How Many AMPs Does A Mini Split AC Use? (Current Draw) (2024)

Heating and cooling systems allow you to control the environment in your home. Mini split air conditioners are one of the most effective solutions, but even the best mini splits need to be set up correctly to work. This makes it essential that you have the right power going to the device.

Amps or amperage are a unit used to measure electricity. Unlike wattage, amps measure how fast the electric current flows, and you need to have enough amps so that the mini split can function correctly. This will help you operate the mini split more efficiently and save you money on your energy bill.

This guide will explain how many amps a mini split uses and how to calculate it for yourself.

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How Many Amps Are Required For Ductless Mini Split Systems?

To accommodate the different cooling needs of homes, mini splits come in a range of sizes. The number of amps you need will be influenced by the overall BTUs of your mini split and how many zones you want it to cover.

It will be different for every make and model, too, with Daikin mini splits generally needing less than Mitsubishi. We’ve provided some general guidance to the two main options below:

Related Article Mini Split Sizing: Complete Guide

Single Zone Mini Splits

Single zone mini splits cover a single room or area in your home. You’ll need between 10 and 45 amps, but this will depend on the specifications of the unit. If it’s able to cover a higher square footage and has a higher BTU, then it will likely be closer to 45 amps.

Multi-Zone Mini Splits

Multi-zone mini splits are used to help heat or cool multiple rooms in your home. Each individual indoor vent will need 15-45 amps to function correctly, so you’re looking at roughly 200 amps for a 4-zone mini split.

How Many AMPs Does A Mini Split AC Use? (Current Draw) (1)

Ways To Check The Amps A Mini Split AC Draws

There are a few different terms you’ll see a lot around mini splits, and you’ll need to understand them to work out the amps needed.


BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it’s a measurement of how much energy it takes to heat 1 pound of water by 1 degree. BTUs are used to indicate the area a mini split can cover. The higher the BTU, the greater the coverage and the more amps needed.


Voltage or volts is another measurement of electrical charge, but where amps measure the volume of electrons, volts measure the pressure that allows amps to flow. If you picture a river, the voltage is the angle or steepness of the river, whereas the amperage is the volume of water.


Wattage is the combination of voltage and amps. You determine the number of watts a mini split uses by multiplying these two factors together.

Now you know these terms, there are two steps to follow to get the amps:

1. From BTU To Electrical Power (Measured In Watts)

Firstly, you need to determine the electrical power or watts required. For this, you need to use the following equation:

BTUs = Energy Efficiency Rating x Watts

The BTUs of the mini split should be clear when purchasing the unit, and the energy efficiency rating will be included in the specifications.

Typically, you would expect the energy efficiency rating to be between 8 and 12. This means you should have 2 of the 3 variables before you start, and you’ll need to determine the Watts.

From here, you can follow this equation to determine the amps:

Watts= Volts x Amps

Remember, the voltage will generally be 115V for smaller units, or 220V for larger ones.

2. From Watts To Electrical Current (Measured In Amps)

This is the much more straightforward way of determining the amps needed, but you will need to know the wattage.

Amps = BTU / (Energy Efficiency Rating x Watts)

If possible, you should always use this equation because it’s a lot easier to follow.

How Many AMPs Does A Mini Split AC Use? (Current Draw) (2)

How To Calculate The Number Of Amps Your Mini Split Needs

Following on from above, we’ve created some worked examples to help you understand how to calculate the number of amps your mini split needs. For these, we have assumed a voltage of 115 and an energy efficiency rating of 12, but this will obviously depend on your individual unit.

1. 5000 BTU mini split

Amps = 5000 BTU / (12 x 115V)

Amps = 3.62

2. 12,000 BTU mini split

Amps = 12000 BTU / (12 x 115V)

Amps = 8.7

The table below gives a breakdown of the amps needed for different sized mini splits.

BTUsTon(s)Estimated Amp Draw

As you can see from the table above, this is where it pays in the long run to get a more energy efficient mini split. A 36000 BTU mini split with an energy efficiency rating of 8 instead of 12 would need 37.5 amps, a much higher draw that would impact your energy bills.

How Do You Determine The Size Of Circuit Breaker For Mini Splits Using Amps?

With all electricals, it’s important to have safeguards in place to prevent your wires from overheating and causing a fire. The two most common choices are fuses or circuit breakers. When there’s a surge of electricity, they literally break the circuit and switch the devices off.If you have a fuse, you need to replace it, which can be annoying, but if you have a circuit breaker, you just need to flip the fuse box. This is why circuit breakers are generally preferred to fuses.

You need to make sure you have the right size circuit breaker for mini splits. These are measured in amps and indicate the maximum electric current surge that can be accommodated before they need to break the circuit and shut the device down.

There are equations to work this out, but for air conditioners, it’s a bit too complicated. The best thing to do is read the specifications and instructions for your mini split, as this will show the maximum circuit breaker amperage. It may even be written on the unit itself.

Related Article What To Do If AC Keeps Tripping The Breaker

How Many AMPs Does A Mini Split AC Use? (Current Draw) (3)

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What kind of wire do I need for a mini split?

Most mini splits need a 14-gauge wire with a dedicated ground between the indoor and outdoor units. These will need to be weatherproofed because they’ll have to travel outside.

Do you need 200 amp service for a mini split?

For a single mini split, you won’t need 200 amps, and you can make do with much less. If you’re installing a multi- zone mini split, then you may need to upgrade to 200 amps.

How many amps is a 5-zone mini split?

Depending on the BTU and energy rating, a 5- zone mini split may need up to 200 amps to operate. Typically you should expect each mini split to need 10-45 amps.

Are mini splits 110 or 220 Volt?

In the US, typically, mini splits up to 18000 are 110V, and over that are 220V. This will impact the amps needed for it to operate.


Mini splits are really useful pieces of equipment that, if set up correctly, will make your home a much nicer place to live in. It’s important you understand the amps or amperage needed for the mini split so it can operate correctly and so that you can be as energy efficient as possible.

This will help you save money on your electric bill and make the mini split much more affordable.

Hopefully, this article has given you a helpful overview, and you have a better understanding of how many amps a mini split will use.

Related Article Is Getting A Mini Split Worth The Cost?

How Many AMPs Does A Mini Split AC Use? (Current Draw) (2024)


How Many AMPs Does A Mini Split AC Use? (Current Draw)? ›

This will actually vary, based on how many British thermal units, BTUs, the system uses–usually 15-45 amps per mini-split is needed.

How many amps does a mini split system draw? ›

You don't need too many amps to run your ductless mini split system. Each one of your air handlers needs about 15 to 45 amps. This means that, as a whole, you'll need about 110 to 120 volts on the low end or 208 to 240 volts on the higher end.

How many amps does a 24000 BTU mini split draw? ›

Air direction/circulation2-way39
Amperage (A)1124000 BTU
BTU Heat Rating24000 BTUWhite
Coverage Area (sq. ft.)120024 dBA
8 more rows

How many amps does a 36000 BTU mini split use? ›

What is the amp draw for the 36000 btu mini split and or wire gauge recommended from outside unit to disconnect box? Amp draw is 18.5A in cooling and 16.7A in heating. This system would take a 30A double pole breaker with 10 AWG wire. This particular system will heat and cool down to +5°F outside temperatures.

How many amps does a 12000 BTU mini split need? ›

A 12000 BTU mini split will draw between 10 to 16 amps to operate properly. The actual amperage will depend on the unit's voltage, either 115V or 230V.

Does a 12000 BTU mini split need a dedicated circuit? ›

Mini Split Electrical Requirements

Many single-zone mini splits come in 110v or 208/240v versions, while larger systems with a capacity over 12,000 BTUs typically operate on 208/240v. Mini splits must also have their own dedicated circuit to prevent overloading and repeated tripping of the breaker.

How many amps does a 220 mini split use? ›

Typically, you will need between 15 and 45 amps per mini split.

What size breaker does a 36k Mr Cool mini split take? ›

Product Specifications
MRCOOL DIY 36,000 BTU 16 SEER Ductless Mini Split AC and Heat Pump with Wireless-Enabled Smart Controller
Max Breaker Size40 Amps
Min. Breaker Size25 Amps
BTU/Tonnage36,000 BTU/3 Ton
Mini-Split TypeWall Mounted
27 more rows

Are mini splits 110 or 220? ›

Mini split units are available in both 115v and 220v. The voltage of your mini split varies between manufacturers and models. The main differences between the units are their BTU capacity and how they are installed in your home.

How many amps does a 30000 BTU mini split use? ›

Unit Features:
Product TypeDuctless Mini split air conditioner
BTU Cooling30000 BTUs
Amperage12 Amps
Wattage2900 Watts
PhaseSingle phase
37 more rows

What size breaker do I need for a 18000 BTU mini split? ›

For the 18,000 BTU unit they call for a 25a breaker. A good electrical inspector will match the spec sheet against the installation.

How many square feet will a 12000 BTU mini split cool? ›

450 to 550 sq. ft

Can you plug mini split into outlet? ›

Smaller mini-splits (12,000 Btu or less) can be plugged into a standard 110 volt outlet, but larger units often require a 220 volt outlet. Depending on the size and number of mini-splits you plan to install, modifications to your existing electrical panel and outlets may be necessary.

Can a 2000 watt generator run a mini split AC? ›

If you've ever wondered if your 2000 watt generator will run an air conditioner, the answer is yes, but only a portable or window air conditioning unit. You can power most small home appliances with a 2000 watt generator very smoothly but your central air system will not run efficiently.

Can mini splits run on 100 amp service? ›

Electrical requirements

Mini-splits often require electrical work, ranging from the simple (like running a 220V line to each indoor unit) to the complex (like upgrading your electrical panel). Some homeowners even have to upgrade their electrical service entirely from 100 amps to 200 amps.

Does a mini split need a dedicated circuit? ›

You might be wondering, "Do I really need a disconnect?" All mini split systems require a dedicated circuit to supply power to the system. A disconnect box is required by code to be installed near the outdoor unit and allows for a technician to shut off power to the system when performing any service or repairs.

Do you need 200 amp service for mini split? ›

In most cases you will not need to upgrade to a 200 amp service if you are only installing one mini-split air-source heat pump. If you plan to install more than one unit, you may need to upgrade to a 200 amp service.

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