How Much Energy Does a Mini Split Use? (With Calculator)

Mini split heat pumps use 500 to 5500 watts. This range is approximately 1000 to 1500 watts per 12,000 BTU based on how energy efficient the system is.

In terms of energy consumption, mini split systems use .7 kWh to more than 4 kWh per hour and 17 to 100 kWh per day.

Here are mini split energy usage charts for watts and kilowatt hours (kWH) plus a mini split energy consumption calculator you can use to get an exact number of kilowatt hours per hour and per day.

Mini Split Energy Consumption

How many kWh does a mini split use?

The range starts at below .6 kWh per hour and less than15 kWh per day for a 9,000 BTU system. Popular systems in the 24,000 to 36,000 BTU range consume about 1.25 to 3.6 kilowatt hours (kWh) per hour and from about 40 to 90 per day.

The ranges are so broad because mini split systems, like most HVAC systems, are manufactured in a wide range of efficiencies. The most efficient are more than 50% better at saving energy use than the least efficient.

Mini Split Energy Consumption

Mini Split CapacityEnergy Consumption Per HourEnergy Consumption Per Day
9000 Btu0.44 to 0.70 kWh10.5 to 17  kWh
12000 Btu0.6 to 1.0 kWh14.4  to 23  kWh
18000 Btu0.90 to 1.5 kWh21.6 to 36  kWh
24000 Btu1.25 to 2 kWh30 to 48  kWh
30000 Btu1.6 to 3.0 kWh38.5 to 71  kWh
36000 Btu2.0 to 3.6 kWh48 to 88  kWh
42000 Btu2.4 to 4.1 kWh57.6  to 100  kWh
48000 Btu2.4 to 5.5 kWh58 to 131  kWh

These charts show common mini split sizes and energy consumption for systems of each size. The data used to produce these charts includes older mini split systems still in use that are not nearly as efficient as currently sold units. 

If your mini split is more than 8-10 years old and you’re not sure of its EER rating, then consider that your energy consumption will probably be on the higher side of the range.

The most significant factor in the energy consumption of a mini split is its efficiency performance – how efficiently the system uses electricity to circulate refrigerant and transfer heat from one place to another.

Other minor factors are how clean the filter and coils are. Dirt reduces airflow through the filter and unit as a whole, and dirt clinging to the coils in the indoor unit and outdoor unit will also become less energy efficient than when these parts are clean.

Mini Split Energy Consumption Calculator

Now you can get an accurate estimate of your energy use using this unique calculator.

Then, find out the cost of power in your state, and accurately estimate the cost to run a mini split heat pump system.

Mini Split Energy Consumption Calculator

The size of your system is determined by the outdoor unit. There should be a label or tag on the condensing unit showing its AC and Heat BTU ratings – they are usually slightly different.

The SEER rating should be found either on the label or in the literature that came with the unit. Finally, you can search the model number online to find its specifications.

Energy Star Mini Split Energy Consumption

To be a certified Energy Star mini split heat pump or air conditioner, the unit must be significantly more efficient than average. The criteria become rather complicated and based on the capacity of the mini split – but the energy savings are real.

How much can you save with an Energy Star certified mini split? According to the US Department of Energy, most homeowners experience annual savings of at least $476 and as much as $4,800 in lifetime operating costs compared with using a system that does not meet Energy Star criteria.

This chart shows average amounts of energy consumption for non-Energy Star units compared with energy use of those that meet Energy Star certification.

Energy Star Mini Split Energy Consumption

Mini Split CapacityNon Energy Star Energy Consumption per hourEnergy Star Energy Consumption per hour
9,000 Btu0.8 kWh0.44 to 0.6 kWh 
12,000 Btu1.1 kWh0.6 to 0.9 kWh
18,000 Btu1.7 kWh0.9 to 1.4 kWh
24,000 Btu2.2 kWh1.25 to 1.8 kWh
30,000 Btu3.0 kWh1.6 to 2.2 kWh
36,000 Btu3.7 kWh2.0 to 3.0 kWh
42,000 Btu4.1 kWh2.4 to 2.9 kWh
48,000 Btu5.5 kWh2.4 to 3.0 kWh

Data analysis shows that Energy Star mini split heat pumps are approximately 20% to 60% more efficient than non-Energy Star certified equipment still in use. The older the equipment, in general, the more savings you’ll see if you buy a new mini split.

Multiply those savings by your annual heating and air conditioning costs, and you’ll understand just how much you can save.

How Much to Run a Mini Split?

You can find out mini split operating cost using a mini split savings calculator.

The calculator also allows you to compare mini split systems with two different efficiency ratings, so that you can see how much money you would save with a more efficient system.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree and EPA & R-410A Certifications.
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