How Many Watts Does a Mini Split Use?

Mini split AC watts range from 560 to 4,250 based on the size of the unit. Charts below show watts by mini split size, volts and brands.

And yes, you can run a mini split off a generator if the generator can provide enough watts to meet the electrical draw of the system.

Mini Split AC Watts Used

This section is about mini split air conditioners and heat pumps – units that provide heating and cooling.

More than 270 mini split ACs were researched. The total represents a comprehensive study of all major brands. Data showing mini split AC watts used was gathered from Mitsubishi, LG, GE, Daikin and many more, as the Brands chart below shows.

Mini Split AC Watts Used

9,000 Btu0.75 Ton560 – 1,350 W
12,000 Btu1 Ton800 – 1,500 W
18,000 Btu1.5 Ton1,250 – 3,100 W
24,000 Btu2 Ton1,700 – 4,580 W
30,000 Btu2.5 Ton2,550 – 4,150 W
36,000 Btu3 Ton3,330 – 4,250 W

Note: This data is based on 272 popular mini splits on the market.

How many watts does a 3 ton mini split use?

A 3 ton mini split uses 3,330 to 4,250 watts.

Did you know that if you know the EER and size of your mini split, you can determine watts used?

Divide BTU capacity by the energy efficiency ratio, or EER, to get watts. AC BTU Capacity / EER Rating = AC Wattage  

A 24,000 BTU mini split with 11 EER efficiency uses 2,181 watts, for example.

Up to 36,000 BTU: The data covers the most popular sizes of mini split. You can find larger mini split condensing units, and they might use more watts, as the Watts by Volts chart shows.

Be Sure about Watts: Always check your owner’s manual or find the mini split specs online to know the wattage of the model you’re installing or running.

Can I use EER rating to determine watts used?

Yes. BTUs divided by EER = Watts.

For example, a 18,000 BTU mini split with a 9.5 EER rating uses 1,895 watts. You can see on the chart that 1,895 is right in the middle of the range for 18,000 BTU systems.

Note – Indoor/Outdoor: The mini split watts usage data include the entire system including the outdoor unit and one or more indoor units depending on the configuration of the mini split system.

This is because the indoor units are powered by wiring coming from the outdoor unit.

Mini Split Watts by Volts

Your mini split system requires either a 110/120V circuit or a two-pole 208 (3 phase) or 240 (single phase) circuit. Here are the watts used based on the volts used to power the system.

Mini Split Watts by Volts

Power SupplyWatts
110 – 120 V720 – 1300 W
208 – 230 V560 – 4580 W

110/120 volt mini splits are small – up to 12,000 BTU. However, any size mini split can use 208/230 volts.

Got amps? You can also determine the watts needed to power your mini split if you know the volts and amps of your mini split system.

Watts = Amps x Volts.

Minimum Watts by Mini Split Brand

Every manufacturer makes a slightly different range of mini split systems. This chart shows the minimum watts used by the low watt system each one makes. This usually reflects the smallest mini split the brand produces.

Again, the data is compiled from more than 270 mini split systems researched.

Minimum Watts of Different Brands

BrandMin. Watts
GE560 W
LG570 W
Mitsubishi585 W
Daikin590 W
Senville620 W
Pioneer640 W
CH / Cooper & Hunter780 W
Gree895 W


Can you run a mini split on a generator?

Yes. When these conditions are met, you can run a mini split on a generator.

1 – The generator is wired into the electrical panel of your home. If the mini split is in an RV, that’s different. The vehicle would simply need to be plugged into the generator.

2 – The generator generates enough watts to handle the starting watts required by your mini split. In other words, you can’t be sure that you can run any mini split on just any generator.

Starting vs Running Watts: The watt range for each size shows starting watts and running watts. Mini split starting watts may be 10 times higher than running watts. It takes a lot of energy to get the compressor moving, just as starting a car is the most energy-intensive part of driving.

One experienced mini split installer suggests, “As a general rule, a 10,000-watt generator is a good starting point if you want it to run your mini-split air conditioner.” This is true when you intend to run lights, a refrigerator and other appliances at the same time.

What size generator for a 12000 BTU mini split?

2000 watts minimum for just the mini split. If you plan to run other appliances off the generator, it should be much larger.

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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