If you’re planning to run an air conditioner at home this summer, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice. Compact and portable window and wall units offer an affordable entry-point cooling solution for smaller spaces, while ductless split systems balance economy with efficiency and central cooling is both the most effective and the most expensive of the lot. The costs to run whichever type of AC you choose will vary depending on your city electric rates, how often you run the unit and how your AC performs regarding energy efficiency.
One thing that’s invariable is that running an air conditioner will increase your power bill. Electric utility providers typically charge for power by the kilowatt hour or kWh. As of 2018 rates, Choose Energy reports that the average U.S. price per kWh is 13.2 cents.
It doesn’t take an HVAC expert to see that the costs range drastically depending on your setup,