How much electricity does a car AC use?

The warm weather is here in New York, and it’s getting hotter by the day. I always try to conserve energy by rolling down the windows, but I know that come August I’ll need to crank up the AC. Does the AC use a lot of energy? How much electricity does a car AC actually use?

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Answer provided by
Tara Malenfa
Answered on May 12, 2022
I get it! Summers in New York are fantastic, but the humidity is no joke! You’ll be happy to hear that your car doesn’t use as much energy to power up your AC as you may think. Here’s what we know about how much electricity it takes to power your car’s AC:
The amount of energy your car pulls varies based on the make, model, and condition of your car.
On average, it takes about 3 kW of energy to power your AC. That is about 180 amps drawn from your alternator circuit.
The central A/C Fan compressor is 750 watts and usually uses about 1 to 2 kW of power.
One ton of AC cooling is equal to 1,000 watts.
Now that you can feel good about your car’s AC keeping you cool for the summer (Demi Lovato, anyone?), you should also feel good about your car insurance policy. Most Americans overpay for their car insurance every month, and no one has time for that.
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MORE: A Loud Exhaust Will Now Cost You $1,000 in New York

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