Air Conditioner Wiring

A central air conditioner runs on 220 volts of electricity. A connection must be made between the main electrical circuit panel in your home and the condensing unit in order for the air conditioning to run. You can prepare the wiring for hook-up, but only a skilled contractor should complete the high-voltage wiring. Inexperience can cause electrical shock or damage to your equipment or property.

You will need to select the correct thickness of wire and corresponding breaker based on your condensing unit. Wires are rated by gauge. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire. Most residential AC units use 8 or 10-gauge wire. See the manufacturer’s spec sheets for more information.

The first step to preparing your high-voltage connections is to install the disconnect. Electrical codes require a disconnect/safety switch to be located near the condensing unit. Check your local electrical codes for specifics.
The disconnect will have two electrical whips running in and out of it: one runs from the condensing unit to the disconnect and the other runs from the home’s electrical circuit panel to the disconnect.

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