How To Use An Extension Cord for AC [Smart & Simple Way]

Dominic Mitton
By Dominic  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   October 19, 2023
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It might happen that you were all excited because you bought a new air conditioner and then realize you can’t plug it into power – sucks, I know.

You don’t have to install a new wall outlet, you simply have to buy an extension cord for the air conditioner.

Although it might sound simple, there are a lot of mistakes people make when they’re trying to buy an extension cord.

Let me mention some of the things you have to focus on before making a purchase.

Use the right amperage

Before buying a cord you need to know about the power of your unit.

On average, a medium-strength air conditioner will use about twenty amperes – it can even go as low as eight amperes.

Go ahead and pick up the manual from your air conditioner and check for amperes.

If you lost your manual (just like me) – check for symbol power on your air conditioner. You should also check the voltage of your unit as they are usually between 120V and 240V.

Now, divide the wattage by volts – and you will get the right amperage you need.

Choose the right wire gauge

The extension cord that might fit your PC won’t fit your air conditioner.

The difference is in the capacity of the cord because a typical window air conditioner uses a 12-gauge wire that can transfer about twenty amperes at once.

I always recommend this 14-gauge extension card, but you can go with a ten-gauge as well.

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Don’t leave the cord on the floor

You shouldn’t leave the cord on the floor as the furniture and vacuum cleaners can damage it pretty fast.

Also, if you have smaller children they might risk falling down when they’re playing around the house.

My advice is to staple it to the top of the board and use a cord that’s long enough to be connected to the power.

Don’t connect the cord through doors or windows as it’s almost guaranteed it will damage the cord faster than expected.

Some valuable tips to follow

I’d like to share some tips that will help you choose the best extension cord and also avoid spending money unnecessarily:

  • Don’t buy an extension cord if the distance between your air conditioner and outlet is too long – contact your AC supplier and check for a new wire and plug.
  • Never put cable under your carpet because they’ll probably heat a lot faster and there’s even a chance of risking a fire.
  • Buy extension cords that have good protection (I mentioned the best one above) as the durability and performance are much greater.

If nothing above helped you fix your problem, you might consider hiring an electrician to install a new wall output near your air conditioner. The usual pricing is anywhere from $100 up to $250.

I still recommend putting in the effort to find the fitting extension cord before taking that step.

You can read some other money-saving AC tips you can apply today to save a couple of bucks each month on bills.

Hey there! I am Benas, the founder and content editor at Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article. I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. I and my team are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. Please have a look at the About page for more details about our website and feel free to check out our editorial process.