The ACUPWR Papers

Using 220-240 volts appliances in your American Apartment/House

It’s not everyday that you install a big, new, major league air conditioner that’ll make your apartment or house feel like the arctic. But when that day comes, remember that bigger ACs that produce upwards of 10,000 BTUs typically use 220-240 volts of electricity.

Further, you might find yourself bringing an air conditioner, refrigerator, or clothes dryer from overseas—designed to operate on 220-240 volts—over to the US and Canada, where the line voltage is 110-120 volts. In both instances, an ACUPWR step up voltage transformer/converter will allow this to happen. It begs the question: why do these products need 220-240 volts to work efficiently? For one thing, their large motors will start faster and turn easier at 220-240 volts rather than 110-120 volts. Equipment will last longer over time due to overall better efficiency. 

And while there are two ways to get 220-240-volts appliances working in an apartment or house where 110-120 volts is standard, one way is easy while the other is complicated and costly, requiring an electrician to rewire an outlet to accommodate 220-240 volts. Need we continue? The easy option would be the solution me mentioned before: use an ACUPWR AU step up transformer to convert 110-120 volts to 220-240 volts. 

The latter option is not only easier, but its often necessary; for apartment dwellers in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other metro regions, landlords typically won’t allow you to install a 220-240 circuit and outlet. As an example, one recent customer living in a rental building on New York City’s 57th Street preferred to use a 220-240 volt air conditioner because it offered more cooling power and efficiency. And while the landlord forbade rewiring the apartment as it would require getting behind walls, an ACUPWR AU step up transformer proved to be the solution; it allowed her to use the air conditioner of her choice without any modification of the electric line. 

ACUPWR offers step up transformer models that will meet the demands of converting the 110-120 volts standard in the US and Canada to the 220-240 volts required of large appliances. When determining what model transformer you’ll need, it’s important to consider some electrical data: 110-120 volts lines use a 15 amp maximum at the circuit breaker. With 220-240 volts, amperage is approximately half that figure. Hence, the transformer must meet the wattage and amperage demands of your appliance, and vice-versa.

As an example, you’ve chosen a Friedrich Chill + series EP24G33B window air conditioner. It requires 230 volts and 8.5 amps for continuous operation (figuring it’ll be in operation for hours at a time). Using a formula of multiplying voltage by amperage, 230v x 8.5a = 1995 watts. An ACUPWR AU-2000 would be perfect for the EP24G33B as it can handle loads up to 2000 watts and 8.8 nominal amps of continuous operation. For air conditioners under 1500 watts and 7.7 amps, our AU-1500 model works perfectly.

Ultimately, ACUPWR provides the most cost-effective, safest, easiest solution for using a large appliance at 220-240 volts in your 110-120 volts apartment and house.

Remember that ACUPWR’s technicians and customer service representatives are available to address your questions. Call us at 888-600-9770; email us at info@acupwr; or chat with us at

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