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Window Air Conditioning Unit Cost Guide

Without central air conditioning running throughout the home, residents may get uncomfortably hot and sticky during the warmer summer months. While fans can be a temporary solution, they won't do much to combat particularly high temperatures or humidity. Installing a window AC unit can be a smart choice for homeowners who are on a limited budget. Use this guide to learn more about the pros and cons of window AC units as well as the various costs associated with buying and installing them.


  • Average Minimum Cost of Window AC Units: $150 per unit
  • Average Maximum Cost of Window AC Units: $750 per unit

Advantages of a Window AC Unit

The major advantages of having a window AC unit as the primary means of cooling a space include localized cooling, low costs and simple installation. Rather than paying to cool an entire home whenever the resident feels warm, they can turn on a window AC unit and enjoy rapid cooling when and where it is needed. In addition, installing a window AC unit is straightforward, and most homeowners are able to do it themselves or with the help of a friend. Not needing professional installation can keep costs low. Finally, the expense of buying a window AC unit is marginal compared to the cost of installing an entire whole-home split-system or ductwork to run cool air.

Disadvantages of a Window AC Unit

While there are advantages to have a window AC unit, homeowners should also be aware of the potential drawbacks. These include noise, uneven cooling in the home, reduced curb appeal and limited views from inside the house.

The noise of a window AC unit can be frustrating, especially when used in bedrooms, as it can make it hard to sleep. Unless there are window units in every room of the house, they can also result in uneven cooling. Since window units are visible from inside the home as well as from the exterior of the home, they reduce curb appeal and limit interior views, which can both reduce the total value of the home.

Choosing the Right BTU for the Space

A primary factor that will influence the cost of the window AC unit will be BTU, or British Thermal Unit, that dictates how much energy is used. To cool a small 200 square-foot room, for example, a window AC unit with just 6,000 BTUs may be sufficient. For a larger space, such as a 900 square-foot room, homeowners will need closer to 15,000 BTUs, which will increase the price of the unit and the user's monthly energy bill.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Window AC Units

Additional elements that might influence the total cost of a window AC unit could include the following:

  • Size of the window AC unit
  • Quality of the unit
  • Whether the window AC unit is new or used
  • Higher EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratings, increase purchase cost
  • Multiple settings for cooling and fan function
  • Manual vs electronic control can affect price

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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