Before purchasing a window air conditioner, it is important to note the electrical requirements as window A/C units are typically more powerful than standard household appliances.
Most common voltage ratings for AC units are 115, 125 and 220 volts, and amperage rating can run from 15 to 20 amps. The lower two voltage ratings are common in smaller units, while units with a rating higher than 15,000 BTUs will require a 220-volt circuit.
Smaller units with a 115 volt and 15 amp requirement will be able to operate off a standard household outlet. However, larger units that have higher energy requirements need a committed outlet to handle the electrical current required for operation.
If you already have a committed outlet for your AC unit, you’ll want to try to select a replacement with the same ratings and plug type to eliminate the need of having a new outlet professionally installed by an electrician. If you’re installing a new unit, take note of the wattage, voltage and plug type indicated.
Plug types are listed by their NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) classification and will often include a picture of the plug receptacle for your reference. Some of the most common examples include:
Home air conditioners are offered in two styles: a whole home central AC unit that is often combined with a central heating system, and window units designed to cool off individual rooms. The two types of appliances require different electrical voltages to work properly. Even a small air conditioner can put a strain on a home electrical system.
Central Air Conditioners
Central air conditioners require a 220-volt or 240-volt, dedicated circuit for operation. When a central air conditioner starts up, it may require up to 5,000 watts of electricity, making it one of the largest consumers of electric power in the home. An air conditioner’s cooling capacity is measured either in British thermal units (BTUs) or in “tons.” The greater the number of BTUs or tons, the greater the cooling power of the unit. A larger unit also requires more electrical power. Buying a unit too large for your home wastes electricity, and causes the unit to wear out faster.
Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are offered in either 110/120-volt or 220/240-volt models, depending upon their cooling capacity. A unit designed for cooling one small room such as a bedroom normally provides 15,000 BTUs and often works on a smaller, standard 110/120-volt wall outlet. Because of its large power consumption, you should not have any other appliance on the circuit to avoid an overload. A window unit larger than 15,000 BTUs may require a 220/240 dedicated circuit.
Many homes do not have 220/240-volt circuits as standard equipment in living spaces, and they must be added by a qualified electrician. This can cost between $500 to $1,500 as of the date of publication, depending on the type of home and its location and the work that must be done, according to Bill Ferrera of Ferrera Electric in San Francisco. All window air conditioners provide the necessary information about the electrical requirements on the unit packaging. As with a central unit, buying a window unit that is too large wastes energy and money.
Sizing a Unit
The specifications listed for individual air conditioner units state the size of the area they cool. For example, an AC unit that cools a 120-square-foot area would work best in rooms that are 10 feet wide and 12 feet across. By matching your room or home size with the unit’s specifications you can select the appropriate size air conditioner. Other factors you might consider are the number of windows and amount of insulation. If more heat comes through the windows, you will need a larger unit. A poorly insulated home will allow cool air to escape faster and might require a larger window unit. A trained technician can help you determine the proper central AC unit for your needs.
Best Voltage Stabilizers for ACs In India
Now that we know how to choose a voltage stabilizer for our air conditioner, we would look into few stabilizers for AC that has been highly popular with majority of Indian consumers.
V-Guard VG 400 Voltage Stabilizer (Grey)Find latest priceIdeal for an AC of maximum 1.5ton capacity, this stabilizer passes with flying colors in both performance and aesthetics. The compact design and economical pricing are the cherry on top of the icing.Foremost the unit has been designed exclusively for air conditioners. Its input voltage range of 170V to 270 V makes it an ideal and must have device for use across Indian territories with your air conditioner.Its grey color is attractive and neutral to blend in with any décor. Moreover, it has an attractive sleek cabinet that you can mount easily on any wall thereby enhancing its safety features. Its body is constructed of ABS material which promises you both reliability and durability.Crafted with an advanced IC technology design; the stabilizer has advanced features like intelligent time delay system that can ensure power supply till three minutes of OFF power condition. It even switches on automatically on resumption of power supply.Thanks to its IC technology design, the stabilizer is much better equipped to rectify the fluctuating input voltage. This can be easily traced with its LED status indicator. Its other safety features include in-built thermal overload protection and automatic low and high voltage cut-off.What you should keep in mind is that it is a simple cutoff stabilizer and thus not ideal for areas with high voltage fluctuations. Few also rue for copper windings instead of aluminum windings to increase its efficiency.But, with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty, excellent customer service and various other smart and intelligent features, it is a stabilizer that would go a long way in protecting your air conditioner.Find latest price ( Amazon)Find latest price ( Flipkart)
Microtek EM4150+ 150V-280V Digital Display Voltage Stabilizer (Grey)Find latest priceThis stabilizer is a great alternative to the V-Guard stabilizer as it has almost similar performance and reliability but with slightly wider input voltage range.With a metal body and attractive grey color; it is sleek, compact and can be easily mounted on a wall. Its aesthetics is pleasing enough. It is also exclusively designed to work with air conditioners of 1.5ton capacity. The sturdy design combines both durability and reliability.The technology used in the stabilizer is the Save Power Technology which not only helps you lower your energy bills but also helps increase the lifespan of your air conditioner. The input voltage range of the stabilizer is 150V to 280V which is quite sizeable. It is also a simple cut-off stabilizer which means all voltage lower than 150 V or higher than 280V will have the unit cut off the power supply to the air conditioner.The Smart Time Delay feature of the stabilizer prevents your air conditioner from starting immediately after power cuts and voltage fluctuations thereby adding an extra health layer to the device. The Intelli Thermal Management, advanced seven-segment digital display, Intelli Microchip design and silver caked relay are other features which add to the ease and comfort of using the stabilizer.Its automatic functioning eases the hassle of any manual management. With a three-year manufacturer’s warranty; brand reputation and decent pricing, this stabilizer is definitely a terrific buy.Find latest price ( Amazon)Find latest price ( Flipkart)
Monitor 4-KVA Wall Mountable Voltage Stabilizer For 1.5 Ton AC (100% Copper)Find latest priceThe Monitor voltage stabilizer is one of the best specialist stabilizers available today for any air conditioner with a maximum capacity of 1.5 ton. With a slightly higher price tag, it is definitely worth considering.Like previous two, it is also a cut-off stabilizer which cuts off power supply outside its input voltage range of 170V to 270V. With a sleek and attractive design, the stabilizer is both lightweight and small. It can be easily mounted on a wall. The epoxy coated metal body ensures both reliability and durability.Its distinguishing factor is its hundred percent copper winding against the aluminum windings of the previous stabilizers. This increases the conducting efficiency of the stabilizer as well as helps you reduce your energy bills. It has all other technical features that are considered standard in any high-quality stabilizer.Another noteworthy feature is its five-year warranty period. You can easily extend the standard warranty of one year to five years with a nominal fee. All-in-all; it is an excellent investment both as a stabilizer and for the protection of your AC.Find latest price ( Amazon)Find latest price ( Flipkart)
V-Guard VG 500 Voltage Stabilizer for AC up to 2 Ton(170V-270V) (Grey)Find latest priceV-Guard has a formidable reputation in the world of stabilizers. Thus, we cannot help but talk about its another stabilizer which is ideal for an AC up to 2-ton capacity.With an input voltage range of 170V to 270V; it has all the smart features and advantages similar to the previous V-Guard stabilizer discussed above. It can easily function with all major brands of air conditioners and maintains a steady flow of voltage.Given its capabilities and economical pricing of less than 2K, it is no surprise that the stabilizer rates high on customer satisfaction score. Thus, you can never go wrong with this stabilizer for your air conditioner.Find latest price ( Amazon)Find latest price ( Flipkart)
V-Guard VWI 400 2850-Watt AC Stabilizer (White)Find latest priceAnother offering from V-Guard, it is an ideal stabilizer for an inverter AC of maximum capacity of 1.5 ton.Foremost, like all V-Guard stabilizers; it has an ABS cabinet, and wall mounting facility. Its body is fire retardant. Thus, you have great performance with stunning aesthetics.The stabilizer has a voltage range of 130V to 280 V but it restricts its output voltage to 240V. This is especially advantageous for inverter AC’s whose PCB modules and sophisticated electronic circuitry are extremely sensitive to voltage fluctuations and damage easily. Moreover, they are expensive to repair. A stabilizer is a must-have with them.It has all standard features identifying any V-Guard stabilizer like the Intelligent time delay system, low and high voltage cut-off protection, crafted with IC technology; built-in thermal overload protection; seven segment smart digital display etc. It is even compatible with a generator.With its stringent quality control and a manufacturer’s warranty of three years, it is a smart choice for any inverter air conditioner. To add to the delight, it is fairly light on the pocket as well.