What’s The Difference Between AC & DC Power?

AC vs. DC – The Difference Between AC & DC Power

Direct Current (DC) involves the use of current that runs in a single direction. It lacks the ability to convert into higher/lower voltages which led to alternative solutions, including AC current. With a transformer, AC current can be convert to different voltages more easily. Despite the wide use of AC in American homes, DC has seen some resurgence. But why?


While both AC & DC Power deliver electricity, the way in which that electricity arrives at its destination is different. It all comes down to appliances and electronics and how they use different currents.


Your home receives electricity through AC current, which is capable of changing direction and voltage from higher to lower current with help from transformers. In your home, it’s used primarily by corded appliances. Size doesn’t apply, as everything from your TV (although some TVs use both) to your toaster uses it.


The consistent and constant voltage of DC power supplies electronics that use a battery, like a smartphone or tablet. The smooth, steady current of DC power always flows in the same direction, between positive and negative terminals.


Your laptop uses a combination of both types of electric current, beginning with AC from the outlet to your charging cord, to be converted to DC through the bulky power brick (power adapter) between the outlet and the end that plugs into your computer to recharge the battery. Some vehicles, similarly, use a combination of AC/DC current.

Experiencing a war of the currents within your home?

If your electrical devices are fighting to get the power supply they need for your convenience, consider an electrical box or service upgrade from A-Abel electric. Give us a call today to schedule service or to learn more about electrical current.