 6000 BTUs ÷ 12.1

Power Usage (Watts) = 496 Watts

It is worth noting that in both examples, the calculations were focused on the running wattage of the air conditioners. This term refers to the amount of electrical power consumed by the units when they are actively functioning. In other words, the number of Watts these air conditioners use while they are running.

However, it’s important to remember that air conditioners, like other appliances with motors, have something called “Surge Wattage”, which is the extra power (Watts) they need when they’re first turned on.

The surge doesn’t last long, just a fraction of a second, but it’s worth considering when you’re choosing equipment like an inverter or a generator. You want them to handle these quick bursts of higher power demand without any problems.

Related:

The surge wattage of an air conditioner can be anywhere from 3 to 6 times its running power usage. This means that if your 6000 BTU air conditioner draws 500 Watts of power when running, the starting wattage of the unit can easily go up to 3000 Watts, although it is typically in the 1500 -2500 Watts range.

Now that we’ve discussed the power usage of 6000 BTU air conditioners, let’s discuss the actual quantity of electricity that these air conditioners use: their Energy Consumption.

## How much electricity (kWh) does a 6000 BTU air conditioner use?

Like any air conditioner, the energy consumption of a 6000 BTU air conditioner in kWh (kiloWatt-hours) will depend on factors such as outdoor temperature, set temperature, insulation quality, and the age and efficiency of the unit.

Now, as a rule of thumb, a 6000 BTU air conditioner will on average consume about 0.4 kWh of energy per hour of use. However, depending on the factors that I’ve just mentioned, the hourly energy consumption of these units can be as little as 0.3 kWh an hour, or as much as 0.6 kWh an hour.

The daily energy consumption of these air conditioners will also depend on the usage patterns of the AC unit.

For example, assuming a daily usage of 8 hours per day, a 6000 BTU air conditioner that uses 0.5 kWh of energy per hour will consume around 4 kWh of energy on a daily basis, accumulating to about 120 kWh of energy usage a month.

If you have an estimate of the power usage of your AC unit in Watts, you can actually use it to estimate the energy consumption of the air conditioner over a certain timeframe.

This can be done through the following formula:

Energy Consumption (Watt-hours) = Power Usage (Watts) x Usage Duration (hours)

Or

Energy Consumption (kWh) = (Power Usage (Watts) x Usage duration (hours))/1000

For example, let’s say you want to determine the daily energy consumption of your 6000 BTU window air conditioner in kWh, and let’s make the following assumptions:

• The AC unit is rated at 500 Watts of power
• You typically run the air conditioners for 10 hours a day

The daily energy consumption of this AC unit in kWh is:

Energy Consumption (kWh) = (Power Usage (Watts) x Usage duration (hours))/1000

Energy Consumption (kWh) = (500 Watts x 10 hours)/1000

Energy Consumption (kWh) = (5000 Watt-hours)/1000

Energy Consumption (kWh) = 5 kiloWatt-hours

Keep in mind that the calculations we’ve done are likely to overestimate the AC’s actual energy consumption. This is because the AC’s compressor doesn’t run constantly; it cycles on and off to maintain the desired temperature.

Now, having a slightly higher estimate isn’t necessarily a drawback, especially if you plan to power the AC using off-grid resources like solar panels or batteries. In such cases, having a margin of safety with a higher estimate can be advantageous, ensuring you have enough power reserves to run the AC efficiently without any interruptions.

Related:

How many solar panels do you need to run an air conditioner?

How many batteries do you need to run an air conditioner?

However, if you want to determine the energy consumption of your 6000 BTU AC unit as accurately as possible, you still have the option to use an energy monitor.

A reliable device such as the Kill-A-Watt monitor could be placed between your air conditioner and the electrical outlet and could measure the exact energy consumption of the AC over a certain timeframe.

Now that we – at least – have an idea of the energy consumption of 6000 BTU air conditioners, we can discuss how much it actually costs to run these units.

## How much does it cost to run a 6000 BTU air conditioner?

Your electricity provider charges you based on how much electricity you use, or more precisely, on how many kWh (kiloWatt-hours) of energy you consume.

If we assume an average hourly energy consumption of 0.4 kWh per hour, and the national average cost per kWh in the U.S. of about 16 cents a kWh, a 6000 BTU air conditioner will cost around 7 cents per hour to run.

Of course, other than the exact amount of energy that your 6000 BTU AC uses, the cost to run these units will also depend on the cost per kWh in your location.

The actual cost to run these units can range from 4 to 16 cents per hour of operation.

For example, a 6000 BTU window air conditioner that uses 0.5 kWh of energy an hour, will – on average – cost around 7 cents per hour to run in the state of Arizona. Assuming a typical daily usage of 8 hours a day, it’ll cost around 55 cents a day, or \$17 a month to run the AC unit.

In comparison, the same air conditioner with the same energy consumption will – on average – cost around 15 cents per hour to run in the state of California. At a daily usage duration of 8 hours, it will cost around \$1.15 a day, or \$35 per month to run the air conditioner.

This is due to the fact that, on average, electricity in California costs around twice as much compared to Arizona.

To determine the costs of running your 6000 BTU AC unit as accurately as possible, you’ll need to multiply the energy consumption of the AC unit by the cost per kWh in your area.

Cost to run the air conditioner (\$) = Energy Consumption of the Air conditioner (kWh) x Cost per kWh in your area (\$/kWh)

For example, if you’ve estimated that your 6000 BTU air conditioner uses 100 kWh of energy on a monthly basis, and you live in an area where electricity costs around 13 Cents per kWh (\$0.13/kWh), the monthly cost to run your air conditioner is:

Cost to run the air conditioner (\$) = Energy Consumption of the Air conditioner (kWh) x Cost per kWh in your area (\$/kWh)

Cost to run the air conditioner (\$) = 100 kWh x \$0.13/kWh

Cost to run the air conditioner (\$) = \$13

If you just want some quick estimates, to save you some time, I put together a calculator that estimates the monthly cost of running your 6000 BTU air conditioner based on its typical daily usage duration and on the average electricity prices in your area:

## How many amps does a 6000 BTU air conditioner use?

On average, the amperage of a 6000 BTU air conditioner that operates on a voltage of 110 – 120 Volts will range from 4 to 6 Amps. If the unit runs on 220 – 240 Volts, the amperage will range from 2 to 3 amps.

The amperage of your unit is usually specified in the documentation, or on the specification label on the side of the unit, and is usually indicated as “FLA” (Full Load Amps), “RLA” (Running Load Amps), “Amperage”, “Current”, or simply “Amps”.

For example, the specification tag from the air conditioner used in our previous example specifies an Amperage of 4.9 Amps:

The Power rating of a 6000 BTU air conditioner (in Watts) can also be used to estimate the Amp draw of the unit:

Amps = Watts ÷ Volts

For example, if the air conditioner has a power rating of 500 Watts, and operates at 115 Volts, the Amp draw of the AC unit can be estimated as follows:

Amps = Watts ÷ Volts

Amps = 500 Watts ÷ 115 Volts

Amps = 4.3 Amps

As mentioned above, air conditioners require a relatively high amount of power to start up, and this power surge also reflects on the current. The surge amps of a 6000 BTU air conditioner are typically within the range of 14 to 22 Amps.