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How Much It Costs to Run Your Air Conditioner

Published by Luke Weiden

Keeping your home cool in the dead of summer requires more electricity than almost anything else you do at home. Most people are willing to spend a bit more during hot weather in order to stay comfortable. It’s a good idea, though, to understand energy use and rates.

Your electricity costs depend on what type of air conditioning system you have and how much space you want to cool. Here we will address some common questions and more, including:

  • How expensive is central air to run?
  • How much electricity does a central AC use?
  • How much electricity does a wall AC unit use?
  • How much does it cost to run ductless AC?

These averages give you a good idea of how much it costs to run various types of air conditioners. It’s important to know that these are just averages. Cooling a single room with a window AC for a few hours a day will cost much less. Cooling a 10,000-square-foot home all day and night will cost a lot more.

Inforgaphic - How much energy AC units use per hour

Is It Cheaper to Keep AC Running All Day?

Not necessarily. Again, it depends on what kind of cooling system you have. If you are able to control your home’s temperature with a thermostat, it’s more energy-efficient to do so.

Turning the central AC off and on uses a lot of energy. It’s better to set the thermostat a bit higher when no one is home. Once you return, you can lower it again. If you have window air conditioners, though, you can safely turn those off and on as needed.

How to Save Money on Air Conditioning

There are many ways to make the most of your air conditioner while keeping your energy bills under control.

Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. We’ve talked elsewhere on the site about the importance of HVAC maintenance, but we can’t emphasize it enough. Regular maintenance reduces your system’s energy usage and helps prolong its life.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat allows you to create a schedule for your AC. As a result, you don’t have to remember to turn your AC on and off throughout the day.

If you cool your home all day, you can save money by occasionally setting the thermostat a bit higher than usual. Increasing it by 7°–10°F for 8 hours a day will help you save about 10% on your energy bill. Consider programming your thermostat to let temperatures rise while you’re away at work and/or while you’re sleeping.

Install a More Efficient AC

Replacing older models with more energy-efficient units is the best way to reduce cooling costs. When shopping for a new unit, pay attention to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Units with a higher SEER or SEER2 rating require less energy to keep you cool.

You may also want to consider a different kind of air conditioner. Ductless mini-split AC systems allow you to cool different areas of your home independently of one another. As a result, you won’t have to waste energy on cooling areas that you don’t use. Plus, their ductless design helps you save as much as 30% on electricity when compared to traditional central air conditioners.

Rising Energy Bills

If you notice an increase in your electric bill from year to year, your AC may need attention. Deljo Heating and Cooling specializes in HVAC repair in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Call us at 773-829-4295 if your utility bills are higher than normal for this time of year. We’ll solve the problem for you in no time, so you can stop wasting money on an inefficient AC.