Updated at: 10-10-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

In this article, you’ll learn just how much it costs to run a portable air conditioner.

The typical cost of running a portable air conditioner depends on a variety of factors; however, you can see below the average cost per hour, day, and month of running a portable AC unit.

We’re here to help you figure out how much electricity a portable air conditioner uses so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s a wise investment.

Please check out our choices for the finest portable air conditioners without windows for a great price on a unit that can be used in any room after you have finished reading this article.

In addition, we have a buyer’s guide for selecting the best affordable portable AC unit and a guide for the best stand up air conditioner with even more options available..

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Portable Air Conditioner?

A portable air conditioner with an EER rating of 10 and an average U.S. electricity rate of $0.13 per kWh is assumed in the top chart and examples below. Depending on the BTU, wattage, kWH, and hourly usage, your final expenses will be different.

Portable Air Conditioner Prices in Nigeria (2022)

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

The cost of running a 5,000 BTU portable air conditioner is approximately $0.07 per hour. It costs $0.56 per day if the portable AC is utilized for 8 hours a day. For a month of use, the portable air conditioner will cost you $16.80.

How Much Does it Cost to Run an 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner?

Using a portable air conditioner rated at 8,000 BTUs costs around $0.11 per hour. It costs $0.88 a day to run a portable AC for eight hours a day. For a month of use, the portable air conditioner will cost you about $26.40.

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

The cost of operating a 10,000 BTU portable air conditioner is around $0.14 per hour on average.. It costs $1.12 per day if the portable AC is utilized for 8 hours a day. A month’s worth of use of the portable air conditioner will cost you $33.60.

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

The cost of operating a 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner is around $0.16 per hour. It costs $1.28 a day to run a portable AC for eight hours a day. Portable air conditioning costs $38.40 to run for one month.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a 15,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner?

The cost of running a 15,000 BTU portable air conditioner is approximately $0.20 per hour. It costs $1.60 per day if the portable AC is utilized for 8 hours a day. The cost of running the portable air conditioner for a month is roughly $48, which is a reasonable investment.

How Much Electricity Does a Portable AC Use?

The amount of electricity used by a portable air conditioner is directly proportional to the amount of BTUs it produces. In terms of kilowatt-hours (kWh), a 5,000 BTU PAC uses around 1.4 kWh, an 8,000 BTU unit about 2.3 kWh, a 10,000 BTU unit about 2.9 kWh, a 12,000 BTU unit about 3.5 kWh, and a 15,000 BTU unit about 4.4 kWh.

What Does BTU Stand For?

British Thermal Unit is the abbreviation for BTU. Energy measurement using this unit of measurement is recognized as a universally accepted worldwide standard. For every pound of water, one BTU is equal to the amount of energy required to raise its temperature by one degree Fahrenheit.

In the context of heating and cooling systems, BTUs are used.

Best Portable Air Conditioners in 2021

What Do BTUs Mean for Your Portable AC?

You can tell how strong a portable air conditioner is by its BTU rating.

This parameter is still relevant, even when air conditioners remove heat from the air and recirculate cool air. Portable AC BTU ratings do not measure how much heat is delivered to the air, but rather how much heat is removed.

Similar to heaters, a portable air conditioner’s BTU rating indicates how well it will chill a room. A portable air conditioner with a higher BTU rating can cover more space.

How a Portable Air Conditioner Can Save You Money

Customize the Coolness

When used on a schedule, portable air conditioners can take the place of your existing central air system, cooling only the areas with heavy foot traffic, thereby saving you money on interior temperature control.

Enjoy Year-Round Temperature Management

A central air conditioning system doesn’t mean you have to give up the benefits of a portable air conditioner.

You may save money on your utility bills all year long by purchasing an energy-efficient device, especially if you use it in conjunction with a central heating and cooling system.

The ability to use a portable unit throughout the year is made possible by the inclusion of a heater in some models.

Fun Features

Some portable air conditioners resemble high-tech gadgets rather than conventional air conditioners.

As a general rule, the more functions a machine has, the more money you’ll save.

Apps and other features on some of the best machines on the market allow homeowners to manage the temperature throughout the day, whether they are at home or not.

When no one is around, keep the temperature high, then lower it when you arrive home (without running the central AC system for no reason).

Multi-Tasking Abilities

There are numerous portable air conditioners on the market that are also multiple devices in one (some even quadruple).

Dehumidifiers and/or air purification systems with HEPA filters, for example, are available in addition to strong air conditioners.

Having a dehumidifying feature in your air conditioning unit will make your home seem cooler and less humid.

Having a HEPA filter can help eliminate dust, allergies, smoke particles, germs, and more from the air.

You should keep in mind that the BTU is still a decent indicator of how much room a multi-tasking portable device would take up.

An increase in cooling capacity is directly proportional to an increase in BTU (British Thermal Unit).

Make Your Home More Efficient

Central air conditioning machines are infamous for consuming a lot of electricity.. It is well-known that portable units are more efficient and easy to install and maintain.

The advantages of central air conditioning outweigh the drawbacks of high installation and ongoing maintenance costs.

Because the entire system must be turned on in order to chill a specific area of the house, customization is impossible.

There are small room air conditioners available that can help you save the most money on your electric cost when you only have a little space to chill. You can save a lot of money if you use this device to complement your cooling during the hottest months of the year.

See what low-cost solutions you can acquire in this post on the best AC for tiny space.

Summary On the Cost to Run a Portable Air Conditioner

For the same reason that central air conditioning was once more convenient, portable air conditioning units are now making a comeback in homes and offices.

Saving money on the things you enjoy is always a good thing in a fast-paced and expensive society.

Portable air conditioners can save you a lot of money over central air conditioning systems, as you’ve learned.

Portable Air Conditioners FAQ | Sylvane

Running a portable air conditioner costs a certain amount of money depending on the BTU rating of that device.

The BTU measurement affects the amount of electricity consumed by a portable air conditioner.

However, the BTU rating is included in all portable air conditioners’ technical specs and may be seen there. As a result, by comparing that value to the graphs on this website, you can readily determine the costs and electricity usage associated with running it.

Where does your power come from?

The first step in figuring out how much it will cost to run your air conditioner is to find out where it gets its power from. Your only options for powering the heavy-duty equipment are the grid or a generator.

Grid electricity

Plugging into the campground’s grid energy is the most convenient way to power a tent air conditioner. Because the stream is so steady, there is no risk of running out.

In most campgrounds, electrical hookups are not metering, so you can use all the power you need without incurring additional fees. Compared to the power-hungry RVs and pull-behind camps that dominate the parks, you don’t even have to feel guilty about it.

There is an average price per kilowatt-hour in the contiguous United States of somewhere between ten and twenty cents, depending on where you live. One night’s electricity costs less than a dollar while running an air conditioner with 5,000 BTUs of cooling power.

To run their fans, evaporative coolers use only one-third of the energy as conventional air conditioners. Evaporative coolers cost between twenty-five and fifty cents a night to run, depending on the model. In comparison to the other costs of a camping trip, operating the air conditioner all night costs next to nothing.


The next best alternative is to buy and maintain a generator, which adds to the overall cost, but gives you the flexibility to use it anywhere you choose.

In order to power a portable air conditioner, you don’t need a huge generator; anywhere in the 2000 watt range should enough. With a gallon of gas, they can run for about eight hours before they need to be refueled. An evaporative cooler powered by a generator will cost around a dollar, and air conditioning will cost around $3 at today’s gasoline costs.

Although gasoline costs more than grid electricity, this is still a fairly reasonable alternative. The drawback to this design is that you won’t be able to run the generator at night in most campgrounds. Generators are required to be turned off after a set time, even if they are relatively quiet (60 dB is about the volume of a noisy discussion).

How often do you need to run it?

Depending on where you’re camping, running the air conditioner all night may not be essential. If you’re staying in a place where generators must be shut down after 9 or 10 p.m., you’ll be happy to know that the temperature will fall as the sun sets. If this is the case, operating the machine for a few hours during the long weekend will only cost you a few dollars.

In more humid climates, day and night temperatures only vary slightly, and eight hours of continuous operation is required to remain comfortable. It is doubtful that the unit will turn off for a significant period of time throughout the night because tents lack insulation.

This is an excellent reason to choose an air conditioner that is large enough to cool your tent, but not so enormous that it will be uncomfortable. As soon as the tent gets too chilly, the unit will turn off and then turn back on again after a few minutes, allowing the cold air to dissipate. Your sleep cycle will be thrown off if you keep starting and stopping.

Uses other than camping

The vast majority of people who purchase a tent-mounted portable air conditioner do so for purposes other than camping. They can also be used to cool down a space in your home! Using a portable air conditioner for eight to ten hours a day for a month could add as much as $30 to your monthly electricity bill.

When purchasing an air conditioner, make sure it is the proper size for the room in which it will be used. Smaller units are more efficient, but when they have to start and stop frequently they become more vulnerable to breakdowns.

Cost of using a portable air conditioner

It doesn’t matter that portable air conditioners take a lot of electricity compared to other electronic equipment like phones, sound systems, and lights, because utilizing one still doesn’t cost that much in the long term. If you have a generator, you’ll only be paying a few bucks a night for the added comfort of being cool.


A portable air conditioner’s operating costs have been explained. You can now consider the type of race in which you’d like to participate. Keep in mind that the cost of a portable air conditioner is influenced by the type of unit you choose.

Learn as much as possible about the product you intend to purchase so that you can make an informed decision. You might want to take some time to skim through some articles, however.