Extension cord for air conditioner

An air conditioner should be placed close enough to the outlet that the cord can easily reach it, but if you are in a hurry and need immediate relief from the heat, you can get benefit from the extension cord for the air conditioner.

Can i use an extension cord for my air conditioner

Yes. Please make sure that the extension cord you choose for your AC should have the ability to handle that much load, which is usually going up to 12 AMPS for mostly air conditioners. Where a 14 gauge extension cord can handle a reasonable amount of load, a 12 gauge extension cord for an air conditioner is considered safer, and people believe that a 10 gauge extension cord is one of the best choices.

Do keep this fact in mind that extension cords are only recommended by the experts for temporary use with air conditioning. If your air conditioner unit is going to be placed for a long time or will be used on a regular basis, you should definitely replace your extension cord with a new outlet.

Can you use extension cord for portable air conditioner

Yes, you can temporarily use an extension cord for a portable air conditioner.

Generally, the air conditioner manufacturer and fire-fighting department recommend that you should only connect you’re AC into the wall outlet. It’s because extension cords can heat up quickly and catch fire which can result in loss of life and property.

But if you don’t have any choice, then you can temporarily use a heavy-duty extension cord for your portable air conditioner to get quick relief.

What you need to make sure is that the rating of the extension cord and the portable air conditioner match each other.

Extension cords have a rating that shows how much current can pass through them. It is very important to compare the rating of the extension cord with the portable air conditioner to ensure that this particular extension cord is safe for your portable air conditioner.

If the rating of your extension cord is smaller than the portable air conditioner then it will heat up and catch fire. Thus, it can be very dangerous for safety.

Therefore, we recommend you get a heavy-duty extension cord that has a rating higher than your portable air conditioner.

How to use an extension cord for portable air conditioner

Please complete the two easy steps below to use your extension cord in your portable air conditioner system

Total Time: 35 hours

  1. Buy the right extension cord

    A portable air conditioner needs a heavy-duty extension cord that can handle its load. Do not use a normal extension cord with a low rating because it will heat up and catch fire. Instead, get an extension cord that is heavy-duty and has a higher rating than your portable air conditioner.

  2. Connect the cord

    Connect your portable air conditioner with the extension cord and place it at a safe location. We don’t recommend you leave it loose on the floor because it can get wet or your kids and pets can also touch it. Instead, you should keep it at an elevated location. Also avoid routing the cord through the most used part of the floor, doors, or windows.

Can you use an extension cord for a window air conditioner

Yes, but only temporarily.

The best practice is that you should connect your window air conditioner to a wall outlet and avoid using an extension cord. Because the extension cord can get too hot during summers. They can even melt and catch fire. This is why experts do not recommend using an extension cord for an air conditioner.

However, if you have no other option then you can temporarily use a heavy-duty extension cord for your portable air conditioner.

How to use an extension cord for window type air conditioner

Here’s how you can use an extension cord for window type air conditioners:

Choose the compatible extension cord

Extension cords have ratings that suggest how much load of current they can handle. You need to check the rating of your window air conditioners and then buy an extension cord that has a higher rating than your AC. This way you will be able to get the right extension cord that won’t heat up and is safe to use.

Connect the extension cord and secure it

Connect your window air conditioner with the extension cord. Secure the extension cord and keep it away from the reach of pets and children. Avoid keeping it on the ground or anywhere where it can get wet.

Can i use a heavy-duty extension cord with an air conditioner

Normally, you should plug your AC into the wall outlet as it is more safe and secure. However, if you don’t have any other option left then using a heavy-duty extension cord can be the right choice.

What is the difference between light duty and heavy duty extension cord

Here’s the difference between light-duty and heavy-duty extension cords:

Light duty extension cords are made to be used by light electronic devices that do not need much power like fans, lamps, and clocks, etc. They can handle a small amount of current only.

Heavy-duty extension cords are made to be used by heavy electronics that need a lot of power such as heaters, air conditioners, and refrigerators, etc. They can handle a large amount of current.

What does 12/3 mean on an extension cord

12/3 on an extension cord means that the diameter of its wire is 12 gauge and it has 3 wires.

The number on the left “12” refers to the gauge (diameter) of wire in the cord. The number on the right “3” refers to the number of wires (conductors) in the cord.

It’s represented like this:

(Diameter of wire /Number of wires) in the cord.

12 gauge extension cord for air conditioner

12 gauge extension cord for air conditioner

A 14 gauge extension cord can handle much of this current, but we all know that air conditioners require more electricity and power when it comes to the initiation or starting up. This is where you need an extension cord of 12 gauge because it can easily handle this current in all situations of an AC.

You can easily find one of these hardware stores in the electric section but may not be found in a local general-purpose store. Most air conditioners now come with a three-prong connection, so make sure that you are looking for a three-prong extension cord for your air conditioner.

The ground connection should never be ignored because it will offer bigger benefits to issues like ground fault or power surge.

10 gauge extension cord for air conditioner

A larger number of gauges means the wire will be thinner in size. It eventually means that the wire will carry less power and may not be able to handle heavy appliances such as air conditioners. 10 gauge is probably the thickest and most powerful wire for different choices between extension cords.

Do keep this fact in mind that higher gauge extension cords will also work for shorter distances as they may not be able to transfer current consistently for a relatively long distance. A 10 gauge extension cord for the air conditioner can be 100 feet in length, allowing you to cover a large area between your air conditioner and its outlet.

The length of the wire also affects the amount of current. For example, a 12 gauge extension cord of 25 feet can easily handle 16 to 20 amps of the current, while the 10 gauge extension cord of 100 feet will carry this current without hassle. It means that if there is a short distance, a 12 gauge extension cord may work perfectly, but you need a 10 gauge cord for a distance longer than 25 feet.

Air conditioner extension cord safety

One of the most common and easiest ways to supply current from one place to another is an extension cord. We all know that every electric thing provides us with benefits on one side and keeps a dangerous hazard on the other.

Using extension cords for air conditioners is only for temporary purposes. Do not use them permanently because they can heat up, melt, and cause a fire. It can result in the loss of lives and properties. This is why you should try your best to connect your air conditioner to the wall outlet as it is safe.

You should be careful while using an extension cord for your air conditioner because minor carelessness can affect your safety. Below are some of the most beneficial tips that will allow you to use an extension cord while protecting your home and its residents as well.

Tips for selecting extension cord for air conditioner

Tips for selecting extension cord for air conditioner
  • Make sure that the extension cord is authorized by an independent testing laboratory.
  • If you are going to use an extension cord in the outdoor area, ensure that your cord is marked for outdoor use.
  • Read the instruction and user manual if available.
  • Check the power and ability of the cord and see if it will help you to run the air conditioner.
  • Never forget the length as it can cause issues at the time of installation.
  • Buy extension cords that have three-prong plugs.
  • Look for a thicker extension cord instead of a thin one.

Tips on using extension cord for air conditioner

Tips on using extension cord for air conditioner
  • Unplug the extension cord immediately if it feels hot to touch.
  • All unused receptacles should be covered with plastic child-proof covers.
  • Never bend the wire or cord while it is in use.
  • Always keep the extension cord in the right place and never attach them to the floor or walls using nails, tapes, or staples.
  • Don’t pass extension cords through furniture, carpets, or rugs.
  • Don’t plug a lot of extension cords at the same time.
  • Differentiate between an indoor and outdoor extension cord so that the indoor cord could not be used in outdoor areas.
  • Avoid putting other appliances on the cord while it is providing power to the air conditioner.
  • Never remove the grounding pin from the extension cord.

Tips to take care of extension cord for air conditioner

  • Try to keep your extension cords indoors, away from moisture and water.
  • Don’t let extension cords plugged in while they are not being used.
  • Never use an extension cord if it is damaged or needs repairing.
  • While disconnecting the cord from the plug, pull the plug instead of the cable.

Extension cord for 5000 BTU air conditioner

Usually, an air conditioner of 5000 BTU takes 4 to 7 AMPs which can easily be provided with an extension cord of 14 gauge. As it is said earlier, I always prefer a 12 gauge cord when it comes to air conditioning or heavy appliances.

To learn more about how to use btu calculation formula for air conditioner, please refer to our previous guide for more.

Extension cord for 6000 BTU air conditioner

A 6000 BTU air conditioner uses 5-7 amps of power.

Therefore, you should get an extension cord that can handle more than 5-7 amps of power.

A 12-gauge extension cord will be good.

The power rating of the extension cord should be bigger than the power rating of the AC otherwise it will heat up, melt, and cause a fire.

Extension cord for 8000 BTU air conditioner

An 8000 BTU air conditioner takes 5-9 amps of current.

Therefore, you need an extension cord that can handle a current of more than 5-9 amps.

You can use a 10 or 12-gauge extension cord and it will be okay.

Extension cord for 10000 BTU air conditioner

A 10,000 BTU air conditioner can take an estimated 7-11 amps of current.

Therefore, you will need an extension cord that can safely handle 7-11 amps of current. A 10 or 12-gauge extension cord will be good for you.

Extension cord for 12000 BTU air conditioner

A 12,000 BTU air conditioner uses an estimate of 8-14 amps.

Therefore, you will need an extension cord that can safely handle a current load of 8-14 amps.

A 10-gauge extension cord will do the job for you.

Extension cord for 14000 BTU air conditioner

An air conditioner of 14000 BTU needs 10 to 17 AMPS, which a 14 gauge extension cord cannot handle. For this type of heavy air conditioner, 12 gauge and 10 gauge extension cords can be considered. It is recommended to go for a 10 gauge extension cord as it has some plus points compared to a 12 gauge extension cord.

How to build your own air conditioner extension cord

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