Best 12,000 BTU Air Conditioners – 2021 Reviews

| Last Updated: July 9, 2021

In this article, you’ll find an in-depth review of all the best 12,000 BTU air conditioners currently on the market, along with a list of features that makes your air conditioner part of an elite club of high-quality units.

The following article will hopefully guide you in the right direction when it comes to this buying your home a new AC unit.

Comparison Chart of the Best 12,000 BTU Air Conditioners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dry mode takes out 1.19 liter of water per hour
  • Vents of the unit are adjustable to 4 directions
  • Sufficient enough to cool a room of 400-450 square feet
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  • Having a Remote Control is Really Convenient for Any Situation
  • One of the Most Efficient Models on the Market
  • The Four-Way Direction Will Evenly Cool the Desired Area
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  • The Portability Allows You to Use the Product is Multiple Rooms
  • Has a Three-in-One Function Which Makes it Versatile
  • The Remote Control is What Makes This Product so Convenient
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  • Includes full installation kit and remote control
  • Lightweight and portable for all-room use
  • Comes with a built-in dehumidifier
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  • The Manufacturers Went for an A/C That Fits Perfectly Into the Background
  • The Noise Level is Decent Enough That it Shouldn’t Bother You
  • An Amazing Dehumidifying Capability That is the Best On the Market
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  • Has 6-way air directional control
  • Sufficient enough for a space of 500-550 square feet
  • Dry mode takes 1.8 liters of water out of the air per hour
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Aspects to Consider When Buying a 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner

There are plenty of considerations to make before pressing forward and buying your new air conditioning unit. You will want to make sure you’ve asked all of the right questions and understand the different features on offer.

The Size of the Area You Need Cooled

Like we previously mentioned, the size of the area you need cooled is important. If you have an area of 400 sq ft and buy an A/C that provides only 5,000 BTUs, you’ll most likely break your A/C as it’ll struggle to keep up with the constant demand of filling that space. For a 12,000 BTU A/C, typically, you’ll be able to cover around 500 sq. ft.

Efficiency and Eco-Friendliness

The point of saving money and saving the planet is an important topic for many people.

There are plenty of ACs on the market that offer a decent EER rating. This rating shows how efficient the device is with the energy it requires.

The higher the number, the more efficient it is and anything above an EER of ten is amazing. You’ll also find that plenty of A/Cs have easy clean and eco-friendly filters that clean the air from bad odors and dust.

Portable or Window A/Cs

There aren’t many differences between these two types of air conditioners. Firstly, the window units tend to be more powerful and efficient than their portable counterparts. This is mainly because they’re receiving their cool air directly from the outside, instead of through plastic tubes like the portable units.

The portable units can either operate on a dual or single hose system that will extract and exhaust cool and warm air used by the unit. The main benefit of this type is that they can be moved around to different rooms.

Review of the Best 12,000 BTU Air Conditioners

An important part of our article is the review section, this is when we provide a detailed summary of each product we believe to be one of the best on the market. You’ll see the benefits and downsides as well as all the main features that make it unique.

Best Overall

Koldfront WTC12001W

Koldfront WTC12001W 12,000 BTU 208/230V Through the Wall Heat/Cool Air Conditioner

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 550 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): N/A

Dimensions (in): 20.38×24.25×14.5

Weight: 78.3 lbs.

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What Recent Buyers Report

Several positive reviews suggest the quality of this AC. A large number of users reported that this is the best option for a 300-350 square feet room. Many of them liked the overall package, as it is pretty professional and decent. Also, the majority of the users are satisfied with the quality and performance of this unit. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The overbuilt quality of this AC is indeed one of the features that we like the most. Other than that, the fan speed can be adjusted to three different levels, along with an auto option as well. The best part? It comes with remote control and a front digital display as well. 

Who Will Use This Most

This unit is efficient enough to cool an area of 400-450 square feet. It is perfect for garage owners or people who are looking for a unit for a small coffee shop. Moreover, it is ideal for a relatively small room or a kitchen, as well. 

Bottom Line

To cap it all, this unit is perfect as it is an efficient option that too at an affordable rate. However, the noise can be irritating at times. Apart from that, this unit comes with a remote control and front digital display as well for ease of use. 

Pros

Features an electronic digital thermostat

Comes with a sleep mode and a 24-hour timer

Fan comes with three speeds (Low-medium-high)

No need to have a 230V outlet to support this AC

Accompanied by remote control and also an upfront digital display

Cons

Wall sleeve does not come with the unit 

Overall noise reduction system is not effective 

Best Overall Window AC

LG LW1216ER

LG 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 550 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 265

Dimensions (in): 22.2×23.6×15

Weight: 81 lbs.

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Review

What makes this product so attractive is the fact you can evenly spread the cool air around the 450 sq. ft. area without any problems. This even spread will allow your entire space cool down at a steady pace. With this powerful window unit, you’ll be maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency with an EER of 12.1. The product information states the energy cost of this product will be around $89 for the entire year.

The many other impressive features include the three different cooling and fan speeds which can be adjusted via the remote control, another convenient benefit of this product, and you’ll have access to the timer, temperature, and different speeds using this remote. If the A/C ever shuts down, it will auto-restart at the last setting so that way, none of your settings will be lost. Another feature is the slide-out washable filter that traps foul odors and dust particles which keeps the air clean around you and the family.

Bottom Line

The energy efficiency alone is what makes this product stand out. There aren’t many A/Cs out there that can provide a 12.1 EER. The four-way airflow is another ideal function as you can evenly spread the cool air around, decreasing the temperature of your space at a faster rate. The filter is another benefit as this ensures clean air for your family.

Convenience is important to this unit as you’ll be able to control the various modes and settings via the remote control, as should be the case for all devices. The only complaint with this product is that there’s no dehumidifier that can absorb the hot, damp air.

Pros

Filter

Energy efficient

Multiple controls

Four-way airflow

Remote controlled

Cons

No dehumidifier

Best Overall Portable A/C

BLACK + DECKER BPACT12WT

BLACK+DECKER Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, 12,000 BTU, Cools Up to 300 Square Feet, White, BPACT12WT

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 5,950

Coverage Area: 150 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 17.1×13.8×28.1

Weight: 71 lbs.

Decibel Level: 53 dB

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Review

This portable 12,000 BTU air conditioner is the best currently on the market. The portability of the device allows for anyone to simply move the A/C around whenever they deem fit. Not only that, but the product provides a three-in-one function, meaning it also works as a fan and dehumidifier, perfect for those hot, summer months. The product will be able to cool a room with a 250 to 300 sq. ft. range.

You’ll be able to control many features like the temperature and timer settings with just the remote control which is great for convenience. Along with that, the slide-out filter that limits dust and bad odors is convenient when washing, as all it requires is soapy water. The single hose system is connected via the nearest window which allows all the warm and cool air outside to be pulled in and used.

Bottom Line

There are a few simple benefits that come with this product. Including the fact that it’s portable and remote-controlled are two of the most basic benefits, but are still highly desirable. Other advantages of this A/C are that the three-in-one function means you’re prepared for almost any situation. The easy-clean filter is another big benefit, as this only adds to the list of convenience. Cleaning the filter is as simple as using a bit of soap and water.

The only real downside to buying the air conditioner is that it only covers between 250 and 300 sq. ft., which is far less than your standard 12,000 BTU window air conditioning unit. The other downside is that the single hose system means the unit overheats fairly easily.

Pros

Three-in-one

Easy clean filter

Remote-controlled

Easy to move around

Cons

Single hose system

Doesn’t cover the average area

Runner-up Portable A/C

SereneLife SLACHT128

SereneLife SLPAC Digital LED Display, 120V Power Supply, Heats Rooms up to 325’+ Sq. Ft,w/Remote Control SLACHT128, 12,000 BTU, White

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 450 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 17.4×13.4×32.1

Weight: 70.3 lbs.

Decibel Level: 59 dB

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Review

This portable evaporative air conditioner lets you move it around the home to any room you wish, with a window installation kit for the exhaust pipe. There’s a detailed setup guide that’ll walk you through the process that makes it straightforward to set up.

While it may be portable, the 12,000 BTU AC is incredibly bulky and heavy, so you’ll hesitate to transport it. Furthermore, it emits a loud sound similar to a window unit, making it uncomfortable on your ears and not suitable for sleeping.

Thanks to the four operating modes, you’ll enjoy a cooling, heating, dehumidification, and purification. The evaporative function ensures that you don’t need to empty a water bucket constantly.

Bottom Line

The SereneLife SLACHT128 is an elegant air conditioner that does more than cool. It’s ideal for areas with high humidity or where you’re surrounded by dust and other allergens. The filter is also easy to remove and clean.

You’ll be able to change the settings from your sofa from the comfort of your couch. Overall, it’s a powerful air conditioner that’ll cool you even on the hottest of days.

Pros

Airflow up to 220 CFM

Four operating modes

Sleek, elegant remote control

Removable and washable filter screen

Includes window installation kit and setup guide

Cons

Bulky and heavy to move around

Loud noise on the highest setting

Quietest Portable AC

Whynter ARC-12S

Whynter ARC-12S 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Storage Bag for Rooms up to 400 sq ft, Multi

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 5,000

Coverage Area: 400 sq.ft.

Dimensions (in): 15.5x17x31

Weight: 62 lbs.

Decibel Level: 52.5 dB

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Review

One thing that the manufacturers boast about is the incredible rate at which they can dehumidify any damp and humid air as this device can extract 91 pints per day. Another impressive feature is the 400 sq. ft. area that it can cover.

These two modes can be customized to operate for a certain period of time, thanks to the timer setting. The fan speed can be changed to any of three levels which will increase or decrease the time it takes to cool your room. Another proud fact is that it has one of the quietest components on the market as they only create 52.5 dB.

Bottom Line

This product is voted one of the quietest currently on the market and couldn’t be more accurate, as the compressor and motor make more or less no noise whatsoever. The dehumidifier can extract up to 91 pints of liquid each day which amazing for any A/C out there. It covers a range of around 400 sq. ft., which is impressive considering the small and compact design.

The only improvement that could make is, due to the large fluid intake, you’d benefit from a continuous drain option, as manually removing this would be too much hassle. Because of the single hose, the device will overheat. Other than that, it’s perfect.

Pros

Extremely quiet

Compact design

Amazing dehumidifier

Covers a decent range

Cons

Overheats

Could be improved with a continuous drain option

Frigidaire FFRA122WAE

FRIGIDAIRE 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 550 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 300 (High)

Dimensions (in): 21.5x19x14.5

Weight: 67 lbs.

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What Recent Buyers Report

There are a lot of buyers that reported the superior performance and quality of this product. Multiple users praised the easy installation mechanism. It can efficiently cool the space area of 500-550 square feet, which is one of the most loved features of this unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Well, the feature that strikes us the most is the surface area of cooling. This unit comes with easy installation and easy to clean mechanism. With this, you get a sleep mode too. Moreover, the low power mode helps in conserving energy.

Who Will Use This Most

We find this unit to be ideal for a warehouse or a storage unit. Without a doubt, it offers all the necessary features which are demanded by a buyer. The mechanical rotary function of adjusting the levels is a plus. It can be installed in a small library area or in a garage as well.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, the overall design and structure of this unit are commendable. It can easily serve a large area without creating any issues. It requires just a 115V electric outlet, and you are good to go. 

Pros

Low power start-up saves more energy

Restarts automatically when the power restores

Washable mesh filter reduces the access of bacteria

Also comes with a remote control that has all the functions

Comes with three levels of fan and three levels of cooling speeds

Cons

Noise level of this unit is pretty loud 

Remote control does not have a digital display

Pioneer WYS012-17

Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS012A-19 Wall Mount Ductless Inverter+ Mini Split Heat Pump, 12000 BTU-110/120V

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 450 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 141

Dimensions (in): 31.5×7.5×11.75 (indoor unit)

Weight: 125 lbs. (indoor and outdoor unit total)

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Review

Window units are always far more powerful than their portable or wall counterparts and this AC can heat or cool down any area up to 450 sq. ft. within just 15 minutes or less. It produces low noise levels at 40 dB, which is far less than most units currently on the market. If your device ever shuts down, you can count on the auto-restart to continue with all of your preferred settings.

These settings can either be adjusted via the remote control or the electronic control panel on the product. Settings such as the timer, sleep mode, and eco mode are all basic, yet essential. One of the more impressive modes is the night mode which will adapt the temperature depending on your natural body temperature changes throughout the night.

Bottom Line

This unit has a few benefits with its downsides not being far behind. It can provide both cool and warm air which is great for all year round use. This cool/warm air will be effective for rooms up to 450 sq. ft. which is the standard for most A/Cs this size. However, there are a few that don’t come close to this.

The 40 dB noise rating is below the recommended limit of 50 dB, meaning this device is somewhat silent when in operation. The lack of noise is what impresses people the most as it will alter the cool/warm air depending on the bodies natural night time heat schedule.

The downside to this product is that although it offers its services for all year round, you don’t get a dehumidifier built-in like most other A/Cs on the market. The fact that it provides a heat pump is what makes this air conditioning unit so hard to install with all the extra wires needed. This added feature also has an impact on the efficiency which is below standard, sitting at 9.0.

Pros

Noise-free

Works up to 450 sq. ft.

Impressive night mode

Can provide cool and warm air

Cons

Not efficient

Hard to install

No dehumidifier

Quietest Window A/C

Frigidaire FFRE1233S1

Frigidaire 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature Sensing Remote Control

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 550 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 285 (High)

Dimensions (in): 19×21.5×14.5

Weight: 73 lbs.

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Review

This standard 12,000 BTU window unit will be able to offer you an exceptional experience when it comes to the area it can cover. Cooling a large area of 550 sq. ft., you’ll not have to worry about if it’ll do its job the largest of areas. It also doesn’t lack in the dehumidifier department as this built-in feature can extract up to 3.8 pints of damp, hot air every hour.

The features like the timer and sleeper mode are all great additions also that are controlled on the electric panel on the device. The main focus of clean, cool air is never lost with the help from the ionizer that will remove any bad odors and impurities from the surrounding area. Lastly, the efficiency rating is above standard as it sits at around 11.3.

Bottom Line

Covering around 550 sq. ft., this product is beyond efficient and effective when it comes to cooling and cleaning the air. The EER rating is above the standard and sits perfectly at an 11.3 rating, far more than what is required. The ionizer also does its part at cleaning the air as it sifts out any impurities and bad smells, perfect for those who have pets. If you live in a hot climate and can’t sleep at night, the dehumidifier will be able to extract that heavy, damp air with around 3.8 pints being removed every hour.

All of these settings can be customized via the control panel. A downside would be that they don’t provide you with a remote which would make this far more convenient. The problem with this window A/C is that it overheats quite regularly. The dehumidifier also doesn’t have a continuous drain option, not many do, but it’d be nice to have.

Pros

EER of 11.3

Control panel

Covers 550 sq. ft.

Extracts 3.8 pints every hour

Ionizer cleans out impurities

Cons

No remote control

Overheats regularly

No continuous drain

LG LP1215GXR

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 400 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 255

Dimensions (in): 15.59×14.33×32.7

Weight: 61.7 lbs.

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Review

This portable unit is rather sleek and smart-looking for something so budget-friendly. The compact design allows for your product to just sink right into its surroundings. Cooling any room within the 400 sq. ft. capability, you’ll also be able to use the multiple features built into the product like the timer and other standard settings like a sleep mode and energy saver mode.

These settings are all controlled via the remote, which helps add convenience to the whole process. The dehumidifier is one of the proudest additional modes which can extract up to 1.2 pints of fluid per hour.

Bottom Line

The compact and sleek design allows for this device to happily blend into any surroundings like furniture. It actually looks similar to a PC tower. It covers around 400 sq. ft., which is reasonable for a portable unit. The dehumidifier can extract 1.2 pints per hour which isn’t the best but it’s still a benefit.

All of the features can be controlled via remote, which seems convenient but not a lot of other features are on offer with this device. By this point, you’ll have realized how basic this product is and that everything it does offer isn’t the best either. But at least it’s something.

Pros

Dehumidifier

Covers 400 sq. ft.

Controlled via remote

Compact and smart design

Cons

Basic

The features are there but just aren’t the best

Frigidaire FFRA1222R1

Specifications

BTU (DOE): 12,000

Coverage Area: 550 sq.ft.

Airflow (CFM): 285 (High)

Dimensions (in): 21.5x19x14.5

Weight: 75 lbs.

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Review

With a 12,000 BTU rating the space that this device can operate within shouldn’t be a surprise. However, many devices out there just aren’t of the greatest quality. The 550 sq. ft. coverage is some of the best on the market for a window unit of this BTU rating. The energy efficiency is at 10.9, meaning that it’s impressive and above the standard.

What the manufacturers are proud of is the eight-way airflow which evenly and accurately disperses the cool air throughout the specific area. Other built-in functions, like the dehumidifier, are just as effective with it being able to extract up to 3.8 pints of liquid per hour. The additional features like the timer, sleep-mode, and energy-saver mode are all standard but essential.

Bottom Line

With this A/C being budget-friendly, it’s a surprise to learn that it has some pretty useful functions. For starters, it can cover up to 550 sq. ft. which is great for any window unit. The EER rating of 10.9 is above the standard, therefore, operates at an exceptional level and so does the built-in dehumidifier which extracts 3.8 pints every hour.

The dehumidifier doesn’t have the luxury of a continuous drain feature, therefore you’ll have to manually drain it. The next downside is the lack of convenience, as it doesn’t have a remote control included, which is usually the standard for most A/Cs.

Pros

EER 10.9

Eight-way airflow

550 sq. ft coverage

Dehumidifier extracts 3.8 pints per hour

Cons

No continuous drain function

No remote control for convenience

What Are BTUs and Why Are They Important?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is used to measure thermal heat and helps you understand the amount of energy is needed to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. The reason why it’s so important is that if you have an A/C that provides only 5000 BTUs, in a room is larger than 150 sq ft, your A/C will struggle to fill that space with cool air and will shorten the lifespan of the device.

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If the BTUs are too high, it will quickly cool the room and then shut off only for this cycle to begin again shortly after it shuts down. You need a device with just the right amount of BTUs for the space you are using it in.

Types of 12,000 BTU ACs

There isn’t only one type of 12,000 BTU air conditioner. Plenty of various kinds exist on the market, and you need to find the one that suits you best. Here’s a list of the top AC types available.

Portable

If you prefer moving an air conditioner around the house or taking it with you on holiday, the portable type is for you. There’s either a drainage pipe or collection bucket for the water that condenses inside the device. It’s ideal for small homes where the temperature isn’t too high or low.

Window

You can also install 12,000 BTU ACs in your windows. Known in some corporate buildings as ‘window rattlers,’ the exhaust goes straight outside to eliminate the heat indoors. You’ll usually receive brackets or kits to closing up any gaps between the device and window frames.

Mini Split

These air conditioners consist of two separate components. The one is installed on the internal wall for cooling or heating the room, while the condenser is placed outside. It eliminates noise from disrupting your activities inside.

Evaporative

Instead of relying on a bucket to collect condensed water or draining it outside, an evaporative air conditioner heats the liquid to a gas form. The device uses an exhaust pipe to push the hot air back out through a vent, reducing any risk of water damage.

How Do 12,000 BTU Air Conditioners Compare?

Air conditioners don’t deliver the same performance. Each one has different functions and settings, and you’ll apply them in various scenarios. Let’s look at a few comparisons worth noting.

12,000 BTU Window AC vs Mini Split

The primary difference between window and mini-split 12,000 BTU air conditioners is that the former is a temporary installation. You can easily remove it and place it in a different window.

When it comes to the mini-split AC unit, you generally install it in a permanent location due to how you set up the two components. While it may cost you more, it’s more energy-efficient and pleasing to the eye.

Air Conditioner 10,000 BTU vs 12,000 BTU

The 12,000 BTU AC has a greater cooling capacity than the 10,000 one. Therefore, you can use it in a larger space with improved performance and coverage.

Of course, there are some downsides to buying the 12,000 over the 10,000 air conditioner. You’ll pay more for purchasing, maintenance, and electrical costs. Furthermore, they tend to be bulkier and heavier due to having more and more prominent components.

When is a 12,000 BTU AC Not Suitable?

We may have excited you toward buying a 12,000 BTU AC, but it might not be the right option for you. We’re not trying to dissuade you from getting one. Instead, we want to ensure that you don’t get one for the wrong reasons.

Multiple Floors

The one aspect you need to bear in mind is that different air conditioning types have specific purposes. If you’re dealing with a house with multiple floors, using a window or portable unit on the ground floor won’t help with the upper levels.

Purchasing several air conditioners for each level can become a costly affair. You may want to look at a central air conditioner with a more significant BTU rating in this situation.

Spaces Under 450 or Over 550 sq. ft.

When it comes to cooling capacity, 12,000 BTU ACs can generally cover between 450 and 550 sq. ft. We’ve seen situations where they’ve actually managed to cool a slightly larger space, but these are few and far between. 

If you have a smaller space, you’re effectively wasting electricity by buying such a large BTU unit. Similarly, you’re going to make it work too hard if the area is more extensive than its intended design.

Design and Layout

Finally, your house’s design and layout play a significant role. You need circulation in your home for the air conditioner to be effective. If you have wide, open spaces, you’ll feel the cooling effect better.

However, if you have a complex design with corners and walls everywhere, the air conditioner will work harder. Homes with more glass than walls, letting more heat and light in, also provide a greater challenge for the device to operate in. 

Conclusion

To finish up our article, we hope that you’ve learned something new here today and that we have guided you on the right path to finding your new air conditioning unit. It’s a hard choice, but thankfully from experience, we have collated all the necessary information for you.

People Also Ask

This is another important section where we have collated some of the most asked questions and have answered them to the best of our ability.

How Much Electricity Does a 12000-BTU Air Conditioner Use?

The power consumption is directly related to EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). A 12000-BTU air conditioner would consume around 991-1,331 watts of electricity. However, monthly energy consumption would be around 92-122 kWh. The amps of a 12000-BTU air conditioner are 3.5-5.1. 

What Does 12000-BTU Air Conditioner Mean?

Simply put, BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the traditional unit of heat. For air conditioners, it is the amount of heat it can remove from a particular space. The cooling capacity of an AC is measured in BTUs. A 12000-BTU air conditioner is sufficient enough to cool a room of 450-550 square feet.

How Many Square Feet Will a 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner Cool?

You will be able to effectively cool an area of up to 500 sq. ft. with this product without any problems.

Can You Save Energy With 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner?

Depending on the energy efficiency rate you should be able to save both money and energy with this type of air conditioner. Anything above 10 is an amazing rating. The standard rating is around 9.4.

What Is the Power Consumption of a 12000 BTU Air Conditioner?

This type will consume from 991 to 1,333 watts of energy. For any A/C that is more modern and up-to-date they’d consume on average 1,090 watts.

How Many Amps Does a 12000 BTU Air Conditioner Use?

It will use either five or six amps, typically. 



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.