Before purchasing a portable air conditioner, you’ll want to be certain that running it doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet. That’s why it’s necessary to determine how much you will spend on your air conditioning equipment, which will be based on a number of factors.
Portable air conditioners are quite different from HVACs in many regards, and although they are more economical to run compared to HVACs, they can come at a hefty cost. The benefits provided by these portable air conditioners are not free, and there can be chains of other cost elements such as maintenance, repairs, and electricity charge. All these factors must be considered carefully before you can conclude on whether or not running a portable air conditioner is expensive.
Electricity charge estimation
Since the major determinant of the running cost of your portable air conditioner is electricity charge, it can actually tell us if running a portable air conditioner is expensive or not. Primarily, the basic term used in electricity charge is BTU which means British Thermal Unit, which is the measurement used for the cooling capacity of air conditioners.
The cooling capacity of most air conditioners are stated in tons. 1-ton is equivalent to 12,000 BTUs. That means a 36,000 BTU air conditioner has the cooling capacity of 3-tons.
To know the cost of BTUs, you will need to convert the BTUs to kilowatt-hours (kWh). Thus, 12,000 BTU portable air conditioner consumes approximately 3.5kWh, 24,000 BTUs consumes 7.33kWh, and 36,000 BTUs consumes 10.56kWh. With the above you can easily find out how many kilowatt-hours your portable air conditioner consumes per hour.
Furthermore, the average amount charged on electricity use is 11.88 cents per kWh. Note that power consumption is usually calculated on a per hour basis. Therefore, if your portable air conditioner consumes 3.5kWh, the electricity charge will be $0.41 for one hour. So for 8 hours per day the electricity charge will be $3.33, and for 30 days the electricity charge will be $100.
Size of space being cooled
If your reason for purchasing a portable air conditioner is to cool a large space, you might want to reconsider your purchase. Portable air conditioners are usually ideal for smaller spaces, since they can end up working overtime if the space is too large, which hikes up your electricity bill. A wall mounted or window AC unit might do that as well, however, they are usually a bit more efficient at cooling larger spaces, and will therefore not need to work as hard to cool the space. Before purchasing, always check the size of the space you want to cool and whether a portable air conditioner will be able to cool it efficiently and in a costly manner.
Following the simple steps above will give you a good estimate of how much you spend on the daily electricity cost of your portable air conditioner. When other cost elements like maintenance cost and repair or replacement cost are added to the electricity cost, then you can accurately determine the total running cost of your AC.