Window AC unit cost
A window air conditioner installation costs$300 to $1,100for the unit and labor. Window AC prices are$150 to $800on average for the unit alone, depending on the BTU size, brand, efficiency, and features. The cost to run a window AC is$12 to $120 per month.
|National average cost||$640|
|Average cost range||$300 to $1,100|
* Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Window air conditioners last 8 to 10 years.
Wall-mounted or through-the-wall AC units cost $700 to $2,400
In comparison, installing central air conditioning costs $2,500 to $7,500.
Window AC installation cost
Professional window AC installation costs$150 to $300for labor alone and takes approximately 2 hours. Electrical or window modifications increase the installation time and costs.
|Remove and dispose of old window AC unit*||$50 – $200|
|New window AC unit||$150 – $800|
|Installation labor||$150 – $300|
|Total installation cost||$300 – $1,100|
Get free quotes from window AC installers.
The following factors affect the installation cost:
Hiring an electrician costs $50 to $130 per hour for labor.
Adding an electrical outlet costs $150 to $350 if an existing outlet is not within reach of the installation area.
Installing a dedicated circuit costs $250 to $900, depending on the wiring needed.
Hiring an HVAC contractor costs $75 to $150 per hour for labor to install the window unit.
Removal and disposal of the old window AC unit costs $50 to $200, depending on local recycling and the freon removal fees.
Weatherstripping material costs $5 to $10 to seal around the window frame, preventing air from escaping or entering. AC units often come with weatherstripping.
Window frame repair costs $150 to $600. Modifications are required to install a window AC unit in a casement or sliding window.
Window glass replacement costs $150 to $500 if the glass is damaged during installation.
Permanent installation requires additional sealing and protection of the exterior components against the weather at an added cost.
Window AC unit prices vs. through-the-wall or portable
|Type||Unit cost||Total cost installed|
|Window AC unit||$150 – $800||$300 – $1,100|
|Portable AC unit*||$200 – $900||$200 – $900|
|Wall-mounted AC unit||$400 – $1,800||$700 – $2,400|
*No installation required.
Window air conditioner prices
Window air conditioner prices are$150 to $800on average for the unit alone. Extra-large window AC models with heating and cooling features cost$550 to $1,000+.
|Cooling area (square feet)||BTUs||Price range|
|150 – 350||5,000 – 8,000 BTU||$150– $520|
|350 – 550||8,000 – 12,000 BTU||$220 – $570|
|550 – 1,000||12,000 – 18,000 BTU||$300 – $800|
|1,050 – 1,600||18,500 – 25,000 BTU||$550 – $1,000|
Window AC prices depend on:
Cooling capacity (size) – Larger and warmer rooms require bigger units with more BTUs to cool the space.
Brand – High-end brands like LG and Panasonic cost more but provide a longer lifespan and better warranty.(Video) Top 5 - Best Air Conditioner (2023)｜5 Best Window Air Conditioners
Energy-efficiency – Energy Star-rated units cost more upfront but are more efficient and save on electric bills over time.
Features – Units with programmable timers, remote controls, adjustable fan speeds, dehumidifying, and sleep modes typically cost more.
Smart controls – Wi-Fi smart air conditioners are better at saving energy and maintaining a comfortable room temperature. Most smart air conditioners can be controlled via an app.
Wall AC unit cost
A through-the-wall AC unit costs$700 to $2,400installed. A through-the-wall unit is quieter than a window unit but is more permanent and expensive because the installation requires cutting a large hole in the exterior wall.
Installation may include these additional expenses:
Drywall repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot or $40 to $100 per hour for labor.
Siding repair costs $2 to $14 per square foot, depending on the material and location.
Spray foam insulation costs $0.25 to $0.50 per board foot for open-cell foam.
Aductless mini-split AC costs$2,000 to $6,000for a single-zone system or$3,200 to $10,500for a 3-zone system with installation. A mini-split indoor unit may be mounted on a wall and provides cooling with no unsightly components protruding from the window.
Portable AC unit prices
A portable AC unit costs$200 to $900for the unit alone. A self-contained portable unit is freestanding and does not require permanent installation. Portable units use a hose to vent hot air to the outside through a window, wall, ceiling, or door.
Cost to run a window AC unit
The cost to run a window AC unit is$12 to $120 per month, depending on the BTU size, Energy Efficiency Rating (EER), local utility rates, and how often the unit runs.
|Size||Cost per hour||Cost per day*||Cost per month*|
|5,000 BTU||$0.05 – $0.12||$0.40 – $1.00||$12.00 – $30.00|
|8,000 BTU||$0.08 – $0.20||$0.60 – $1.60||$18.00 – $50.00|
|12,000 BTU||$0.12 – $0.30||$1.00 – $2.40||$30.00 – $70.00|
|15,000 BTU||$0.15 – $0.40||$1.20 – $3.20||$36.00 – $96.00|
|18,000 BTU||$0.20 – $0.50||$1.60 – $4.00||$48.00 – $120.00|
*Running 8 hours per day.
Other factors also impact the cost to run a window AC unit:
A unit with a higher Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER) reduces utility costs.
Hot and humid summers require longer AC running times, increasing energy usage.
Pre-program the thermostat or use a smart thermostat to save on energy costs.
Replace AC filters frequently to keep the unit running at maximum efficiency.
Is it cheaper to use central air or window units?
A Window AC unit is cheaper to install and costs less to run than a central air conditioning system. Central air conditioning costs$2,500 to $7,500to replace an AC unit alone or$6,000 to $12,000for installations requiring new ductwork.
|Factor||Window AC unit||Central air conditioning|
|Installation cost||$300 – $1,100||$2,500 – $7,500|
|Monthly cost to run||$12 – $120||$80 – $200|
Find top-rated AC installers in your city.
Window AC unit FAQs
How long do window AC units last?
A window AC unit lasts8 to 10 yearson average but can last up to 20 years if properly sized and maintained. A unit that leaks air or is too small for the space works harder and fails sooner.
Clean a window AC units' filter monthly to prolong the unit's lifespan.
What size window AC do I need?
The ideal window AC unit size depends on the room size and usage. A window AC unit's cooling capacity is sized in British thermal units (BTU).
|Room size (square feet)||Window AC size|
|150 – 350||5,000 – 8,000 BTU|
|350 – 550||8,000 – 12,000 BTU|
|550 – 1,000||12,000 – 18,000 BTU|
|1,050 – 1,600||18,500 – 25,000 BTU|
Other factors that affect the required BTU size include:
Room size – A window air conditioner should be sized for 20 BTUs per square foot of living space.
Room purpose – Add 4,000 BTUs for kitchens, offices with computers and electronics, or other warmer spaces.
Occupancy – If more than two people regularly occupy the room, add 600 BTUs for each additional person.
Sunlight – Increase the capacity by 10% for west-facing or sunny rooms.
Shade – Reduce the capacity by 10% if the room is heavily shaded.
Can I install a window AC myself?
Window AC installation is a simple DIY project for handy homeowners. Hire a professional HVAC contractor or skilled handyman if electrical or window modifications are needed.
Follow these steps to install your window AC unit:
Measure the window opening and select the model that fits the dimensions.
Inspect around the window for rot or damage and confirm the window can support the weight of the AC unit. Add a support bracket if necessary.
Slide the accordion panels onto both sides of the unit if not preassembled.
Center the unit in the open window resting on the support bracket or window frame.
Confirm the bottom flange is flush against the windowsill.
Trim the piece of foam weatherstripping to an appropriate length and insert it between the window sashes.
Pull the window sash down behind the upper flange for stability.
Use screws to attach the top and bottom of the unit to the window.
Extend the accordion panels from the sides of the air conditioner and secure them with screws to seal out the outside air. Add more weatherstripping to each side if needed.
Confirm the nearest electrical outlet can safely power the unit. Larger units pull more energy and need a dedicated outlet to handle the increased current requirements.
Power up the air conditioner.
Never plug a window AC unit into an extension cord.
Do window AC units use a lot of electricity?
A window AC unit uses500 to 1,500 wattsof electricity on average, more than most home appliances but less than a central air conditioner. Energy Star-rated units with higher CEER ratings use less energy.
Check the yellow EnergyGuide label on the unit for annual energy consumption and operating costs.
Where to buy window AC units
Window AC units are sold at most appliance and home improvement stores, including Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, and Best Buy. When comparing models, consider warranty coverage and available rebates in addition to the unit price.
Still have questions? Ask a pro.
Hiring a handyman or window AC installer
When hiring a window AC installer, be sure to:
Look for a handyperson or an HVAC contractor that has been in business for 5+ years.
Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Get at least three estimates to compare. Confirm the equipment is comparable in the estimates.
Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
Never pay in full up front. Follow a payment schedule instead.
Questions to ask
What experience do you have with installing window AC units?
What size window AC unit do you recommend for my home?
Does your estimate include all labor and materials in addition to the window AC unit?
Will you provide a list of references with contact information?
May I have a copy of your insurance policy for my records?
Does the window AC unit come with a manufacturer's warranty?
Do you guarantee your work or offer an extended warranty?(Video) Best Window Air Conditioner 2023 - The Only 5 You Should Consider Today
The average homeowner spends about $313 on installing a window AC unit. Most spend between $139 and $524 , depending on the size, labor, and window repairs. A window AC unit costs about $313 , including professional installation.How much does it cost to install a window unit AC? ›
The average homeowner spends about $313 on installing a window AC unit. Most spend between $139 and $524 , depending on the size, labor, and window repairs. A window AC unit costs about $313 , including professional installation.How much should I expect to pay for a new AC unit? ›
The average cost of a new AC is $5,856, but it can range from $3,800 to $7,500. This price is for a central AC unit. Other types of air conditioning systems, such as a window or portable unit, cost less.What does AC installation include? ›
Installation price for split AC will cover following:
Mounting and installation of indoor unit on wall, Making hole on wall for taking out copper tubes and filling it with white cement, Placing the outdoor unit at serviceable location, Interconnection of copper pipes. Connection the wiring and commissioning the units.
A typical air conditioner installation typically takes between 4 and 8 hours to complete.Can anyone install a window AC? ›
Installing a window AC unit is a simple DIY project. It requires minimal heavy lifting, and tightening a few screws. For a little effort you get a cool room to enjoy during the warm season. Many window air conditioners can also provide heating for a chilly room.How many square feet will a window air conditioner cool? ›
In general, a 5,000 to 6,000 BTU air conditioner can cool between 100 and 300 square feet. Seven thousand to 8,200 BTU units are adequate for cooling 250 to 550 square feet, while 9,800 to 12,500 BTU models cool up to 950 square feet. Prices start at just under $100 and depending on size, go up from there.Why are new AC units so expensive? ›
No industry remains untouched with its impact, which filters down to the air conditioning or the HVAC industry as well. The manufacturers now have to pay a greater price to procure the materials. As a result, the manufacturing cost increases, and so does the selling price.How long does it take to replace a new AC unit? ›
Installing a new AC system can take anywhere from 2-8 hours, depending on the size of the unit and the complexity of the installation. That said, it's always best to be proactive and take care of your AC system before the heat hits.How long should an AC unit last? ›
Modern air conditioners can last between 15-20 years, and older air conditioners last around 10-12 years. The health and efficiency of your A/C depends on a number of factors, including whether or not you properly maintained the unit throughout its lifetime.
On average, you'll pay about $5,900 to install a central AC unit. AC installation costs vary by type. The average cost of split AC installation is $4,000, though it can be as high as $16,100 for systems with multiple units. A window unit installed as a DIY can cost just $200.What do I need to know before installing AC? ›
- Cost: It is a common practice to purchase the least expensive AC systems to save up costs. ...
- Quality: ...
- Size: ...
- Efficient Ductwork: ...
- Energy Consumption: ...
- Air Quality: ...
- Durability: ...
In general, wall and window air conditioning units with smaller capacities can typically run for up to eight hours at a time before they need to rest. Larger wall and window units have a longer running time of around 10 to 12 hours, depending on their cooling power.Do window AC units cost a lot to run? ›
Not only are window AC units fairly affordable for the average consumer, they don't cost very much to run. Especially compared to a central AC unit, window units don't use very much electricity. A window AC requires on average 500 to 1,440 watts to run, while a central unit uses upwards of 3,500 watts.Is it more expensive to run central air or a window unit? ›
Especially compared to a central AC unit, window units don't use very much electricity. A window AC requires on average 500 to 1,440 watts to run, while a central unit uses upwards of 3,500 watts. If you only need to cool a small space, window ACs are much more cost effective than central AC units.Is it expensive to run a window AC? ›
How much does it cost to run a window AC? You can run a window AC unit for an average of $0.13 per hour, though the operating cost ranges from $0.06 to $0.19 per hour, depending on how powerful the unit is.Is it cheaper to run a fan or a window air conditioner? ›
Fans are cheaper to run than air conditioners, and can be used in place of air conditioners or along with them to save money. If you have a ceiling fan, run it at the same time as the AC. It pushes cooler air down and over the bodies of the people in the room.What are the disadvantages of window air conditioner? ›
- Window AC units can be a security risk, especially if placed on ground level. ...
- Windows need to be properly sized to fit the AC unit, and have an electrical outlet in range. ...
- It is hard to direct where the water drains. ...
- Some might feel they are a bit of an eye sore.