Best 12volt Appliances & Accessories

Can I run an air conditioner on 12 volts?

  • Date: August 14, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

The answer to Can I run an air conditioner on 12 volts? is YES. With the summer heat, it’s not uncommon for people to want to run their air conditioner on 12 volts.

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amazon disclaimer

12volt Air Con is available & runs off Lithium batteries

This is a popular question we get asked this time of year and there are some considerations that need to be made before making this decision. There are two different ways you can go about running an air conditioning unit on 12 volts: using a Lithium battery bank or High powered inverter. Let’s take a closer look at each option and what they have to offer so you can make your decision with confidence!

An RV air-con unit works by exchanging hot air taken from inside the RV for fresh cooler surrounding air and discharges it outside.

Who needs 12v RV Air con?

Although most RVs come with RV air conditioners, some RVs don’t have them yet they are needed. For instance, you can run an RV air conditioner on a power supply from shore or generator but only if the engine of your rig runs at full charge during operation – you cannot use battery power alone for running your RV air conditioning.

12v RV Air con operation

An RV air-con operating onshore power is good since it can be used in RV parks that don’t allow RVs to run on RV generators. It also has the advantage of being safer and a lot calmer when traveling on the road especially when you are fully charged. This is not the case with RV air conditioners that operate on RV generators because they may cause humming sounds at night or rumblings that can disturb you from sleep.

12v RV Air con Installation

Any RV air conditioner must be installed by trained professionals and operated under close guidance from experts, otherwise, there is a danger of a fire outbreak caused by sparks inside your RV.

The RV AC uses r134a gas in the form of a vapor. The r134a is contained in an absorption refrigeration cycle, with switches regulating when gas enters and leaves the system. To get more info about this process read this article – as you do so, be aware that other types of r6 or r12 gases are also used in commercial fridges or freezers.

Choosing the right 12v air con unit

When choosing your RV air conditioning unit, check out if it’s energy-efficient by looking at its RV air conditioner Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) rating. The higher the EER, the more efficient your RV air conditioner will be at transferring heat from inside your RV to the outside.

RV air-con units with poor EER ratings include portable RV air conditioning units that have a single fan and only one compressor – these are not energy-efficient. Also, note that inverter RV air-con units may not be as energy-efficient as they are said to be because their motors use high levels of power. However, if you find a good RV for sale which is an Inverter model, don’t discount it over this point. Check out what type of AC comes standard,


If you’re looking for a way to power your air conditioner on 12 volts, we recommend using lithium batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are the best option because they can store more charge per unit of weight and volume than any other type of battery. You should also consider boosting the charging function with solar panels or a b2b inverter charger if there is no nearby utility line available in your area. We have all sorts of products that will help make this happen, so please contact us today! Do I need an inverter? What about my generator? Read our blog post here for further information on how these types of units work together to keep everything up and running during a blackout scenario.

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