Photo of window air conditionerIf you’re wondering how much does a window air conditioner cost, then this post is for you.

The fact is there are actually two questions you need to consider when buying a window air conditioner:

  • How much does a window AC unit cost up front?
  • How much does window AC cost per month to cool you down?

And those things are exactly what this short guide is going to answer for you.

Below, you’ll find out what the initial price is for buying a window air conditioner (and what factors into it) as well as the monthly cost for operating one of these units.

How Much Does A Window AC Unit Cost?

When it comes to buying a window air conditioner, the good news is that the upfront cost doesn’t have to put you into debt.

With window AC units, you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a system or hire a specialized technician to install them.

The average cost for a window air conditioner is between $150-500. The exact price depends on a number of things, which we’ll cover next, however, the cooling capacity and energy efficiency are the major contributors to a higher price.

To get a more in-depth look at the best window air conditioners available today, be sure to check out our list of the top rated window AC units. There, we also explain how to find the perfect air conditioner for your needs at the lowest price.

What Factors Affect The Price Of A Window Air Conditioner?

When it comes to accurately answering the question “How much is a window air conditioner?”, there are several factors that influence the cost of a unit.

These include:

  • Cooling Capacity
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Features
  • Brand

Cooling Capacity

One of the main factors influencing the price of a window AC unit is its cooling capacity—or how large a space it can cool.

Understandably, the higher the window AC unit’s cooling capacity, the more energy it will use and the more costly the appliance will be.

You can tell the cooling capacity of a window air conditioner by checking out its British Thermal Unit (BTU). This is the unit of measurement that’s used to numerically quantify how well an appliance cools an area.

BTU numbers match up with a specific square footage rating, indicating how big of a room the air conditioner can handle.

Example BTUs for window AC units include:

  • 5,000 BTU (150 sq. ft.)
  • 8,000 BTU (350 sq. ft.)
  • 9,000 BTU (400 sq. ft.)
  • 10,000 BTU (450 sq. ft.)
  • 12,000 BTU (550 sq. ft.)
  • 14,000 BTU (700 sq. ft.)

Clearly, windows air conditioners with 14,000 BTUs are more powerful than AC units with 5,000 BTUs, and therefore, will be more expensive.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to get the right size window air conditioner to cool your space.

If your window air conditioner isn’t the right size, you run the risk of having a unit that’s not strong enough to cool the area or one that’s much too powerful and can raise your electricity bill unnecessarily.

This same concept applies to through the wall air conditioners, which look and operate almost identically to window air conditioners but you install them into a wall and not a window. If you want to keep access to your window, a through the wall AC unit may be a better option for you. Take a look at our best through the wall air conditioner guide to find one that’s right for you.

Energy Efficiency

Another important variable you need to consider when answering the question “How much does a window air conditioner cost?” is the unit’s energy efficiency.

Just because an air conditioner is higher priced, doesn’t mean it’s more energy efficient. In fact, the best way to accurately gauge a window AC unit’s regulation of energy is by checking its Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) or Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER).

EER is the oldest energy efficiency rating for air conditioners and CEER is the updated version that was put into place by the Department of Energy in 2014. Both of these numbers are displayed on the Energy Guide label with the AC unit and examples include 10.8, 11, and 12.2.

Something to keep in mind is that while a higher EER or CEER number means that the air conditioner is more energy efficient, it’s also a sign that the AC unit will be more expensive. Better energy efficiency comes at a higher initial cost on appliances.

Features

Not all window AC units are made equally. Some are designed with basic functions while others include more advanced features like Wi-Fi capabilities, digital thermostats, and multi-directional fan vents.

Obviously, the more features a window air conditioner has, the higher the price tag.

Brand

Another factor for how much does a window AC unit cost is the brand name.

Just like with every product on the market, branding plays a role in how expensive or cheap your window air conditioner will be.

When it comes to window AC units, it’s always best to go with a brand name you can trust or one that has a large market share. That can better guarantee that you’ll receive a high-quality product and get the customer service you need if something were to go wrong with the unit.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Window Air Conditioner?

Now that you know what factors go into the initial price for a window air conditioner, the next thing that you should think about is the cost of ownership.

When it comes to figuring out the long-term expenses you’ll have to incur from your cooling unit, you need to know a few things:

  • How many watts the AC unit uses
  • The kilowatts per hour (kWh) your electric company charges. (The national average is $0.13.)
  • The number of hours you plan to run the air conditioner each day.

You can then use the following basic formula to figure out your daily and monthly cost of running the window air conditioner or skip down to our chart which already has the math done for you.

Cost Formula

watts x 1 (hour of use) ÷ 1,000 x 0.13 (kWH) = hourly cost of operation

Example:

  • 500 watt unit x 1 hour ÷ 1,000 x 0.13 (kWH) = $0.065 hourly cost of operation
  • $0.065 x 8 hours per day = $0.52 daily cost of operation

Average Cost Chart

How much is a window air conditioner for the average person?

Assuming you use the AC unit for 8 hours per day and the kWh is $0.13, you can expect to spend the following amount each month for these various size window air conditioners.

  • 500 Watt Unit (5,000 BTU) = $15.82 monthly
  • 660 Watt Unit (8,000 BTU) = $20.88 monthly
  • 800 Watt Unit (9,000 BTU) = $25.31 monthly
  • 900 Watt Unit (10,000 BTU) = $28.57 monthly
  • 1,100 Watt Unit (12,000 BTU) = $31.80 monthly
  • 1,300 Watt Unit (14,000 BTU) = $41.13 monthly

How Much Does Installation Cost?

Most people can install window air conditioners themselves and each unit comes with the accessories to complete the job.

So, the cost of installation can be $0.

However, if you do want to hire a specialized technician or handyman, you can expect to pay around $150 for their time.

How Much is a Window Air Conditioner in Total?

As you learned, window air conditioners can cost anywhere between $150 to $500, depending on the cooling capacity, energy efficiency, and features of the unit you choose.

Window AC units also cost as little as $0.52 per day to operate for the average person.

So, the total for how much does a window air conditioner cost really depends on the amount of use you want out of the appliance. Running an air conditioner for eight hours per day is a good average for most people. But, you may want to use it more or less.

Clearly, how much is a window air conditioner is a bit harder of a question to answer since there is no concrete answer. However, we hope that the information outlined on this page has helped you determine your best guess for the total cost of using one of these cooling devices.