How Much Does a Window AC Unit Increase Your Electric Bill?

Some AC units can make your electric bill skyrocket. But what about window air conditioners?

Just like any other AC, a window air conditioner needs electricity in order to function; however, these units are cheaper to run than central air and portable air-cons. It will cost you $0.06-$0.36 per hour to run a window AC – around $15 per week for a 24/7 operating unit.

How Much Does a Window AC Unit Increase Your Electric Bill?

How much a window AC is going to affect your electric bill will depend on how often and how efficiently you use the air conditioner and on the power and wattage of the unit. Of course, the cost per kilowatt-hour in the area where you live should be taken into consideration as well.

If you have a 900-watt window air conditioner and you tend to use it for 8 hours every day, then the unit is going to cost you around $1.11 daily. 

To calculate that all you would have to do is multiply the wattage of the unit by the operation hours, divide the number by 1000, and then multiply the result by the cost per kilowatt-hour (15.42 cents per kWh is the nation’s average).

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Window AC?

It will cost you anywhere between $0.06 and $0.36 per hour to run a window air-con. Typically, you can expect this type of heating and cooling equipment to add $40-$100 to your electric bill every year.

Read: Why Window AC Compressor Turns On And Off?

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Window AC 24/7?

To find out how much exactly it is going to cost you to run your window AC for seven days straight, you should consider a couple of things:

  • The wattage of the unit
  • The cost of a kilowatt-hour in your area

Low-wattage window air-cons have a listed wattage of 600 or less. If you multiply 600 by 168 (the number of hours in a week) and divide it by 1000 – you’ll get the number of kWh that you would have to pay for every week.

If you’re paying 15.42 cents per kWh, then you’re going to be spending around $15 per week on a constantly running window AC.

Read: Why Are HVAC Vents Under Windows?

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How Much Does It Cost to Run a 6,000 BTU Air Conditioner?

A 6,000 BTU window air conditioner draws 505-600 watts. At $0.13 kWh, such a unit will cost you $0.07-$0.09 per hour to run.

How Much Does a Window AC Unit Cost to Run Monthly?

Of course, the exact sum is going to depend on a lot of factors, including the weather outside, your air conditioner’s set temperature, and the number of hours the unit gets used per month. 

It might cost you around $15 per month to run a 5,000 BTU unit and about $33.60 for a 12,000 BTU window air conditioner. 

Read: What Are 4 Basic Categories Of HVAC Systems?

Why Do AC Units Use a Lot of Electricity?

HVAC window air conditioner

To answer the question, you should first figure out how an air conditioner works. 

Cooling units have a compressor (basically, a pump) that should constantly keep the refrigerant running through the system. The lower the set temperature – the harder the air conditioner would have to work.

Window units, for example, can consume between 500 and 1,500 watts of electricity per hour. This fact makes pretty much any heating and cooling equipment one of the most powerful devices in your entire house.

By the way, space conditioning accounts for over half of all energy consumption in the majority of homes.  

Read: What Are Types Of HVAC Systems In Hotels?

Do Window AC Units Use a Lot of Power?

Any air conditioning unit would require a decent amount of power. However, when compared to other cooling systems, window ACs are relatively economical.

Such air conditioners use only around a third of the electricity that central units require in order to operate. Of course, if you have more than one window AC, the costs are going to add up and the savings will be less tangible. 

How Much Electricity Does a Window Air Conditioner Use Per Hour?

  • Small window air conditioners use around 500 watts per hour
  • Medium-sized units – about 900 watts
  • Larger air-cons – 1440 watts

Is It Cheaper to Run Window Units?

In general, window air conditioners are a lot cheaper to not only buy but also operate. These units can use up to 1440 watts per hour (the majority, however, require a lot less).

It is also typically cheaper to maintain a window air-con as these cooling units require only occasional cleaning and are relatively easy to fix.

Is It Cheaper to Run Central Air or Window Units?

It is more expensive to run central air than a window unit. By the way, it might even be cheaper to run a few window units instead of a single central air system.

The former use anywhere between 500 and 1,440 watts, while a 2.5-ton central air unit would require 3,500 watts

Window units are also cheaper to install and a lot easier to maintain as they don’t involve ducts and a furnace. 

Read: What Are Zoned HVAC Systems?

Do Portable Air Conditioners Use More Electricity Than Window Air Conditioners?

You might want to go for a portable air-con in case your window is way too small, but window air conditioners are definitely a more energy-efficient and affordable option

Portable ACs, in their turn, are not as great at removing heat from a room (due to a poorly insulated exhaust hose). Their wattage usually falls anywhere between 940 and 1,650 watts. 

Can You Leave a Window AC Unit on All Day?

You can certainly leave your air conditioner on all day – no elements are going to overheat and the unit will continue to work perfectly fine.

Is It Cheaper to Leave Window AC on All Day?

It might actually be cheaper to leave your window air conditioner on all day if you set it to a certain temperature (setting the temperature very low will make the AC work too hard).

In such a case, the unit will not be consuming as much electricity (cooling systems ‘eat up’ a lot of electricity once they get turned on). Moreover, an air conditioner that has been switched off will struggle a lot more to bring a warmed-up room back to the set temperature.

Finally, you might want to consider investing in a programmable thermostat that is going to slightly change the settings of the unit when you’re away. 

What Temperature Should I Set My Window Air Conditioner?

During the summer months, keep your air conditioner set at 78 degrees – this is the most efficient setting that will help you make sure that your energy bills stay relatively low.

How Can I Reduce My Electric Bill with AC?

  1. Install a programmable thermostat (timer)
  2. Make sure that the unit is correctly sized
  3. Keep the curtains closed during the day and shut the doors to the other rooms
  4. Use a fan to distribute the cooled air around the space
  5. Insulate your house
  6. Follow a regular AC maintenance schedule 

How Can I Make My Window Air Conditioner More Efficient?

When installing the unit, make sure that it is level and try to keep the air conditioner cool (keep the shades down and the windows closed on hot days).