If you start to wonder about a purchase of window air conditioner you’re maybe thinking about the overall cost. It’s a logical step. When you make a decision about what unit you want to buy you should also double-check the monthly costs of a window air conditioner in advance. It’s better than be surprised by a high energy bill every month or what is worse don’t be able to operate the machine because of the cost.
Price of Window Air Conditioner
Compare to for example central air conditioner the window AC unit isn’t so expensive however it’s not cheap. The window machines don’t cost thousands of dollars and you won’t need to hire professionals to install the unit neither maintain it if you follow the instruction from a producer.
The average price for one unit is between $150 and $500. It’s fully dependent on many factors mentioned below in detail. It’s important to say the price can stay low if you don’t want to pay for extra features and if you will be satisfied with a not so quality producer. But always keep in mind it’s better to read lots of reviews and consider all the possibilities you have including the available features. Sometimes you simply don’t know there are some cool functions you could appreciate but once your unit has them you will fall in love with them.
The overall costs of a window air conditioner include the starting investment. Of course, there are other costs which have to be involved in your calculation. Therefore, read very carefully the next part of the article and choose the best appliance for you.
What Can Affect a Price of Window AC Unit?
It’s a good question. You may think you are expecting that the unit will cool down a room so why are there so many differences among price? It’s caused by a few factors like a brand, features, cooling capacity, and energy efficiency.
Let’s take a closer look at these factors:
You definitely have to consider the brand as a very important factor affecting the price. As you know the name of a brand has a significant impact on a price.
Keep in mind it’s better to rely on well-known producers of the window AC units. They have lots of experience proved by years on a market. This is also related to tons of reviews on the internet that you can read and they help you to choose the best machine for your home. You can be sure to purchase a high-quality product which is proved by many other customers. If you will have to deal with some repair it’s better to have a brand the customer service has experience with. Then, you can avoid lots of troubles.
As you maybe know the window units aren’t designed similarly. All of them have the basic functions but you will appreciate lots of other available features.
It’s easy to choose from adjustable fan speed, programmable timer, remote control, sleeping mode, different kinds of thermostat, air direction control, heating function, etc.
The heating feature is one of the most required features which you’ll appreciate – read buying guide for the best window air conditioners with heating.
Of course, a window AC units with additional features are more expensive compared to the basic ones. But you should consider all the cons and pros before you buy some unit because you could miss some functions in the future.
The cooling capacity is one of the most important factors that affect the price of a window and it can also significantly influence the monthly costs of a window air conditioner if the machine isn’t chosen correctly.
If you buy a unit with a small cooling capacity inappropriate for a room you need to use for you will never obtain the desired temperature and comfort. The cause is that your appliance will be too weak to cool down your room.
On the contrary, if you overestimate the cooling capacity your device will consume lots of energy and your monthly cost will dramatically increase with no reason.
The cooling capacity is represented by the British Thermal Unit (BTU). The unit is used for expressing how well the unit cools down the area.
According to the square footage of a room, you can find out the BTU number and choose the proper window air conditioner for you. Look at the table below.
|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.|
Of course, an air conditioner with 5,000 BTU is not so powerful as a unit with 14,000 BTU but it will be cheap compared to the strong one.
Don’t underestimate this factor and don’t waste money on operating too strong or too weak unit. Choose the right one.
The term energy efficiency is related to the monthly costs of a window air conditioner.
If you want to buy a good and save your money and environment focus on a machine with excellent values on the Energy Guide label you should follow the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) as well as Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER). Check the most energy-efficient window air conditioners review where you can find my best recommendations and picks.
Appliances with high numbers of EER and CEER are more expensive but you will be happy after a few months because operating the unit won’t be so expensive.
Monthly Cost of Window AC Unit
Once, you found out everything about the starting price of the machine you should take into consideration the monthly costs of a window air conditioner.
We can calculate our monthly cost very precisely knowing this data:
- How many Watts your unit consumes.
- A price for kilowatts per hour given by your electric company (see the table below and find an average price for kilowatt per hour in your state).
- A number of hours you’re planning to operate the unit every day.
Calculation of Monthly Cost:
Watts x 1 (hour of use) ÷ 1,000 x Price given by your electric company (kWH) = hourly cost of operation
Example for State Alabama Considering the Table Below:
- (500 Watt unit x 1-hour ÷ 1,000) x 0.1241 (kWH) = $0.06205 Cost of operating for one hour
- $0.06205 x 8 hours per day = $0.4964 Daily cost of operating
- $0.4964 x 30 days in a month = $14.892 Monthly costs of operation a window AC unit
Before you start your own calculation you should definitely find out the price for kilowatt. It’s crucial because if you operate with the wrong number you can obtain a wrong result and the real number on a bill can surprise you then.
|State||Average electricity prices in summer|
|Alabama||12.41¢ / kWh|
|Alaska||22.54¢ / kWh|
|Arizona||13.16¢ / kWh|
|Arkansas||9.99¢ / kWh|
|California||19.90¢ / kWh|
|Colorado||12.28¢ / kWh|
|Connecticut||21.62¢ / kWh|
|DC||13.21¢ / kWh|
|Delaware||12.05¢ / kWh|
|Florida||11.37¢ / kWh|
|Georgia||12.26¢ / kWh|
|Hawaii||32.76¢ / kWh|
|Idaho||10.58¢ / kWh|
|Illinois||12.56¢ / kWh|
|Indiana||12.02¢ / kWh|
|Iowa||13.81¢ / kWh|
|Kansas||11.56¢ / kWh|
|Kentucky||10.56¢ / kWh|
|Louisiana||9.37¢ / kWh|
|Maine||16.16¢ / kWh|
|Maryland||13.92¢ / kWh|
|Massachusetts||21.11¢ / kWh|
|Michigan||16.07¢ / kWh|
|Minnesota||14.09¢ / kWh|
|Mississippi||11.55¢ / kWh|
|Missouri||13.23¢ / kWh|
|Montana||11.85¢ / kWh|
|Nebraska||11.31¢ / kWh|
|Nevada||11.67¢ / kWh|
|New Hampshire||19.63¢ / kWh|
|New Jersey||15.64¢ / kWh|
|New Mexico||13.37¢ / kWh|
|New York||19.30¢ / kWh|
|North Carolina||11.24¢ / kWh|
|North Dakota||12.07¢ / kWh|
|Ohio||12.64¢ / kWh|
|Oklahoma||10.72¢ / kWh|
|Oregon||11.02¢ / kWh|
|Pennsylvania||14.38¢ / kWh|
|Rhode Island||18.64¢ / kWh|
|South Carolina||12.91¢ / kWh|
|South Dakota||12.39¢ / kWh|
|Tennessee||10.79¢ / kWh|
|Texas||11.36¢ / kWh|
|Utah||10.63¢ / kWh|
|Vermont||18.50¢ / kWh|
|Virginia||12.40¢ / kWh|
|Washington||9.79¢ / kWh|
|West Virginia||11.57¢ / kWh|
|Wisconsin||14.28¢ / kWh|
|Wyoming||12.30¢ / kWh|
Good news there is no need to hire a team of specialists to install the window air conditioner onto your windowsill. This kind of AC appliance is easy to mount and fill the gaps in a window if you strictly follow the instructions from the producer. But you will maybe appreciate another pair of hands and a small help from your friend when installing.
Then, the installation cost will be zero.
If you are in a situation you can’t do the job you can hire the professionals. But be prepared for a price of up to $150.
A window AC unit doesn’t require a big effort in maintenance.
The only thing you have to do is to change a filter every few weeks. The filter protects the inner parts of the appliance against dust and dirt particles. And there are two types of filters which can either increase the monthly costs of a windows air conditioner or they can be reduced.
The first type is the expensive one. This type of filter requires to be changed every few weeks which means other costs as you have to buy new filters regularly.
The second type is the washable filter. The only thing you have to do is to wash the filter in a kitchen or bathroom sink every three weeks. There are no other additional costs of a window air conditioner. You need only your own effort.
Overall Costs of Window Air Conditioner Unit
As it was mentioned at the beginning of the article the starting price for a window AC unit is between $150 and $500 and it’s dependent on a brand, cooling capacity, available features, and energy efficiency of the appliances. You should choose your new unit very carefully and follow reviews considering your demands – check my recommended best window air conditioners in the unbiased review.
If you choose a unit with a washable filter and also ask a friend to help you with installation you could cut back other costs.
Costs of a window air conditioner unit for the monthly operation depends on the price of kilowatts given by your electric company, watts that your unit needs, and the number of hours it operates per a day. You can use our calculating formula above and find out your monthly costs very easily. Just keep in mind the price will be an average and for better results, you should add 10% of the price because it can happen you will operate the unit longer than eight hours per day sometimes.
The overall costs of a window air conditioner consist of many factors and you should involve all of them before buying something. We hope we gave valuable instructions on how to do it and you will be successful and choose the right machine for your home.