Updated at: 10-04-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

A window air conditioner’s operating costs are discussed here for those who are curious.

While the final price you pay for a window air conditioner will depend on a number of factors, the average hourly, daily, and monthly operating costs are detailed here.

Our mission is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not installing window air conditioning is a good financial move.

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

There is a wide range in how much it costs to operate a window air conditioner, but typically it’s between $0.07 and $0.20 per hour. Total annual operating costs for a window air conditioner are proportional to their BTU consumption, wattage, and daily usage.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Window Air Conditioner? - Epic Home Ideas

A window air conditioner with an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 10 and the national average price of electricity (in the United States) of $0.13 per kWh will cost you the following per month to operate.

The final price you pay for a window air conditioner will be different depending on the BTUs, watts, kilowatt hours, and hours of use.

Cooling Capacity in BTUs for a Window Unit hourly rate estimate
Air Conditioner, Window Mounted, 5,000 BTU Hourly rate of $0.055
Air Conditioner, Window, 8,000 BTU Spends $0.0585/hr on labor costs
Powerful Air Conditioner for Windows, 10,000 BTU Hourly rate of $0.117
Air Conditioner Unit, 12,000 BTU, Window-Mounted Average hourly rate of $0.143
Air Conditioner, Window, 15,000 BTU Hourly rate of $0.195

How Much Does a Window AC Unit Cost Per Month?

The average monthly cost to operate a window air conditioner is between $15 and $40. The total monthly cost of a window air conditioner depends on factors such as BTU consumption, wattage, and daily usage hours.

Breakdown of BTUs for an Air Conditioner in a Window Monthly Cost Estimate
An Air Conditioner for a Window that Produces 5,000 BTUs Monthly fee of $15.6
Air Conditioner, Window, 8,000 BTU Monthly fee of $20.40
Powerful Air Conditioner for Windows, 10,000 BTU Monthly fee of $26.40
The Most Powerful 12,000-BTU Window AC A monthly fee of $33.60 is required.
Cooling Capacity: 15,000 BTUs Spending $46.80 monthly

Take a look at our top rated window air conditioners list for a more in-depth analysis of the most effective and reasonably priced models on the market today.

The most popular choices for window air conditioner size are 5,000 BTU, 10,000 BTU, and 12,000 BTU. These dimensions are standard for the most efficient air conditioners designed for bedrooms and smaller living rooms.

The hourly and monthly running costs for each air conditioner size are detailed below.

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

An average of $0.065 per hour is needed to power a 5,000 BTU air conditioner. The daily cost is $0.52 if the air conditioner is used for 8 hours. It will cost about $15.60 to keep the air conditioner on for a month.

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

The average operating cost of a 10,000 BTU air conditioner is $0.11. At 8 hours of use per day, the cost of running the air conditioner is $0.88. The cost of keeping the air conditioner on for a month is about $26.40.

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

The typical operating cost of a 12,000 BTU air conditioner is $0.14 per hour. At 8 hours of use per day, the cost of running the air conditioner is $1.12. It will cost about $33.60 to run the air conditioner for a month.

Calculating the Cost of Window Air Conditioner

Calculating the lifetime cost of a window air conditioner requires some background knowledge, including the following:

  • What the wattage of the air conditioner is.
  • Cost in kWh as assessed by your utility company. (Around $0.13 is the norm across the country.)
  • How many hours a day will the air conditioner be on?

The following simple formula can be used to calculate the daily and monthly costs of operating a window air conditioner, or you can simply refer to our handy chart below.

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Cost Formula

  • cost per hour of operation is calculated as follows: watts * 1 * hour of use * 1,000 * 0.13 * kWH


  • It costs $0.065 per hour to run a 500-watt unit because an hour of use multiplied by 1,000 watts multiplied by 0.13 kilowatt hours.
  • Price per hour of operation: $0.065 x 8 hours = $0.52 per day

Average Costs of Running a Window AC Unit

For the typical consumer, how much would a window AC unit cost?

The following are the estimated monthly costs for the various sizes of window air conditioners, assuming daily use of 8 hours and an electricity rate of $0.13 per kilowatt-hour.

  • The monthly cost for a 500-watt unit (5,000 BTUs) is $15.60.
  • The monthly payment for a 660-watt unit (8,000 BTU) is $20.40.
  • For $26.40 a month, you get one 900-watt unit (10,000 BTUs).
  • The monthly cost of a 1,100-watt unit (12,00 BTU) is $33.60.
  • A monthly payment of $46.80 for a 1,500-watt unit (15,000 BTU)

Window Air Conditioner Installation Cost

The typical price to have a window AC unit installed is $295. The cost to have an air conditioner installed in a window can range from around $138 to $500. A window air conditioner can be purchased for around $250, with an additional $60-$200 for installation.

In the US, the mean cost is $295

Usual Price Range: $138 – $500

Ranging from very cheap (under $100) to extremely expensive (over $1,000)

In most cases, the components needed to properly install a window air conditioner are included in the box. Accordingly, if you’re willing to install the window AC unit on your own, you can save yourself the money.

However, if you need to hire a professional technician or handyman, their hourly rate will likely be in the range of $75 to $150.

How Much Does A Window AC Unit Cost?

The good news is that the initial investment in a window air conditioner need not put you in the red.

A window air conditioner can be installed for a fraction of the cost of a full system, and you won’t need to hire a professional to do the work.

A window air conditioner will set you back around $138 on average, with the higher end of the price range reaching up to $500.

We’ll discuss the many factors that affect cost below, but know that high cooling capacity and high energy efficiency are two of the biggest ones.

What Factors Affect The Price Of a Window Air Conditioner?

When trying to get to the bottom of “how much is a window air conditioner?” there are a number of variables to consider.

Among these are:

  • Ability to Cool
  • Energy Conservation
  • Features
  • Brand

Cooling Capacity

The size of the area that must be cooled by the window air conditioner is one of the primary factors in determining the cost of the unit.

Of course, the greater the cooling capacity of a window air conditioner, the more electricity it will consume and the higher the price it will be.

A window air conditioner’s BTU rating is a good indicator of how well it cools a room. This is the standard measurement for determining a device’s cooling efficiency.

Electrical Requirements for Window Air Conditioners

The BTU rating indicates the size of the room that can be cooled by the air conditioner.

Here are some common BTUs for window air conditioners:

  • 5,500 British Thermal Units (or 150 square feet)
  • 8, 000 BTU (or 350 square feet)
  • 800 square feet or 9,000 BTU
  • 1,050 square inches, or 10,000 BTUs, of heating power.
  • A unit of heat output equal to 12,000 BTU (or 550 square feet)
  • 730 square feet or 14,000 BTUs.

The price of a 14,000 BTU window air conditioner will naturally be higher than that of a 5,000 BTU unit.

Having the appropriate sized window air conditioner is crucial for effective cooling.

An improperly sized window air conditioner runs the risk of either failing to adequately cool the space or causing excessive energy use and a corresponding spike in your monthly electricity costs.

Similar principles apply to through-the-wall air conditioners, which are installed into a wall rather than a window and look and function similarly to window air conditioners.

A through-the-wall air conditioner is an option if you want to keep your window unobstructed. Review our top picks for through-the-wall air conditioners to help you make a decision.

Energy Efficiency

When figuring out the answer to the question “How much does a window air conditioner cost?,” energy efficiency is another factor to think about.

A more expensive air conditioner is not necessarily a more efficient one. In fact, the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) or Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER) is the most reliable indicator of how well a window air conditioner controls energy usage.

Both the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and the newer, more stringent, Cooling Efficiency Ratio (CEER) were implemented by the Department of Energy in 2014. Both of these figures, for instance 10.8, 11.1, and 12.2, are displayed on the Energy Guide label alongside the air conditioner.

Keep in mind that a higher EER or CEER number indicates a more energy-efficient air conditioner, but it also indicates that the unit will cost more to operate.

Higher purchase prices on energy-saving appliances are inevitable.


It’s true that not all air conditioners for windows are created equal. While some are built with only the most essential features, others boast more sophisticated technology like Wi-Fi, programmable thermostats, and adjustable airflow.

More features mean a higher price tag for a window air conditioner.


The cost of a window air conditioner also depends on the brand.

Like any other product on the market, the price of a window air conditioner will depend in part on the company’s reputation.

Choose a well-known brand or one that has a sizable market share if you’re in the market for a window air conditioner.

This increases the likelihood that you’ll get a top-notch product and helpful assistance in the event of a malfunction.

How Much is a Window Air Conditioner in Total?

As you saw, the price of a window air conditioner can range from $138 to $500, depending on the model you select and other factors like its cooling capacity, energy efficiency, and features.

The average person can expect to pay as little as $0.52 per day to run a window air conditioner.

What this means is that the total amount you spend on a window air conditioner is totally up to you and the amount of time you plan to spend using it.

Most people benefit from having their air conditioner on for eight hours a day. However, more or less usage may be preferable.

The question of how much it costs to run a window air conditioner is more difficult to answer, of course, because there is no single, all-encompassing figure.

However, we do hope that the data presented here has helped you estimate the total monthly and hourly costs associated with operating a window AC unit.

Running Cost Of Windows AC Unit

You can figure out how much power your window air conditioner uses by calculating:

  • What determines how many amps an air conditioner uses is not just its size, but also its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current consumption of a two-ton air conditioner with a SEER rating of 16 is about 15 amps.
  • Air conditioners for windows typically have a 240-volt power cord and a wattage requirement. Once you multiply the amps by the wattage, you get 4,320 watts.
  • KWh: The kilowatt-hour can be calculated as follows: (Amps x Watts)/(1000). This is the standard unit of electricity consumption in the United States. Inputting the aforementioned data into the formula (4,320/100), we get a result of 4.32 kWh.

Per Hour Running Cost Of Windows AC Unit

When you know how much electricity the air conditioner uses in a given hour (4.32 kWh), you can divide that number by the price per kilowatt-hour in your area to get the cost of running the unit for one hour. If you live in Ohio (where the cost per kWh is $12.55), for instance. After multiplying the price (12.55) by the amount of energy used (4.32), we get a total of 54.216.

That equates to $0.54216 in energy costs per hour for your AC unit.

Per Day Running Cost Of Windows AC Unit

In order to calculate the daily cost of operating your air conditioner, multiply the cost per hour by the number of hours it is used. So, if you use your AC for 8 hours a day, you would multiply that by the cost per hour ($0.54216).

Your daily operating cost for the air conditioner is thus ($4.33).


Great! What I mean is, “how much does it cost to run a window air conditioner?” Electricity rates can have a significant impact on how much your air conditioner ends up costing you. Depending on their British Thermal Unit (BTU) and wattage, window air conditioners can have hourly electricity costs anywhere from $0.065 to $0.195. Read these articles if you’re interested in learning more. Your time and attention are greatly appreciated. Thank you and see you later!