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How Much Does It Cost To Run an Air Conditioner?

How Much Will It Cost Me to Run My Air Conditioner?

The weather is hot and you’re almost to the point that you don’t care how much it costs, but let’s take a look!

how much does it cost to run ac wallet image

The Cost Equation

Although costs can vary, you can generally predict the cost of running your air conditioner by doing a little math!

Disclaimer: the following is based on costs for Ohio homes and average electricity costs. If you live in a different state you may need to research your individual costs.

Let’s assume that you live here in Columbus, Ohio and you want to predict what it will cost to run your air conditioner.

Let’s say that it’s REALLY hot out and your air conditioner runs for 10 hours per day (during a 24 hour period).

Right now, the average cost per kilowatt hour of electricity in Columbus, Ohio is about 12.65 cents.

Sounds cheap right? Well we have some bigger numbers we are about to throw in the equation.

Important Equipment Numbers Needed

Air conditioners are powered based on a measure of total amperage. Here’s a basic breakdown:

  • 2 Ton AC = 15 amps
  • 3 Ton AC = 18 amps
  • 4 Ton AC = 21 amps

Also, we need to note that the standard power plug for an air conditioner is a standard 240 volts. If yours is different, adjust accordingly.

Now, we need to calculate the total wattage utilized based on these numbers. So, let’s do some math! We will use a standard 3 ton AC as an example.

18 amps x 240 volts = 4,320 total watts used.

Divided this by 1,000 to get your kilowatt per hour usage.

So 4,320 is now 4.32 kilowatts used per hour.

Calculating Using Your Electricity Costs

Now, let’s throw the electricity costs in!

4.32 killowats used per hour x 12.65 cents (cost per kilowatt hour in Columbus) = 54.65 cents an hour.

Yep, a standard 3 ton AC will cost you a whopping 55 cents an hour to run assuming the previous numbers.

This may not sound like much but it can add up quick. Let’s keep calculating.

55 cents (cost to run AC for 1 hour) x 10 hours per day = $5.50 per day to run air conditioner

Let’s say it’s hot every day of the month and you run it for 30 days. So:

$5.50 per day x 30 days = $165 per month to run your air conditioner for 10 hours per day. 

Add this onto your other electrical charges and your electric bill can get pretty big!

Variables To Consider

If you live in a different state or your cost per kilowatt hour is not 12.65 cents per hour, just change the numbers above to calculate your cost to run your air conditioner.

Keep in mind, if you have a high-efficiency air conditioner, your costs may be lower due to it not using as much power.