If you’re wondering how much does a window air conditioner cost to run, then this post is for you.

Your total window AC unit cost will be determined by a few variables; however, you’ll find the average price you can expect to pay per hour, per day, and per month with a window air conditioner on this page.

Our goal is to help you figure out the complete cost of running window AC as well as buying a new unit so you can decide if it is a good choice for your budget or not.

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

How much does it cost to run a window air conditioner

On average, a window air conditioner costs between $0.07 and $0.20 per hour to run. The total window AC unit cost to run depends on the BTU consumption, wattage, and number of hours used per day.

The table below shows you the cost of running a window air conditioner that has an average EER rating of 10 and the average cost of electricity in the U.S. of $0.13 per kWh.

Your final costs will vary depending upon BTU, wattage, kWH, and hourly use of the window AC unit.

Window AC Unit (BTU)Estimated Cost Per Hour
5,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $0.065 per hour
8,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $0.085 per hour
10,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $0.117 per hour
12,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $0.143 per hour
15,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $0.195 per hour

How Much Does a Window AC Unit Cost Per Month?

On average, a window air conditioner costs between $15 and $40 per month to run. The total window AC unit cost per month depends on the BTU consumption, wattage, and number of hours used per day.

Window AC Unit (BTU)Estimated Cost Per Month
5,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $15.60 per month
8,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $20.40 per month
10,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $26.40 per month
12,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $33.60 per month
15,000 BTU Window Air ConditionerCosts $46.80 per month

To get a more in-depth look at the best window air conditioners available with the lowest costs, be sure to check out our top rated window air conditioners list.

>> See all of Amazon's Best Selling Window AC Units <<

The most common sizes people choose for a window air conditioner are 5,000 BTU, 10,000 BTU, and 12,000 BTU. The best bedroom air conditioners and small living room AC units come in these sizes.

Below are the exact costs to run these air conditioner sizes per hour and month.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a 5,000 BTU Air Conditioner?

A 5,000 BTU air conditioner costs an average of $0.065 per hour to run. If the AC unit is used for 8 hours per day, then it costs $0.52 per day. Running the air conditioner for one month will cost around $15.60.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a 10,000 BTU Air Conditioner?

A 10,000 BTU air conditioner costs an average of $0.11 per hour to run. If the AC unit is used for 8 hours per day, then it costs $0.88 per day. Running the air conditioner for one month will cost around $26.40.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner?

A 12,000 BTU air conditioner costs an average of $0.14 per hour to run. If the AC unit is used for 8 hours per day, then it costs $1.12 per day. Running the air conditioner for one month will cost around $33.60.

Calculating the Cost of Window Air Conditioner

When it comes to figuring out the cost of ownership for a window air conditioner, you’ll need to know a few things before doing the calculation:

  • 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 Costs of Running a Window AC Unit

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) = $15.60 per month
  • 660 Watt Unit (8,000 BTU) = $20.40 per month
  • 900 Watt Unit (10,000 BTU) = $26.40 per month
  • 1,100 Watt Unit (12,000 BTU) = $33.60 per month
  • 1,500 Watt Unit (15,000 BTU) = $46.80 per month

Window Air Conditioner Installation Cost

The average window air conditioner installation cost is $295. A typical window AC installation price range is $138 to $500. This cost includes an average window air conditioner price of $250, plus $60 to $200 for labor.

National Average: $295

Typical Range: $138 – $500

Low End to High End: $75 – $1,000

Most people can install window air conditioners themselves and each unit comes with the accessories to complete the job. So, the cost of window AC installation can be $0 if you’re willing to do it yourself.

However, if you do want to hire a specialized technician or handyman, you can expect to pay around $75 to $150 per hour for their time.

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 $138 to $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.

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 is a Window Air Conditioner in Total?

As you learned, window air conditioners can cost anywhere between $138 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 does it cost to run a window air conditioner is a bit harder of a question to answer since there is no concrete number.

However, we hope that the information outlined on this page has helped you determine your best guess for the total window AC unit cost per month and hour of use.

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About David Morrison

David is an Air Quality & Comfort Technician. He has expert knowledge on the technology and design of air purification, air conditioning, and heating systems. His main role is to write content that helps people get the most value out of their air purifiers, air conditioners, and heating units. (See Full Bio)