How Much Does it Cost to Run an Air Conditioner 2024?


If you’re looking to cut costs on your electric bill this summer, the first thing most renters or homeowners want to know is how much it costs to run an air conditioner. Running your AC can get expensive! And if the summers continue to get hotter, the bills are just going to keep getting more expensive. That’s why knowing how much it costs to run AC can save you thousands of dollars annually. Once you learn the true cost of running the air conditioner, you can start using your air conditioner to your advantage financially.

Here at The Energy Professor, we want to give you the information you need to not only save money on your energy bill but to also become more energy efficient. We hope find this post helpful! And makes it easier for you to know how much it costs to run an air conditioner. Be sure to also check out our one-of-a-kind energy savings calculator!

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How Much Does it Cost to Run an Air Conditioner?


The true cost of running an air conditioner depends on the type of AC you have and your electricity rate. Once you know those two factors, finding the cost is simple. For the most part, depending on the type of unit you have, the cost of running an air conditioner can range from $14 – $211 a month! For smaller window units you can expect the lower end of the rate, and the higher end for larger units. The smaller AC units use around 5,000 BTU (British Thermal Units). While larger units can use up to 50,000 BTU.

Let’s break down the average electricity usage of a typical air conditioner unit.

Does Running AC Use A Lot of Electricity in 2024?

  • Yes, no matter how energy-efficient your AC unit is, it will still cost you a significant amount of money to run. Air conditioning units typically use 6,720 – 112,028 watts in a month.

To put that in perspective, a refrigerator uses 400 – 800 watts per month. Using an appliance with an Energy Star rating can help dramatically cut the amount of watts you use. But to drastically save on the cost to run ac, taking smaller more cost-efficient steps will have a greater impact on your electricity bill.

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How Much Does AC Cost Per Hour?


To fully understand just how much it costs to run the air conditioner, we have to break it down per hour. This is where you have the most control over how much you can save on your energy bill. So how much does AC cost per hour? On average, the hourly cost to run ac per hour is between $0.06 and $0.88 per hour. This is quite a large gap but your cost can be determined by many factors. Some of which are the size of your AC and the cost of your electricity!

How Much Does 1 Degree of AC Cost?

  • The estimated cost of adjusting your temperature 1 degree up or down is three percent. This means that for every degree you adjust your thermostat, you can expect to see a 3% savings or expenditure on your energy bill.

If running your AC isn’t an option, the easiest way to save on your air conditioner’s electricity cost is to not set your AC at a low temperature. The best temperature to set your air conditioner to save money while still cooling your home is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re like me and that is still not cold enough, try running your AC only at night when energy rates are lower!

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Air Conditioning Cost Per Month


Now that we know how much running ac costs per hour, we can easily calculate the monthly rate. So, how much does an air conditioner cost per month? For this average, we took the lowest and highest energy usage per hour for 9 hours a day, seven days a week for one month. On the lower end of a 5,000 BTU unit, you can see a monthly cost of $17.64. A larger 48,000 BTU unit can see prices around $161.28 per month.

Is Air Conditioning Expensive to Run?

  • Yes, no matter how energy-efficient your AC unit is, it will still cost you a significant amount of money to run. As you can see from our estimations above, there is a significant monthly difference in cost depending on the size of the AC unit you decide to install.

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How Much Does it Cost to Run AC All Day?


In the end, it comes down to knowing your daily rate for using the AC. Knowing how much it costs to run AC all day can help you determine what days to use, or not use your AC. For the most part, temperatures are not consistent from one day to the next. This means that you don’t have to run your AC all 7 days of the week! So how much does AC cost per day? For this example, let’s use the most common BTU which is a 10,000 BTU unit. The cost per hour on this unit is about $0.20 per hour. If it’s being run for a full 8-hour day, that’s $1.60 per day!

Is it OK for an AC Unit to Run All Day?

  • Yes! HVAC experts have said it’s perfectly fine for your AC to run all day or all night! Some units are even made for prolonged usage.

It is important to note that it is not healthy for the unit to run constantly. Constantly running the unit can reduce the pressure in the cooling unit. This can cause it to freeze over and can cause the liquid refrigerant to flood back into the compressor and cause damage. This damage can be replaced but will be upwards of $2,000.

Related Post: What Uses the Most Electricity in a House?

Cost to Run Air Conditioner FAQ


Q: What is the Cost of running an Air Conditioner?

A: The cost to run an air conditioner can run anywhere from $0.06 per hour to $0.88 per hour. The exact price will depend on the type and size of your unit and how much you use it. 

Q: How Much Does it Cost to Run a Small AC All Day?

A: On the smaller end of the AC unit sizes, it can cost about $2.51 each day. This is based on the smaller-sized unit running for about 8 hours in one day. 

Q: Is It Cheaper to Run AC All Day or Just at Night?

A: For the most part, it is cheaper to run the AC at night. While it will exert more power to cool down your home, the price you are being charged by your energy provider for that power will be less expensive. 

Q: What does BTU mean on my air conditioner?

A: BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. This is the measurement of how much energy an air conditioner uses to remove heat from indoor spaces. 

Q: How Many Watts Does an Air Conditioner Use in 1 Month?

A: Air conditioning units typically use 6,720 – 112,028 watts in a month. This is based on a unit that runs for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Do you Need Cheaper Electricity?

If you’ve taken the time to understand the information on your bill and discovered you’re paying more than you’d like for your electricity, have you looked around for a cheaper deal? The Energy Professor has a wealth of information on ways to save on your utilities, including details of top deals that could significantly reduce your monthly or quarterly electricity bills.

We hope you found this article helpful! If you are looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and sustainability in your home be sure to take a look at all of the latest renewable energy options in your area. The Energy Professor helps residential and small business owners find qualified energy suppliers in New YorkNew JerseyPennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, and Massachusetts