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When it comes to air conditioning and HVAC repair, the most costly expense is always electricity. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the amount of electricity your HVAC unit consumes. Here are the easiest and most common answers: 


  1. Make sure you purchase an HVAC unit with a high EER, SEER, or CEER energy efficiency rating. These rating systems grade units on their average energy consumption compared to their output. 
  2. Simply lowering the number of hours each day that your unit is on. It is incredible how much of a difference this makes


While these numbers depend on when your last HVAC repair was, the age of your unit, the brand, the size, and many other factors, the average cost of running an HVAC unit is $0.06 to $0.88 per hour. While that might not seem like a huge range, when put into cost per month, it is very significant. If you run the low end of 8 hours a day for a month, vs the high-end for the same you get these monthly cost numbers: 


  • Low – $14.40 per month
  • High – $211.20 per month


These prices are significantly different but it should be noted that the difference between the two is heavily dependent on the size of your unit, as HVAC units have a very wide variety. 


Every HVAC unit is unique


Every unit is going to have its own unique energy efficiency statistics, such as HVAC repair difficulty, size, and much more. However, there are plenty of ways to estimate the cost of your unit running on an hourly basis.  


Estimated Costs based on the most common units


The most common air conditioning units can be broken down into three main categories:


  1. Portable units (5,000 BTU – 15,000 BTU)
  2. Window units (5,000 BTU – 20,000 BTU)
  3. Mini-split units (12,000 BTU – 48,000 BTU)


If we make assumptions, such as that all of these units have an energy efficiency rating of 10, we can estimate the cost to run each. 


Portable Units 


5,000 BTU: $0.07 per hour

8,000 BTU: $0.11 per hour

12,000 BTU: $0.16 per hour

15,000 BTU: $0.20 per hour 


Window Units 


5,000 BTU: $0.07 per hour

10,000 BTU: $0.14 per hour

15,000 BTU: $0.20 per hour 

20,000 BTU: $0.26 per hour


Mini Split unit 


12,000 BTU: $0.16 per hour 

24,000 BTU: $0.32 per hour 

36,000 BTU: $0.48 per hour 

48,000 BTU: $0.64 per hour 


Keep in mind that all of the estimates above are under the assumption that the HVAC unit is running at one hundred percent power. Most units only run at one hundred percent when they first start, so they can move the room’s temperature to the temperature set on the thermostat. Then the unit will work at less than eighty percent to maintain that temperature. For a more accurate estimate, it is recommended that you ask the advice of a professional. RSP Heating and Cooling is a trusted Southern Illinois HVAC repair technician, that would be happy to answer any questions you may have or service your unit. Contact us today!

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