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Will a 2,000 Watt Inverter Run an Air Conditioner?


We often hear the term inverter air conditioner in store markets or advertisements. It’s an option that we can choose among the different types of AC brands and models, for its ability to save more energy.

Microprocessors are used by inverter air conditioners to regulate the compressor motor’s speed and produce the desired output. An inverter air conditioner reduces the speed of the motor once the room is cool or warm to conserve energy and maintain the desired temperature.

But how about a power inverter? How does it differ from an AC unit with a built-in inverter? And can a 2,000-watt inverter run an air conditioner?

What is a Power Inverter?


With a power inverter, you can plug in your electronics and power them just like you would through a residential outlet. You can purchase USB adaptors for smartphones in your car so that you can plug and charge the devices. However, you’ll need an inverter for larger devices and electronics with the correct plugs.

A power inverter’s main job is to transform Direct Current (DC) power into a common, Alternating Current (AC). This is due to the fact that batteries used in alternating power systems only store DC power, unlike the main grid or public utility that supplies industry and homes with AC power, and that almost all household appliances and other electrical equipment solely rely on AC power to function.

Why Do Air Conditioners Need a Power Inverter?

Instead of using DC, most air conditioners use AC. The latter is required for the main power supply of air conditioners to function. Direct current is used by some air conditioners, but usually only in low-power applications. Because of this, most air conditioning systems require a power inverter to run in a residential community.

As previously discussed, it typically switches the power used from AC to DC and vice versa. Inverters manage the motor’s power supply frequency and alter how the cooling or heating works.

What is a 2,000-Watt Inverter?

Any device you turn on needs a surge of power to start, as you may have noticed. The starting watts refer to this power. The device is stable and typically consumes less energy to operate.

An inverter with 2,000-watt power is simply a device capable of powering appliances within the said range of wattage. This means that any device, for instance, an air conditioner, which requires higher power output to operate needs a higher wattage.

Numerous home appliances can be powered by a 2000-watt power inverter. Naturally, you might not be able to use all these devices at once, but you can choose which ones you can by looking at their starting and running wattages.

Can a 2,000-Watt Inverter Run an Air Conditioner?

The answer is yes. However, a 2,000-watt inverter is only capable of powering an air conditioner with a cooling capacity of 5,000 to 7,000 BTU and can run on 115 volts AC (VAC).

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” air conditioner; rather, they come in a variety of sizes, efficiency classes ratings, and with varying degrees of cooling and heating depending on technological advancements. But, it’s important to consult the manufacturer’s guide to check the power requirements of the aircon. Otherwise, it will not run or there will be a case of a short circuit.

What Type of Aircon Can a 2,000-Watt Inverter Run?

A window air conditioner with a cooling capacity of 5,000 BTU can operate with just 900 starting watts. This device can be easily powered up by a 2,000-watt inverter. There is also a window air conditioner with a BTU of 10,000 that can easily be powered by the same device with the same wattage because it only requires 1,800 starting watts to operate.

As a result, window air conditioners with cooling capacities between 5,000 and 10,000 BTU can definitely be powered by a 2,000-watt inverter, while RV air conditioners with cooling capacities between 7,000 and 10,000 BTU can also be cooled by the aforementioned device.

How to Determine the Right Inverter for an Air Conditioner?

The continuous power rating of your inverter should be at least 50% higher than that of the air conditioner. This is since occasionally, depending on the settings chosen, such as the fan speed, the air conditioner may slightly draw more power than it is rated for. It has the ability to power up appliances that require a lot of power to operate and will increase with the size of its wattage. Therefore, it’s important to always meet the power requirements of the air conditioner itself.

Additionally, the inverter’s AC voltage must match the air conditioner’s AC voltage. To keep the current draw low, air conditioners with cooling capacities greater than 10,000 BTU are typically powered by 208-230V AC. For those with a cooling capacity of fewer than 10,000 BTU, you may have a 110-115 V or a 208-230V AC version. To ensure that your air conditioner functions properly, make sure the abovementioned device can supply the rated voltage.

Below is a table that shows the corresponding VAC of the inverter per size of the aircon.

Air Conditioner Size (BTU)AC Voltage Rating (V)Indicative Inverter Size (W) and Volts AC (VAC)
5,0001152,000 W, 115 VAC
6,0001152,000 W, 115 VAC
8,0001153,000 W, 115 VAC
9,0001153,000 W, 115 VAC
10,0001153,000 W, 115 VAC

Final Thoughts


Most air conditioners, such as a window-type or split-type aircon, run on an AC output. However, there are instances like connecting a cooling device on a car or RV that require the aid of a power inverter so the aircon can run.

It’s a good practice to know the power requirement of the air conditioner. It should be in line with the power of the AC and the BTU rating of the aircon itself. In this case, we can save more time and effort in installing and running the air conditioning system in our home, car, or in any place we want.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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