Air conditioning units are major consumers of electricity. They account for nearly 20% of total U.S. electrical consumption.
The average home uses around 2,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year.
That means that each air conditioner consumes enough electricity to power two homes for a whole year.
It takes approximately 3 kWh of electricity to operate an air conditioner.
This number varies depending on the type of system you have. For example, a window unit (see also ‘Window Unit vs Central Air Conditioner’) might only require 0.2 kWh of electricity.
This article will talk about how much power different types of air conditioners use and how you can reduce your usage to save money.
Table of Contents
Central Air Conditioner Running Cost Table
The cost of running an air conditioner can vary widely, depending on the size and efficiency of the unit, as well as the cost of electricity in your area. However, there are some general principles that can help you estimate the cost of running your AC.
First, be sure to check the cost per ton of cooling capacity, as this will vary depending on the make and model of your unit. Second, find out how many cooling hours per year you can expect in your area, as this will affect how often you’ll need to run your AC.
The type of AC units & ac capacity makes a huge difference. Mini split air conditioners cool specific rooms, which may be all you need compared to a whole home system.
Finally, consult a cost table like the one below to estimate the cost of running your AC. Note that these costs are for a 2000-square-foot home in Houston, Texas. Your energy consumption may be different based on your location and home size.
AC Cost Table:
AC Unit Cost Per Ton Cooling Hours Per Year Estimated Cost
1.5 Ton 14 SEER $50 2500 $625
2 Ton 14 SEER $55 3000 $825
3 Ton 14 SEER $60 3500 $1025
How much electricity does a 2-ton AC use? (2-Ton Power In kWh)
A standard 2-ton air conditioner will use about 9.4 kWh per hour of operation. So, if we ran our AC for 8 hours a day, that would cost us about $1.23 per day to operate (assuming an electricity cost of $0.13 per kWh).
Of course, this cost would go up in the summer when we use our AC more frequently. If we ran our AC for 12 hours a day during the peak cooling season, that would cost us about $3.70 per day, or $110 per month. In other words, it costs a lot of money to keep our homes cool in the summer! But how much does it cost to run a 2-ton air conditioner? The answer may surprise you.
While the cost of running an AC will vary depending on the cost of electricity in your area, we can estimate that it costs about $0.13 per kWh to operate a 2-ton air conditioner. This means that it would cost about $1.23 to run our AC for 8 hours a day, or $3.70 to run it for 12 hours during the peak cooling season.
While this may seem like a lot of money, it’s important to remember that our AC is keeping us cool and comfortable during the hottest months of the year.
So, while it may cost a bit of money to run our air conditioner, it’s worth it to stay cool and comfortable all summer long!
How much electricity does a 4-ton AC use? (4-Ton Power In kWh)
A 4-ton air conditioner uses about 6,000 watts of power. If you’re running your AC for 24 hours a day, that costs about $0.15 per hour to operate. But of course, you’re not going to be running your air conditioner all the time.
The cost of running an air conditioner depends on how long it runs each day and how much it costs per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The table below shows the cost of running a 4-ton AC for various run times and electricity rates.
As you can see, the cost of running a 4-ton air conditioner can range from about $40 to $100 per month, depending on how often it’s used. Of course, these are just estimates. Your actual cost will depend on your specific usage patterns and the cost of electricity in your area.
However, this should give you a general idea of how much it costs to run a 4-ton air conditioner.
Making Cents Of This Data
How much electricity does it take to cool the average American home? A lot, it turns out. Air conditioners are one of the biggest energy consumers in the home, and the cost of running them can really add up.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average American home uses about 939 kWh of electricity per year to cool its air. That comes out to about $115 per ton of cooling, or $0.11 per kWh. So if your air conditioner is running constantly, you could be spending a pretty penny on electricity costs.
But there are ways to reduce your consumption. One way is to use a programmable thermostat to set a schedule for when your AC should be running. This can help you avoid cooling your home when it’s not necessary, and can save you money in the long run.
Maybe low-tech is the answer without all the wiring & duct work…window units blow cold air & are energy efficient.
There are also energy-efficient air conditioners on the market that use less electricity than traditional models. So if you’re looking to save money on your cooling costs, it’s worth considering an upgrade to a more efficient model.
These units use a small space, greater energy efficiency, a high cooling output that work great to cool spaces that might be a little to hot to handle.
Central AC Electricity Consumption and Running Cost Calculator
As any American home AC owner knows, the cost of running a central air conditioner can be high. According to the cost calculator on the website Energy Star, the cost of running a 1-ton unit for 8 hours a day during the cooling season (which in most parts of the country is about 6 months out of the year) can range from $70 to $200 per year.
But that’s just for the electricity to run the unit – it doesn’t include the cost of buying or maintaining the air conditioner itself. For larger homes, or homes in areas with hotter climates, those costs can increase dramatically. In fact, according to Energy Star, cooling a 2,000 square foot home in Florida during the summer can cost as much as $2 per ton – that’s over $1,200 per year.
So if you’re looking to save money on your AC costs, it’s worth checking out a Central AC Electricity Consumption and Running Cost Calculator.
With one of these calculators, you can input your specific AC unit information and find out how much it will cost you to run your air conditioner this cooling season.How much electricity does a 5-ton AC use? (5-Ton Power In kWh)
5-tonne AC is very popular. It is important to know the power draw on your AC unit.
The following table lists how much kWh it will cost for a 5-ton air conditioner: Running a 5-ton central air conditioning system uses 2.4 to 4.29 kWh per hour, depending on SEER ratings. The 5-tons power can last 8 hours using between 19.4 kWh and 34.7 kWh energy. The 5 tonne cooling unit will consume between 59.6 to 103.6 kw / h for the full 24-hour non-stop operation.
How much electricity does a 2.5-ton AC use? (2.5-ton power in kWh)
Americans love their air conditioners. In fact, it’s estimated that the average American home uses 2.5-ton ACs. But how much electricity does a 2.5-ton AC use?
Well, the cost of running an AC depends on a number of factors, including the cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour, the efficiency of the AC, and the size of the unit. However, it’s generally agreed that an AC unit will cost around $30 to $50 per ton to operate.
So, if you’re cooling your home with a 2.5-ton AC, you can expect to spend about $75 to $125 per year on electricity. Of course, this doesn’t include the cost of maintenance or repairs. But it’s still cheaper than cooling your home with a space heater.
How Much Power Does A Central Air Conditioner Use?
How much power does a central air conditioner use? Well, it all depends on how often you run it and how big your house is. A typical home AC unit uses about 3,500 watts of power, which costs about $0.36 per hour to run.
If you’re cooling your home for eight hours a day, that’s about $2.88 per day, or $864 per month. That may not sound like much, but it adds up: over the course of a year, you’ll spend about $10,368 on cooling your home – and that’s assuming your AC is only running half the time! Of course, if you have a larger house or live in a warmer climate, your costs will be even higher.
The most efficient central air conditioners use about 15 watts per ton of cooling capacity – meaning that a three-ton unit would use 45 watts of power. However, these units cost more upfront and may not be cost-effective for everyone.
Ultimately, the best way to reduce your cooling costs is to make sure your AC unit is properly maintained and only running when you need it.
Types Of Air Conditioning Units
There are three main types of air conditioning units: split systems, heat pumps, and room air conditioners.
All of these units share some similarities in their design but differ based on the way they produce cool or warm air.
Split systems consist of one compressor/condenser coil outside your house and another coil inside the house.
There’s also usually only one condensing fan, which circulates outside air over both coils.
One benefit of a split system is it uses less space than other systems as there is no need for ductwork; however, it requires more maintenance.
It is also not suitable for areas with very hot summers because the outdoor coil gets too cold during the winter months.
Heat pumps work similarly to a radiator except that instead of cooling down water, they cool air.
Most models of heat pump air conditioners come with two separate compressors, one for the indoor coil and one for the outdoor coil.
Although heat pumps are slightly more expensive than split systems, they use less energy to run and maintain due to their high-efficiency rating.
They can also stay at an optimal temperature throughout the year making them perfect for mild climates.
However, heat pumps require regular cleaning and lubrication to keep them operating efficiently.
Unlike split systems, there’s no need for ductwork.
Room air conditioners fit into any room where there is already an existing air supply such as through a window.
Like split systems, room air conditioners have one indoor and one outdoor coil.
They are extremely compact and quiet compared to larger central air conditioners.
These units have high-efficiency ratings. However, they do not circulate fresh air unless you open windows.
Instead, they pull air from the outside through holes in the side of the room cooler and then blow that same heated air out into the room.
Because these cooling systems don’t bring the inside air directly into contact with the evaporator coil, they tend to use more electricity.
Additionally, if you’re concerned about energy bills, this could present an issue.
Another disadvantage of room coolers is that they aren’t suited for humid climates since they don’t allow for ventilation.
How Much Power Does A Portable Air Conditioner Use?
Portable air conditioners (see also ‘How To Vent A Portable Air Conditioner Without A Window‘) take up minimal space, weigh little, and provide efficient, cost-effective cooling.
The great thing about portable air conditioners is that they can be moved around your home without having to worry about any installation issues.
Their low weight makes them easy to move around, and their smaller footprint allows them to fit almost anywhere.
Most units come pre-assembled, so all that’s left to set up is the power cord and filter box.
Some portable air conditioners even charge themselves!
So what kind of power will my portable air conditioner use?
With several different factors involved, determining how much power a portable air conditioner uses depends largely on its internal components and whether or not it has any options available.
The first step when calculating the amount of power used by a particular unit is identifying the model itself.
Not sure which one to buy? Check out a power calculator.
Once you know which model we’re dealing with, you can go through each component to figure out how many watts of power it takes to run.
Then, once you’ve added together all the individual components and their wattage requirements, you can add those figures up and multiply them by 100 to obtain a final estimate of how much total power was used during operation.
How much does a portable air conditioner use per hour?
Most portable air conditioners use somewhere between 6 and 7 watts per hour.
That means that a portable air conditioner runs on just 4 amps of current.
An average household circuit breaker should be able to handle this load comfortably, but if yours has trouble, upgrading may be necessary.
As always, it wouldn’t hurt to check with a licensed electrician before trying to upgrade your current electrical system.
How Much Power Does A Window Air Conditioner Use?
Window Air conditioners typically utilize less power than other types.
Window models only need to operate at full capacity when the weather gets hot enough to force the AC unit off its regular cycle.
This is usually triggered when the interior temperature reaches 80ºF.
Since these units run less often without being fully blown, they consume less power during their normal cycles.
And because they are located outdoors, they also benefit from additional wind flow, thus requiring fewer fans to push the same amount of air.
If you want the most bang for your buck, look for a window air conditioner that is both efficient and quiet.
Efficiency refers to how well the unit works while running. Quiet refers to how little noise the unit produces.
Look for an ENERGY STAR-qualified product as these products have been tested and certified for efficiency.
Additionally, these units have built-in timers that automatically turn on/off based on exterior conditions.
You can also find a wide range of programmable features that allow you to customize how long the unit stays to save energy costs.
Factors That Affect Air Conditioner Power Usage
One of the biggest differences in cooling equipment is in the way that heat moves into and around the air conditioning unit.
While air conditioners vary widely in size and design, there are some important things to consider regarding how power consumption is measured and why your specific unit might require more or less electricity than others.
Let’s examine the main areas where air conditioning systems differ and how they impact the amount of power required:
One area where we see significant variations in power usage is in the fan motor.
Because fans vary significantly in speed and size, they can account for anywhere from 2% to 50 % of installed air conditioner power consumption.
In general, the larger the fan, the higher the power required.
For example, a typical 20 cubic feet /minute (CFM) forced convection blower would use roughly 8 watts of power.
On the other hand, a high-capacity ductless mini-split system installed in a large attic could use over 30 CFM and requires far higher wattages.
What type of fan does your particular model use? Is it an impeller fan? Or perhaps a variable frequency drive (VFD)?
When selecting a duct for your new system, keep in mind that bigger systems tend to require more airflow.
Therefore, you won’t necessarily need more ductwork.
However, unless you plan on moving the unit daily, you need to make sure that the unit fits comfortably inside of the existing ductwork.
It is typical to install either 1.5″ or 3″ ducting depending on the room size and airflow requirements.
If necessary, you can add a small expansion unit. Expansion units are designed specifically to increase the capacity of smaller duct sizes.
Most times, this means using a different sized piece of tubing (instead of just making a straight cut).
The difference in cost between a standard 1.5″ or 2.0″ diameter duct vs. a 3″ diameter duct is negligible ($40-$60 per linear foot), so choosing one should be fairly straightforward.
How To Decrease Air Conditioner Power Usage
There are a few ways to reduce the amount of electricity used by your air conditioner.
First, select the mode that uses the least amount of power – usually Auto.
Second, set the thermostat slightly below the comfortable temperature, even if you’re sleeping.
Third, clean out the filter weekly rather than monthly. Fourth, leave the indoor coil free of any object which may cause corrosion, like dust or hair.
There’s no denying how great it feels to come home after work to a cool house.
But not every home has the luxury of a dedicated A/C unit to make those days better.
Fortunately, installing an energy-efficient system doesn’t have to break the bank. A/C efficiency codes were created to provide both homeowners and contractors with affordable solutions – and these codes also promote environmentally friendly practices, as well!
The condenser coil is the component of an air conditioning system that removes heat from the refrigerant gas and transfers it away from the system through the outside air.
It plays an important role in keeping your home cool when the compressor isn’t running.
As a result, you’ll want to take care of it during the summer months, when the temperatures soar.
How Much kWh Does AC Use?
So you want to know how much your air conditioner is going to cost you this summer? The answer, of course, depends on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the efficiency of your AC unit, and the cost of electricity in your area. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to get an idea of what to expect.
On average, a home air conditioner will use about 3,500 watts of power. That means that if you’re paying $0.10 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), it will cost you about 35 cents per hour to run your AC. Of course, that’s just for the cost of the electricity; it doesn’t include the cost of maintenance or repairs.
To put that in perspective, a two-ton AC unit will use about 7,000 watts of power. That’s enough to run two hair dryers! So if you’re paying $0.10 per kWh, it will cost you about 70 cents per hour to run your AC. And remember, that’s just for the electricity; it doesn’t include the cost of maintenance or repairs.
Of course, these are just estimates based on averages. Your actual costs will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the efficiency of your AC unit, and the cost of electricity in your area. But now you have a general idea of what to expect when those bills start rolling in this summer!
Air conditioners (see also ‘Trane Vs Carrier Vs Lennox Air Conditioner Review’) are an important part of staying cool during hot weather – and even though they increase your electricity bill, there are ways you can reduce power usage such as by completing regular maintenance tasks and making sure you buy an efficient model.