What’s the Link Between HVAC Wattage and Performance?

HVAC wattage is directly related to the performance and efficiency of an electric furnace or a central air conditioner. Factors impacting HVAC wattage also include typical outdoor temperature range and issues such as airtightness of the structure and the amount and quality of insulation.

Here’s how the electrical consumption of HVAC components relates to heating and cooling performance.


An electric furnace sized for a typical 2,400-square-foot house consumes about 18,000 watts of electricity per hour of operation. To maintain the 68-degree indoor temperature that’s recommended by the Department of Energy, the thermostat typically actuates two or three 10- to 15-minute furnace cycles per hour.

  • The average electricity rate in the United States is 15 cents per kilowatt hour.
  • Nationwide, the average monthly expense of heating a typical residence with an electric central furnace is $216.
  • Heating with an electric furnace is considerably more expensive than a gas furnace in most parts of the country.


HVAC wattage by a residential central air conditioner in the United States averages between 3,000 and 3,500 watts per hour. These units commonly run 15- to 20-minute cooling cycles twice per hour.

Air conditioning cooling power is expressed in tons. An AC unit for a 2,400-square-foot home, for example, requires at least 4 tons of cooling capacity. Energy efficiency of a specific unit is rated by the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) which calculates the amount of cooling output in ratio to the wattage of electricity consumed.

  • Depending on the region of the country, standard AC SEER ratings start at 13 and range up to 18.
  • High-efficiency air conditioners with SEER ratings up to 25 consume significantly less electrical wattage than standard units.
  • The higher the SEER rating, the more expensive the upfront purchase price will be. However, long-term energy savings will eventually compensate.

For more about the link between HVAC wattage and heating/cooling performance, contact Paitson Bros., serving Terre Haute homeowners since 1922.

This entry was posted in HVAC System and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

What is 0 + 0 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
  • Click Here, For
  • » Call Us: 1 (812) 232-2347

  • How Can We Help?

    We're glad to answer questions... just click below for our contact form:

    Free Estimate

    Schedule Service

  • Recent Posts

  • Topics

  • Life's Journey &quo...
    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
    More »
  • About Ethan

    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
    More »