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Window Air Conditioning Cost

Window Air Conditioning Cost

National average
$494
(8,000 BTU window air conditioner for 340 sq.ft., installed)
Low: $238

(5,000 BTU window air conditioner for 150 sq.ft., uninstalled)

High: $1,530

(8,000 BTU window air conditioner for 340 sq.ft., installed)

Cost to install window air conditioning varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors in your city.

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Window Air Conditioning Cost

National average
$494
(8,000 BTU window air conditioner for 340 sq.ft., installed)
Low: $238

(5,000 BTU window air conditioner for 150 sq.ft., uninstalled)

High: $1,530

(8,000 BTU window air conditioner for 340 sq.ft., installed)

Cost to install window air conditioning varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from air-conditioning and heating contractors in your city.

The average cost of installing window air conditioning is $494​.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Window Air Conditioning?

Having a window air conditioning unit keeps a single room in your home cool during the hotter months of the year. If you do not need air conditioning regularly or your home does not have central air, a window AC unit may be right for you. Window air conditioning units come in several sizes, which are directly tied to the size of the room you are cooling. They come with a wide number of features, creating a range of prices for purchase and installation.

The national average range to purchase and install a window air conditioner is $200 to $1,000, with most people paying around $494 for a 8,000 BTU window unit with direct install and remote control.

Window AC Installation Cost

Window air conditioning installation costs
National average cost$494
Average range$200-$1,000
Minimum cost$238
Maximum cost$1,532


Window Air Conditioner Calculator

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NATIONAL COSTS
Average Cost
$494
Low Cost
$238
High Cost
$1,532
See Window Air Conditioner Calculator Breakdown 


Window Air Conditioner Price by Size

Your window air conditioner is sized to cool a specifically sized space. This is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units, which is the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The larger the space you are attempting to cool, the higher the number of BTUs you need.

Both heating systems and air conditioners use BTUs for size. With heating systems, you must take into account the size of the space and the climate. With window air conditioning units, consider the size of the area you are cooling as well as its ambient heat factor. For example, a bedroom that has a lot of shade and a single occupant is easier to cool than a kitchen of the same size that has several appliances and is used by the entire family.

Therefore, to accurately calculate how many BTUs are needed to cool the room, start with the room’s size and recommended BTUs and add 10% to that number for each of the following factors relevant to that space:

  • Rooms located on the second floor.
  • Rooms that see direct sunlight during the day.

In addition, if you have a room with more than two occupants, add 600 BTUs for each additional occupant that uses the space.

Finally, kitchens need roughly 4,000 more BTUs than other spaces. For example, a sunny kitchen with four occupants needs approximately 7,000 more BTUs than a bedroom.

The following chart determines the base BTUs per square foot and the average unit cost for that size. Keep in mind that you want to be close to this number, and going over is better than going under. You do not want to go above 20% over your calculated figure because this means the unit is too large, turning on and off more frequently and costing you more money and wearing out faster. A unit that is more than 10% smaller than the figure you calculate cannot adequately cool the space.

Keep in mind window units are meant to cool only the room they are in. So, if you want to cool multiple rooms, you need multiple units.

Window Air Conditioning Sizing Chart

Window Air Conditioning Sizing Chart


Room sizeBase BTUs neededAverage cost (unit only)
150 sq.ft.5,000$60-$150
250 sq.ft.6,000$70-$250
300 sq.ft.7,000$200-$500
550 sq.ft.12,000$350-$500
700 sq.ft.14,000$400-$500
1,000 sq.ft.18,000$500-$700


Window AC Unit Cost by Type

Size is only one consideration impacting the cost for your window AC unit. Window air conditioners also come in a few types, which vary in costs as well:

Window Air Conditioning Unit Cost


Air conditioner typeAverage cost (unit only)
Smart air conditioner$250-$500
Energy star rated air conditioners$300-$700
Window heat pump 2$500-$800


Smart Air Conditioners

Smart air conditioners hook up to your WiFi, allowing for remote temperature control from an app. They also hook up to your home automation system and work with Alexa and other devices.

Pros

  • Smart air conditioners allow speed or temperature changes from anywhere in the home.
  • Better control saves energy.
  • Some smart units learn habits and adjust as needed.

Cons

  • If your WiFi goes out, your unit may stop functioning.
  • They are accessible by people outside your home.

Energy Star Rated Air Conditioners

An Energy Star rated AC unit is more efficient than other models, often with varying speeds and more options.

Pros

  • Energy Star rated models save money on your energy bills.
  • They may have variable-speed fans that provide better control for the room temperature.
  • Rebates may be available to offset the cost.

Cons

  • They tend to cost more than other models.

Window Heat Pumps

If you want the option to heat or cool a room in your home from one unit, get a window heat pump. These units extract heat or cold from the air outside and transfer it indoors.

Pros

  • One unit provides heating and cooling needs.
  • No need to remove the unit at the end of the season.
  • Quieter than traditional air conditioning units.

Cons

  • More expensive than a standard window AC.
  • May require a special outlet, increasing installation costs.
  • Not as efficient at heating the room as it is at cooling it.

Window Air Conditioner Installation Cost

Many window air conditioning units can be installed by the homeowner. The units are equipped with kits that make the installation simple. However, if your window and air conditioning unit are not a good fit for one another, professional installation makes them more secure. The unit is installed by a handyman, an HVAC tech, or in some cases, by the store you purchased it from. Most professionals charge $50 to $150 for the project, depending on the difficulty level and whether the installation is permanent or not. In most installations, the unit is positioned in the open window, and the kit attached to either side of the unit, sliding outward to the window sill. It is either nailed into place or simply tightened by extending the sides, and then, the window is lowered down onto the top of the unit to hold it in place.

Temporary vs Permanent Window AC Installation

Most window air conditioning installations are designed to be temporary. They are put in at the start of the season and removed when the weather turns cold again. However, there are times when a permanent installation is the best solution. Low-profile units hang below the window, accessing only a small part of the window itself so that it does not block light. These units need to be permanently installed in their setup. This involves supporting the unit from below and arranging the window itself to be permanently above the section that accesses the outdoors, usually by locking it into place.

If you have a vertical window air conditioner and a casement window, the best installation involves cutting a piece of plywood to surround the unit, filling the gaps where it does not fill the frame, and suspending the unit through it, which is held by screws. The plywood is painted to blend in with the woodwork. This type of installation takes longer and is more expensive than using a readymade kit to hold the unit in place.

Temporary installations and permanent installations using a kit cost between $60 and $75, while permanent installations for discrete units and vertical units cost closer to $150 - $200 to install.

Window AC on living room


Portable AC vs Window AC

Window air conditioning units are not the only option for a single-room air conditioner. You also have the option of using a portable unit. Portable units are sized the same way as window units, and they also need to access a window. The difference is the portable unit is wheeled to the window where it sits on the floor. A kit helps connect the unit to the window via a hose.

Portable AC vs Window AC


AC typeCost (unit only)
Window air conditioners$60-$700
Portable air conditioners$300-$1,000


Portable AC Pros

  • Portable air conditioners are minimally visible from the outside, so they do not harm curb appeal.
  • They are easily set up and taken down and do not require professional help.
  • They are good for apartments and condos where window units are prohibited.

Portable AC Cons

  • Portable units are large, bulky, and need a significant amount of floor space.
  • They take up a lot of storage space when not in use.
  • These units are heavy and difficult to move and maneuver into storage.
  • They are not as efficient at cooling the space.

Window AC Pros

  • Window units are very efficient at cooling a room.
  • They have many sizes and appearance options, including those that minimize their appearance in the window outside.
  • They take up no floor space and reduce clutter.
  • They are generally smaller and easier to put away for storage.

Window AC Cons

  • Most units are visible from the outside.
  • They need to be installed and then taken back out if not designed for year-round use.
  • Improper placement causes them to fall from the window, potentially damaging them.

Window AC vs Wall AC

Another option for a room air conditioner is a wall-mounted AC unit. These are identical in most ways to a window unit, but they install directly into the wall rather than into the window. They are meant to be left in place year-round, even when not in use. They have similar costs for purchasing to window units but require more specialized installation, including cutting an opening into the wall, securing the unit, and caulking the opening.Window AC vs wall AC


AC typeCost (unit only)
Window air conditioners$60-$700
Wall air conditioners$200-$800

Wall AC Pros

  • It does not take up any floor space.
  • It comes in a range of models and sizes.
  • It does not require storage or lifting and reinstalling each year.

Wall AC Cons

  • More difficult installation.
  • More expensive installation.
  • Not a good option for apartments and some condos.
  • Poor air seal leads to drafts and higher winter energy bills.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Window Air Conditioner?

The cost to run a window air conditioner depends on many variables, including the unit size, its SEER energy rating, and the cost of electricity in your area. You need to know how many AMPs your unit draws, which depends on both its size and efficiency. You also need to know its wattage consumption. Many units plug into a 120-volt outlet, but larger units require a 240-volt outlet, which changes the wattage.

When you know your AMPs and your wattage, multiply these together to get your total wattage consumption. After this, convert it to kilowatts by dividing it by 1,000 to determine how many kilowatts per hour your AC consumes. Kilowatts per hour (kWh) = (Amps x Watts)/(1,000).

Next, find the electricity rate in your area. This is listed on your electric bill. Multiply the cost per hour by the number of kilowatts per hour (kWh) that your AC consumes to get the cost of running your air conditioning unit for one hour.

The table below shows the average costs of running a window unit each summer. Your cost may be much higher or lower, depending on your SEER rating, the electricity cost in your area, and how many hours each day and days a year you run the unit.

How Much Does It Cost To Run a Window Air Conditioner


AC sizeYearly cost
5,000 BTUs$41
6,000 BTUs$47
8,000 BTUs$62
10,000 BTUs$78
12,000 BTUs$93


Cost to Replace a Window Air Conditioning Unit

In most cases, replacing a unit with one of the same size is identical to the cost of installing a new one. There are slight variations in cost, depending on the size and style of the unit. For example, replacing a small, temporary unit with a larger permanent unit increases the project size. However, replacing a unit with one of the same size and style has the same costs as installing a new one.

Cost to Recharge a Window Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner stops producing cold air, it needs new refrigerants. This is known as recharging the unit. Most window units are recharged by the homeowner using a kit containing the refrigerant and the necessary equipment for less than $100. If you choose to have your window unit professionally recharged, it costs around $250.

Cost to Repair a Window Air Conditioner

The average cost to repair a window air conditioner is around $250, with recharging the unit the most common type of repair. Other repairs include cleaning the unit if dirt is causing it to freeze or replacing small parts that have worn out. However, if the motor died or you have more than one issue with the unit, it is often more cost-effective to replace it.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Thermostat Installation Cost

Making any additions or changes to your heating or cooling system is a good time to get a new thermostat so that you have better control of the temperature in a room. The average thermostat installation cost is $145 - $230.

Accessories

Most window air conditioners come with a full set of accessories for installation, including a cover, skirt, insulation, side panels, and brackets. These are also available to purchase separately:

  • Insulation costs $10 - $25.
  • Side panel kits cost $20 - $30.
  • Covers cost $25 - $60.
  • Skirts cost $25 - $75.
  • Brackets cost $100 - $150.

Outlet Installation Cost

Install a 240-volt outlet if you do not have an outlet near the unit or if your unit requires a 240-volt outlet as opposed to 120 volts. This costs around $120 - $200.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Most window units are fairly low maintenance, but some require filter changes or regular cleaning to work at their best.
  • Almost all window units are DIY installations. Simply raise the window and remove the screen, set the unit on the sill, and extend the side kit to fit snuggly. Lower the window to hold it in place while you tighten the sides.
  • Always get at least 3 estimates from every HVAC contractor. This allows you to compare costs and services and make a more informed decision about who should do the work.
  • Not all window units fit every window. Some are designed for casement windows and are too tall for double-hung, while others may be sill-style units that need a specific mounting. Always check to see what type of window is recommended for the unit you purchase.
  • If you want to ensure privacy for your window, consider installing a blind or shade that lowers without blocking the air conditioning unit the way that curtains or drapes do.
  • While most homeowners can install any unit type, if you live in a condo or apartment or have a strict HOA, you may be limited in what types of units you are allowed to use. Always check with your management or the HOA board before investing.

FAQ

  • Does Lowes install window air conditioners?

Yes, this is done per store, and each has its own costs.

  • Does Home Depot install window AC units?

Yes, this is done per store, and each has its own costs.

  • Are window AC units hard to install?

Window AC units are not hard to install. Most are installed in just a few minutes.

  • How much does it cost to install an air conditioner in the wall?

The average cost to install a wall unit is around $500, including the unit.

  • How much does it cost to install a window air conditioner?

The average cost of the unit and installation is around $494, with installation being $50 to $150 of that amount.

  • Should a window air conditioner be tilted?

A window AC unit does not necessarily need to be tilted, but most should be supported from below if they are tilted.

  • How much does it cost to run a window air conditioner?

This cost ranges depending on the unit size and the cost of electricity in your area. Most cost between $40 and $90 a year to run.

  • Is it cheaper to run a window air conditioner or central air?

Window units only cool a single room, while central air cools the entire home. When installing a window unit in each room, it costs more to run than central air. However, cooling a single room with a window unit is less expensive than cooling the whole home with central air.

  • Do window AC units use a lot of electricity?

This depends on the unit size and its SEER energy rating. Most people find they cost between $40 and $90 to run per year.

  • How much does it cost to replace an air conditioner?

The average cost to replace a window unit is $500, while the average cost to replace central air conditioning is $7,000.

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Cost to install window air conditioning varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

AC installed on home window

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Anchorage, AK
+35%
Ashland, NH
+22%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Blakeslee, PA
-14%
Boston, MA
+40%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Coldwater, MI
-21%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fontana, CA
+6%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Grand Prairie, TX
+6%
Hartford, CT
+23%
Hempstead, NY
+31%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntington Beach, CA
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Intervale, NH
+1%
Irvine, CA
+23%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Laurel, MT
-12%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New York, NY
+77%
Pensacola, FL
-19%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Portland, OR
+11%
Reno, NV
0%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
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