How Many Watts Does an Air Compressor Use?

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Air compressors are used in industry and your daily life. You are using air compressors for refrigerators, air conditioners, and freezers in your daily life. You need to decide on the generator size to run an air compressor. In that case, you have to have an idea about the air compressor power requirements and air compressor wattage requirements. So before purchasing an air compressor, you are expected to know how many watts does an air compressor use. To get the solution of this, the question continues reading.

How Many Watts Does an Air Compressor Use

Different air compressor wattage requirements with different horsepower:


Air Compressor Running Wattage

Air Compressor Starting Wattage

½ hp air compressor

1000 wattage

2000 wattage

1 hp air compressor

1500 wattage

4500 wattage

1.5 hp air compressor

3300 wattage

9900 wattage

2 hp air compressor

2800 wattage

7700 wattage

Important Consideration for Purchasing an Air Compressor

1. Types of Air Compressor:

Firstly, you have to decide which type of air compressor you want to buy for ensuring proper air compressor usage. You need to know that there are four different types of air compressors. These are Rotary Air Compressor, Reciprocating Compressor, Axial Compressor and Centrifugal Compressor. So it is normal that the air compressor power consumption and air compressor watt must vary for each type. After deciding the type of compressor, you need to identify how much power does an air compressor use. For more clarification, you also need to know that air compressor power consumption depends on the pressure ratios for the same type of air compressor.

Piston and Portable Air Compressor are mostly used. In the case of a piston compressor, a motor is used to stirring air pressure at the time of depletion. If you want to increase pressure, you need to use it more and more. On the other hand, you may think of how many watts does an air compressor use. It is mainly used for household work which is easily moveable. If you use a 220-volt air compressor, it will use 3330 watts and draw 15 Amps. If you use a 110-volt air compressor, it will use 1650 watts and draw 15 Amps.

2. The Size of The Compressor:

There are differences in the size of the air compressor. The end consumers use small and portable air compressors. Here you may face the question of how many watts does a small air compressor use. You need to know that air compressor power consumption range between 180 and 200 watts. You also better know that air compressor wattage requirements for small compressors are 1650 watts for 110-volt and 3300 watts for 220-volt compressors.

The larger air compressor is used by the professional to power numerous tools by maximizing the air compressor power usage. Air compressor starting watts will be 4500 to start the compressor, and to run the compressor 1500 watts is required for 1 HP air compressor. For 1.5 hp the air compressor starting watts will be 6000 watts to start the wattage and to run, it will be 2200 watts.

The ideal air compressors are used in industries at a certain temperature.

If you are in the air compressor business, you must know about air compressor power requirements for your tools.

To understand air compressor power requirements, you first need to know:

  1. What tools do you want to use
  2. Air requirements for these tools, and
  3. The amount of time for using tools is also considered here.

3. Importance of Horsepower Rating for Excellent Air Compressor Power Usage:

To know how many watts does an air compressor use, you need to consider the horsepower rating. The hp rating tells you how much work a machine can perform. Moreover, to know how much power does an air compressor use you need to consider the horsepower rating. However, there are other measurements to assess the air compressor’s performance, such as PSIG to measure pressure and CFM to measure capacity. If you use an air compressor in the workshop or garage, you will need larger tanks with larger horsepower.

The horsepower rating for an air compressor generally ranges from 1.5 hp to 6.5 hp, but the horsepower rating may be 15 hp in the case of a stationary air compressor. You can know air compressor power consumption from 1.5hp air compressor wattage by using an equation which is P (in) = P (out)/ (Eff * PF}. However. The horsepower rating also varies depending on the type of air compressor.

How to Calculate Wattage of an Air Compressor

A brief description for you to measure how many watts does an air compressor use. You will go step by step:

First, you need to find the amperage and voltage of the air compressor. You can find these specifications from the manufacturers of air compressors as they make them.

Secondly, you need to multiply the voltage by the amperage to find out the air compressor wattage. Here the amperage is known as the strength of the electrical current, and voltage is known as the potentiality of the electricity to send a particular force via the circuit. Now you have running wattage.

Thirdly, you need to calculate the air compressor starting wattage. For this, you need to multiply the running wattage you found in the second step by three. To start a motor, it needs a crinkle power. It is three times or more of the amount of power needed for running and operating.

At last, you need to use a generator which will generate greater wattage than the starting wattage. To start effectively, you need to ensure that the generator can handle the starting wattage of the compressor.

For more clarification, look at the example- suppose a 1.5 hp air compressor with a motor draws 15 amps at 220 volts.

Running Wattage = (220 volts* 15 amps) = 3300 wattage

Starting Wattage = (3300 running wattage * 3) = 9900 wattage

So you will need a 9900-wattage generator to run and start 1.5 hp air compressor wattage.

Does an Air Compressor Use a lot of Electricity?

It depends on the power and efficiency of your motors, pumps, and tools. If you want to ensure efficient use of electricity, then it will be better to use low-power and efficient motors. Moreover, how much power is being used by a compressor also depends on the differences in the air which compressor power can make, how much air is being compressed and what type of compressor is used.


From the above illustration, you might have found an idea what you need to do to understand how many watts does an air compressor use. You can identify the generator for an air compressor to operate. So for this, you need to know the voltage and amps of the compressor. To purchase an air compressor, you need to consider certain things, such as the type of air compressor, its size, and the horsepower ratings.

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