How Much Does Air Conditioning Cost to Run?
Are you wary of having an air conditioning system installed in your home because you’re worried about your power bill? Understandable. After all, you can’t go from not having an air con to having an air con without expecting a rise in your power usage! But did you know that your electric utility costs do not necessarily have to change so drastically when you install this appliance in your home? In fact, the cost of running an air conditioner is just as customizable as owning a car! It depends on which type of air conditioner you choose for your home, how energy-efficient it is, how often you use it, and how much the electric rates in your city cost.
In this article from Sun City Air, we will look at the cost of running the three different types of air conditioner—the window type, split type, and central type.
Window Type Air Conditioner
If you are shopping for an air conditioner with your tight budget in mind, the window type might just be your best option. Assuming you are using a small window type unit for an average of eight hours a day and you have an average electric rate of 13.2 cents per kWh, running it will cost you just about $1.52 a day or at least $45 a month. But if you are using a bigger and more high-powered unit, you can expect your operating cost to range between $62 and $500.
Remember though that since window type units are relatively smaller than the more massive cooling systems, they are known to use up more energy than their bigger counterparts—sometimes even peaking at 1,440 watts! You might also need to consider that while it’s an advantage that they are small and therefore take up little space inside a room, their cooling capacity is not as good as split-type and centralized air conditioners.
If your home is large and will require more than one window-type aircon, running more than one unit of this air con is not financially wise. This is because two units of this type of air conditioner will cost you about $100 per month, while three will cost you as much as $140!
Split Type Air Conditioner
Based on estimates from air conditioning experts, split type air conditioners are more ideal than window-type aircons if you are living in a large home. If you install a ductless air conditioning system in your home, you will discover how energy efficient it is in your next power bill. Imagine an aircon as big as this using just about 900 watts! That means if you run a ductless mini-split system for eight hours in a day and your average electric rate is 13.2 cents, running this air conditioner will cost you just about 95 cents a day or $28.50 per month.
The national average cost of running ductless, mini-split air conditioners is $2,000, depending on the unit you choose. For instance, one low-end split type air conditioner will cost you just about $1,300 a year, while a high-end unit will cost you as much as $4,500. Generally speaking, this type of aircon can be up to 60 percent more energy efficient than central air conditioners.
Central Air Conditioner
Of all your options, this one is the most expensive of all. The installation of this air conditioner alone can already cost you up to $7,000! But that is not even half of the $15,000 you need to shell out if you need help with the installation of the duct work, which you will most likely need.
If we talk about how much it will cost you to run this air conditioner from the time you have it installed, however, it is not easy to tell. In fact, the cost of running this unit is usually varying, depending on how many watts the unit you are using consumes, how often you use it, and how much your national average cost for electric usage is per kWh.
Commonly, central type air conditioners consume 3,500 watts of power. Given the average national kWh cost of 13.2 cents, and assuming you are using your central air con for eight hours a day, then running this air conditioner will cost you about $3.70 a day or $110.88 a month. If you are living in a really large home that spans up to 1,200 square feet of living space, however, expect your central air con to cost you as much as $245 a month.
Before buying an air conditioner for your home, it makes sense to consider how big your home is and how many hours you think you will need to run it every day. Like we said, your power bill will naturally get higher once you install an air con in your home—but not as high as you probably think. The key here is to make sure that you choose a unit that is just right for the size of your home and that you use your air conditioning system only when you find the heat too much to bear.