Using a 5,000 BTU AC | 7 Answers you Should Know

A 5,000 BTU air conditioner is a good option to consider to cool a limited area such as a room.

A number of these smaller-sized ACs are of the window type.

Just like the large AC units, there are a number of considerations to make use of this smaller size AC effectively and reliably,

For example, knowing the size of the area it is suited to cool, how much energy and electricity it uses as well as suitable wire gauge and circuit breaker to use with it and others is important to be able to get the most out of this 5,000 BTU AC.

So in this post, I share:

  • the estimated cooling area for the air conditioner,
  • indicative energy and electricity usage, the recommended circuit breaker,

and wire size rating for a 5,000 BTU air conditioner.

#1. The Number of Amps a 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner Draws

A 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner draws about 4 – 4.5 amps.

At startup, the current drawn by the AC may be as high as 2 times the normal current, therefore the overcurrent protection devices such as circuit breakers or fuses should be able to handle the surge without blowing or tripping.

Much as guidance if the current drawn is provided above, in practice, the actual current during operation of the AC varies depending on the user settings selected.

For example, should the fan speed be set to HIGH, the current draw will be higher than when it is set to LOW.

#2. How Much Electricity (kWh) a 5,000 BTU AC Uses?

The estimated annual energy consumption of a 5,000 BTU AC is about 350 kWh*.

Note, there are a number of assumptions made in arriving at the estimated annual energy value above, such as the AC is only used seasonally for 8 hours a day over a 3 month period.

  • There it is reasonable to expect that the actual energy consumption depends on how often and the duration of use of the AC.

Based on this, you can expect the electricity bill to be higher if it is used throughout the year instead of seasonally.

  • The specific settings selected by the user such as fan speed selected also affect electricity use.

Lastly, its SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating of the air conditioner also affects energy use and electricity use to cool a specific area.

An air conditioner with a higher SEER number is more efficient and consumes less electricity (lower kWh).

You can find an AC’s SEER rating from the Energy guide, which is usually part of the documentation supplied with modern air conditioners.

How Much Electricity (kWh) per month?

The estimated monthly energy consumption of a 5,000 BTU AC is about 30 kWh*.

How Much Electricity (kWh) per day?

The estimated daily energy consumption of a 5,000 BTU AC is about 1 kWh*.

*These are estimates. Your AC’s actual energy consumption can vary depending on the climate of your location, how often it is used and what settings are selected.

5,000 BTU AC | How Many Watts to Run

The power input (watts) during the normal operation of a 5,000 BTU AC unit, is approximately 460 watts.

During the startup phase, the power input can go up as high as 920 watts ( 2x) for a short while before reducing to the indicative 460 watts.

This assumes a cooling efficiency rating of 11 (SEER). More efficient units can have a lower power consumption compared to inefficient ones.

#3. Circuit Breaker Rating to Use | 5,000 BTU AC

A 5,000 BTU air-conditioner likely requires a circuit breaker with a current rating of 15A. It may not need a dedicated circuit for connection because of its lower power input.

Nonetheless, always consult the technical specification information for your AC model for further guidance.

#4. What Size of Wire for 5,000 BTU AC

You can use 14 AWG wire size or larger (lower AWG) for a circuit supplying power to a 5,000 BTU AC rated, 115 – 120V.

Using the appropriate wire size minimizes fire hazards resulting from overloading and subsequently overheating of the wires supplying power to the AC.

Nonetheless, always consult the technical specification documentation for your AC model.

#5. Indicative Generator Size (kVA) for 5,000 BTU AC

You can use a good quality 2 kVA rated generator or higher to power 5,000 BTU AC.

If the generator is also used to power other appliances, then consider using a generator with a higher capacity (kVA) to avoid overloading and tripping the circuit breaker.

Note: Poor-quality generators can be overrated and may not be able to reliably supply power to a 5,000 BTU AC.

*#6. What Size of Room for a 5,000 BTU AC to Cool?

The effective cooling area for a 5,000 BTU AC is about 150 square feet (sq. ft).

The actual area depends on:

  • the prevailing climate of the area where it is being installed.
  • how much window space is available.

If a room has fewer windows, the AC does not have to work as hard to cool the space.

  • how well insulated the building. Rooms with good insulation need less cooling.

Warmer areas need more cooling capacity compared to colder areas.

*Note: These are estimates – Always Consult a professional to size the AC for your desired space before you decide to purchase and install the AC.

Related Questions

#7. Can you Plug a 5000 BTU/hr AC in An Extension Cord?

It is not advisable to connect a 5,000 BTU AC to an extension cord or adapter.

Instead, the AC’s 3 pin prong plug (with the ground) should be plugged into a properly grounded wall outlet to avoid electric shocks.

Final Word

A 5,000 BTU can be used to cool a room of up to 150* square feet (estimate) subject to the insulation and climate of the location where it is installed.

This size of AC has an estimated power input of 460 watts but can be momentarily higher during startup and depending on the user selections made on the AC.

The AC has an estimated annual energy draw of about 350 kWh and costs approximately USD 45 to run (assumes combined energy efficiency ratio of 11).

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