Window AC unit power consumption

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by fingerbreaker, Jul 30, 2019.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Jul 30, 2019 #1

    fingerbreaker

    fingerbreaker

    fingerbreaker

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Amurica
    I have an older window unit (came with the house) and I can't access the power specs on the unit or online. I bought a Kill a Watt meter to measure the current. My expectation is that it would be somewhere in the 5-7 A range based on internet resources and a new unit we just bought that is rated at 3.9A.

    The meter shows the current as around .5 or .6 A. Not 5-6, but 0.5-0.6. I'm pretty sure the compressor is running and not just the fan because cold air is coming out and I've set the target temp low.

    Is this normal or am I doing something wrong? Does the expected 5-7 A rating only refer to some sort of worst case condition? THe point of this exercise is to see how much load is on the 15A circuit this unit is on because it's not dedicated.

    Thanks,
    FB
     
  2. Jul 31, 2019 #2

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,714
    Likes Received:
    699
    Welcome.

    To obtain an accurate reading, most of these need to remain "in line" for several days.

    Also what is the brand of the meter?
     
  3. Jul 31, 2019 #3

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,254
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Location:
    Erie, PA
    If you have or can buy or borrow a clamp on AC amp meter I would do it that way. You can’t clamp it around the line cord as it has both wires in it and the current cancels. You would need to make a short extension cord where the black and white wire are pulled apart and then clamp the meter around just one of them.
     
  4. Jul 31, 2019 #4

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    60
    I have a , maybe , 10 year 6,000 BTU window unit that is rated 6 amps ( never measured it ) . I would expect to see some where around that .

    If it really is less than 1 amp , I agree . That sounds like the fan , only .

    The compressor should make kind of a rattling / throbbing sound , when it starts . Which often changes some after it has been running a short time .

    You said you think it is cooling ? If it is & those readings are correct ., run / use it until it dies . Count your self lucky . :)

    Wyr
    God bless
     
  5. Jul 31, 2019 #5

    hornetd

    hornetd

    hornetd

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    162
    Many of the clamp on Ammeters com with a cord break out plug that you can just plug in ahead of the cord to take your reading. If yours did not come with one they are available as an accessory at a moderate price.

    [​IMG]
    --
    Tom Horne
     
  6. Jul 31, 2019 #6

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,254
    Likes Received:
    1,853
    Location:
    Erie, PA
  7. Jul 31, 2019 #7

    hornetd

    hornetd

    hornetd

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    162
    Yes but you suggested that
    so I suggested that they use that accessory to avoid the need to make a "break out" cord. I always hesitate to suggest anyone, who's experience and training level I don't know, make anything like a test cord.

    --
    Tom Horne
     
    bud16415 likes this.
  8. Jul 31, 2019 #8

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    60
    I have made several of those , over the years , using an appliance cord and 120 VAC 15 amp female cord cap .

    I never measured it , because , I had paid for the window shaker & I was going to use it . Checking the amperage would not have changed that in any way . Would not have changed the cost of electricity consumed .

    When we installed a VFD ( inverter ) ductless mini split in our bedroom , I measured the amperage . I watched the VFD ( inverter ) ramp down the compressor speed / amperage , as the room temperature approached the set point .

    To me , that sort of technology , on consumer lever appliances / equipment , is just about the greatest thing since sliced bread .

    Thanks for concern about the safety of making a break out cord , :)

    Wyr
    God bless
     
    Michael Armstrong likes this.
  9. Aug 1, 2019 #9

    Eddie_T

    Eddie_T

    Eddie_T

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    10
    Off topic but I installed a PTHP in my house a number of years ago. I would love to see an inverter PTHP made available for replacement. I have been able to find only one source but it doesn't sell less than 20 some units. Maybe with time they will become more available at affordable prices.
     
  10. Aug 1, 2019 #10

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    60

Share This Page