The cost of an AC unit is a big deal when you’re thinking of getting one. They’re real lifesavers, especially in hot places. They don’t just cool your place down; they make it cozy by controlling the temperature, reducing humidity, and making the air better during hot summer days.

In the US, the average cost of an air conditioning unit can change a lot. Things like what type you pick, its size, and if you need pro help to install it all affect the final price. Checking out the cost of an AC unit helps you see why it’s important for keeping your home cool and comfy.

Average Cost Ranges for Air Conditioning Units

Different air conditioners have different prices. A regular window unit and installation usually costs about $600 to $2000. But if you’re thinking about a central AC system, be ready to spend around $3,800 and $7,500. [1]

Why such a big difference? Well, it relies on the size of your house. To keep your place cool, you need an AC that fits the space. Bigger homes need larger—and more costly—AC units.

1. Window Unit Air Conditioners Average Cost

Window AC units are pretty common in homes across the U.S. Here’s a breakdown of average prices for different brands:

Air Conditioner Average Price
Amana $387
Arctic Wind $135
CHIGO $320
Emerson $397
Frigidaire $398
Keystone $446
LG $462
RCA $195
SPT $295
Tosot $170
Whirlpool $404

When it comes to air conditioners, their Cooling Ratings matter. These ratings are measured in BTU/h. Here’s a simple rule: aim for 20 BTU per square foot of space. For example, for a 300-square-foot room, pick a unit with 6,000 BTUs.

BTU Range Average Price
<7000 $180
7,000 – 8,999 $336
9,000-10,999 $380
11,000-12,999 $421
13,000+ $574

2. Average Cost of Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning is a top choice for keeping cool, but it needs pro installation. These units cool better than window units, with ratings from 12,000 to 30,000 BTUs.

They’re pricier, usually $2,000 to $10,000. Here’s the cost range for popular brands:

Central Air Conditioner Average Cost
Goodman $2,508
Kelvinator $2,791
Winchester $2,837

If you care more about cooling power than brand, here are the prices based on BTU:

BTUs Average Cost
12000-20000 $2,342
20000-30000 $2,468
30000+ $3,001

3. Portable Air Conditioners Average Cost

Let’s check out another type of air conditioner: the portable unit. These are small and perfect for cooling one room. They come with fewer options but still work well.

If you don’t need cooling all the time or want something you can move around without setting it up permanently, a portable air conditioner is a good choice. They’re affordable, averaging around $250. Plus, you don’t need to install them, which makes life easier.

Electricity Cost of AC Units

Planning to buy an air conditioner? You’ve got to consider how much it’ll cost to run it on electricity. It adds up over time. In the US, the average price is 15.85 cents per kWh (March 2023, Choose Energy). [2]

How much your bill goes up depends on how much energy the AC uses. I’ve got an estimate of monthly costs for different AC types, assuming you use them for 12 hours a day. Keep in mind, your actual bill might be different, but this gives you a good comparison.

Here’s an idea of what you might spend each month with different AC units:

AC Type Energy Consumption Estimated Monthly Cost
Central Air Conditioning 3.500 watts $172
Window Unit 1,440 watts $71
Split System 900 watts $44

AC Units Installation Costs

Installing AC units comes with varying costs and options. For those who like DIY projects, window units are simple and can cost about $30 if you install them yourself or hire a handyman.

But if you’re thinking about a central air conditioning system, it’s pricier. On average, it might set you back between $3,000 and $7,000. And if there’s ductwork needed or repairs, costs can go over $15,000.

These prices depend on what type of unit you choose and any extra work required. Knowing this helps you make smart choices based on your needs and budget when getting your AC installed.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Air Conditioning Units

  • Size and Power: Big air conditioners for large areas cost more because they need more stuff to work well. But if it’s too small, it won’t cool the space right, and too big means higher bills.
  • Saving Energy (SEER): Units that save energy might cost more upfront but save money later. The SEER rating tells you how good they are at using electricity for cooling. Higher SEER ratings mean more savings on energy bills in the long run.
  • Cool Extras: Some air conditioners have neat extras like smart thermostats or adjustable speeds. These add-ons might cost more, but they can make your AC more convenient and save energy. Think if these extras fit what you need before paying more.
  • Installation: Easy installs, like window units, are cheaper. Big systems might need changes to your place, making them costlier. Checking with pros about what your place needs can help you decide.

Tips for Choosing the Right Air Conditioning Unit

Choosing the right air conditioner can make a big difference in staying cool when it’s hot outside. Here are some simple tips to help you pick the perfect one:

  • Size and Cooling Capacity: Make sure the AC matches the size of your room. This helps it cool better without using too much energy.
  • Energy Saver: Look for ACs with a high SEER rating. These save electricity, which means lower bills for you and better for the environment.
  • Features You Need: Think about what you want, like remote controls or better air filters. Pick the features that make you most comfortable.
  • Noice Level: Check if the AC runs quietly, especially if you need it in a bedroom or a quiet space.
  • Budget-Friendly: Set a price range you’re okay with. Sometimes spending a bit more on an energy-efficient model can save you money in the long run.

Do a bit of research, compare different models, and read what others say about them. It’ll help you understand how well each AC works.