How Does an Air Conditioner Really Affect Your Monthly Energy Bill?

Air Conditioning Units Energy Efficiency

Many people have the misconception that an AC typically uses less electricity than a common electric heater. However, this isn’t always true, especially for larger units designed to cover a room or an area of greater square footage. Air conditioning is costly, especially in warmer areas and where the insulation of the building doesn’t help you too much. So it’s a good idea to have a clear picture of how much your AC will cost you before you consider purchasing a new unit or turning on your old one to heat your home or building on a regular basis.


If you’re using a central Denver air conditioning system, the average consumption you can expect per day will be somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 watts. This usually depends on the size of the area you want to heat – with the larger value being assigned to a larger square footage.


To calculate how much you have to pay for that, let’s say you use your AC about 3 hours a day on average. At a price of $0.15 per kWh, you can expect about $47 per month or $570 per year. Of course in places like Hawaii, where electricity is more expensive, that amount can even be double.


Remember that this is just the amount you’d pay to run your AC for 3 hours per day. If there’s a heat wave and you have to run it more extensively, you can expect to pay even more. So make sure you are fully aware from the start of the type and size of AC you can afford and the number of hours you can afford to run it each day.