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Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning
Meteorology and Weather

Does a 220 volt Air Conditioner cost less to operate than a 110 volt with the same btu's?


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April 23, 2009 3:28AM

Whoever wrote this answer has the math correct, I will admit it. 220 volt circuit is two 110 volt circuits put together. 110+110=220. As seen below in the following equation, the 220 unit and 110 unit use the same amount of wattage, if you double the 110 volts amperage use. 220 volt circuits are used with major appliances such as air conditioners, dryers and electric oven/ranges for this reason. The amount of current they draw (amperage). The reason behind using a 220 volt circuit verses the 110 is the wire size needed to carry the amount of current used. It comes down to the cost of wiring and that is it. In the equation below the 220 volt/10 amp unit would only use 14 gauge wire. The 110 unit would have to use a larger gauge wire to perform the same function with 12 gauge wire. The larger the gauge number, the smaller the wire, thus less the cost. Sorry to say there is no cost difference to operate a 110 A/C to a 220 unit. Unlike the statement made below, it will take you forever to see the cost difference in your electric bill as you will be using the same amount of power for both. If the fellow below does not believe me, try this on for size. Take amp meter to L1 and view the use. Then take a second amp meter and view the use of L2. Now that you have simotaneous readings, add them together. See, no savings at all. A 220 Volt appliance uses half of the current that a 110 Volt appliance does. Your house power starts with 220V with neutral phase grounded. 110V is obtained from either one of the 220v wires and neutral. Your meter measures current at the 220V rate. If you use a 220V appliance your meter will record power used. If you use the half voltage of 110V you will have to double the current to obtain the same power output. Your meter will record double what you are actually using. Your circuit panel is laid out for two 110V circuits and their combined 220V. Orginal layout of your house wiring was a gusse at trying to pair 110V devices that may be on simultaniously. This helps ballance the two 110V circuits and gives a truer reading on the meter. In addition to this meter error are current losses. The more current the more loss! example: 220V X 10A = 2200W or 110V X 20A = 2200w So the 220V appliance is a winner in both cases. DEFINETLY ENERGY EFFICIENT ! The catch is you need a 220V outlet installed. Depending on your cost for the outlet it may take an few extra months to realize a savings.