Can You Plug the Air Conditioner Into the Power Strip Or Surge Protector?

Blog, Electrical & HVAC, Residential

During hot weather conditions, the air conditioner can be a lifesaver in the home. You connect the AC unit to a power outlet to enjoy the fresh and cool air. But one question asked is, “Can you plug the air conditioner into a power strip?”

Although it may appear normal to you, it is not a good idea. It is dangerous, and you can cause a fire, damage your air conditioner, and, most importantly, someone could be electrocuted in the process. This is because most power strips aren’t built to carry heavy appliances. Their cables are not strong enough for heavy-duty usage and can be melted in the process.

Well, now you know plugging your air conditioner into a power strip or extension cord is not a good idea, there’s also more to it. Let’s look deeper and see the best option for your air conditioner.

Can you plug the air conditioner into a power strip or extension cord?

Many American homes, specifically the old ones, contain limited electrical outlets. It becomes inconvenient since, basically, all electrical appliances need to be connected to an outlet. The go-to alternative is usually using a power strip or an extension cord. While this is a very smart plan to power several appliances, it does not apply to your air conditioner or other heavy-duty appliances.

A power strip acts as a multiple-power outlet that is connected to a single outlet. It offers you a bunch of electrical sockets connected to a flexible cable which is usually attached to a main plug at the end and then is connected to one outlet.

While power strips can be used for a majority of electrical appliances like your phone charger and laptops, they are not suitable for high-capacity appliances. High-capacity appliances like the air conditioner draw a lot of electricity, and power strips are not built to deal with that level of current flow.

Electrical appliances you should not connect to a power strip

High-capacity appliances require substantial electricity for normal operation. Keep in mind that these high-capacity appliances do not necessarily have to be large in size.

The following appliances with high capacity should not be connected to a power strip.

  • Air conditioners
  • Refrigerators
  • Dryers or washing machines
  • Microwave ovens
  • Space heaters
  • Sump pumps
  • Hairdryers
  • Rice cookers
  • Blenders
  • Toasters
  • Coffee maker, etc

Electrical appliances you can connect to a power strip

The following are examples of appliances you can safely use on a power strip;

  • Chargers for phones, laptops, tablets
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital clocks
  • Stereos, etc

Can you plug the air conditioner into a surge protector?

A surge protector is built to protect your electrical appliances from power surges. It is sometimes even referred to as a power strip since it offers the same multiple outlets. Still, a surge protector has an added feature, and this feature can be used to differentiate their operations.

Surge protectors have a Joule rating; generally, the higher the rating, the better the chances your appliances are protected. Typically, a surge protector with a Joule rating of 2000 or more for an air conditioner should suffice. Anything lower will keep your air conditioner at risk if a power surge happens.


How many things can you plug into a power strip?

A power strip can carry many appliances, however, it is best to stick to not more than six low-capacity electrical appliances.

Is it safe to plug the air conditioner into a power strip?

No. Many power strips are conventional and are not supposed to be used for air conditioners or other heavy appliances.

Are power strips safe to use?

Yes. As long as the appropriate appliance is connected, you should have no concerns when using them.

Conclusion – Can You Plug the Air Conditioner Into the Power Strip?

Do not plug your air conditioner into your power strip. It is highly unsafe and can cause a fire. Besides, connecting heavy-duty appliances to your air conditioner can cause damage and electric shocks.

The best place to connect your air conditioner is directly to the wall outlet in the home. If you stay in a home where there are limited outlets and you need more, you can rely on Samkins Constructions Lnc. We can help you handle your home redesign in a way that is safe while still meeting the code of your region.

Reach out to us today!!!

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


Sign up to receive the latest news and updates from our company.

More questions? Get in touch