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115 volt or 230 volt air conditioner - which is best?

I'm trying to decide between two AC units. Both are 12k BTU, and cost the same. One is 115 volts and the other is 230. I'm having a new circuit professionally installed to serve the unit, so I can install whichever size circuit that I need. So, all things being equal, is it wiser to go with 115 volts or 230?
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Posted 2012-09-14T21:10:40+0000  by Gary-Letona Gary-Letona
 

Good afternoon Gary,

 

Thanks for your great question and welcome to the community!

 

The first thing you'll need to consider when deciding the best A/C unit  is knowing what makes it function in the first place. 

 

Voltage refers to the amount of electricity there is, this could be in a battery, a household circuit, etc.


Amperage is the measurement of the how much electricity is flowing through a circuit, aka current.

 

With that said, it's actually wiser to compare both 12K BTU's in terms of how much amperage it is pulling. 

 

However, since you have the option of using a circuit wired for an extra hot lead (220-230V in the vernacular), in the long run, it is actually the better choice. It cuts down the load required to power up the unit by splitting the lead into two wires. This means you will need to install a dedicated circuit going straight to the unit. This means the breaker, wire, and receptacle at the wall feeding it must only be powering up the unit, and nothing else. 

 

This will give you the best option over time, as long as it is safely installed and up to your local code.

 

In closing, the actual measurement to determine how well an air conditioner performs is by its energy efficiency rating or EER. The EER of an air conditioner is its British Thermal Units (BTU) rating over its wattage. For instance, if a 10,000-BTU air conditioner consumes 900 watts, its EER is 11 (10,000 BTU/900 watts). A higher EER means that the air conditioner is more efficient, but can cost more. This rating is crucial and just as important when it comes to comparing efficiency of all air conditioning systems, central and window types. This rating can always be found on the box or container it comes in, and always on the website if you aren't purchasing it in the store.

 

Hope this helps you out and have a great day,

aboveaveragejoe

Posted 2012-09-17T16:51:59+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
 
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