How much will a portable air conditioner raise my electric bill?

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Are you worried about how you will survive this summer because you don’t have an AC or the old one has broken? Why not give it a shot for a portable AC unit this time?

Portable air conditioner are gaining more popularity these days because of their extensive convenient usage. It can be a great alternative to the complex HVAC systems as they balance between bulky air conditioners and basic fans. 

However, one of the most common things people are curious about portable air conditioners is the energy costs they have.

Well, there are a whole bunch of things to consider to understand how much will a portable air conditioner raise my electric bill. Stay with the article to know about every aspect of a portable air conditioner that can raise or lower your energy bills. 

How much will a portable air conditioner raise my electric bill?

The best part about portable air conditioners is, they are self-contained and mobile. Running your home on portable air conditioners may seem convenient.

However, what about the energy costs for the unit? If you’re wondering how much will a portable air conditioner raise my electric bill, here is what you should know: 

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  • Understand how it’s calculated

Air conditioners come in different sizes, which have to decide depending on the size of your room or house.

If you’re familiar with conventional split air conditioners, you might have heard a term called ton to declare the size of an AC. Usually, a split air conditioner comes between 12,000 to 48000 BTUs or more while a window AC comes within 5000 to 20000 BUTs. 

  • Decide the BTUs you need

For a portable air conditioner, you can find one anywhere between 2000 to 15000 BTUs. However, you want to get at least a 5000 BTUs unit to cover a small room without struggling.

You need 20 BTUs for a square foot of your room; calculate how much square foot you have and decide the size of your AC. The energy consumption rating of the AC depends on how many BTUs it works with. 

  • Calculate the energy cost for your AC

To understand the whole process, in short, let’s assume you have a portable AC unit or planning to get one.

For the EER rating, you’re getting a unit with EER 10, which is the least rating you must not fall behind. The average cost of per kWh electricity in the US is $0.1319, so you can now calculate the bill you’re going to get. 

  • Cost per day and month

If it’s a 5000 BTU portable AC unit, it will cost you $0.07 per hour, and the larger sized 15000 BTU unit will cost you $0.20 per hour.

Now you can calculate how much you’re going to pay for energy consumption with your AC unit. If you’re running an AC with 8000 BTUs of cooling power in it for 8 hours in a day for 30 straight days, it will cost you less than a dollar a day and $26.4 a month. 

  • Is it more costly than split AC?

Now for the truth, if you’ve been using a split AC and now planning for a new AC, is it worth getting a portable one? Or is it going to raise the bills? Well, the smallest size of the split AC unit, which is 1 ton or 12000 BTUs, will cost you $0.16 per hour.

So, you’re paying $1.28 per hour and $38.4 a month if you’re running it for 8 hours for 30 straight days. As you can see, you’re not really behind the line when you’re using a portable unit compared to a permanent split unit.

On top of that, a portable unit gives you a ton of extra facilities that you cannot get from a split unit, especially for multiple rooms. 

How do I lower my energy bills with a portable air conditioner? 

Considering the BTU range, the bigger the AC unit is, the higher the energy cost will be. Putting that rule of thumb aside, here are some tips for you to lower the energy bills of a portable air conditioner: 

  • Give it a shade: The sunlight from the window increases the heat inside your room and pushes your AC to work more, only to raise the bills. Make a shade to block the sunlight. 
  • Use fans: If you have fans in your room, make use of them and let them circulate the air and keep it cool. They can help your AC to cool more with less work. Efficiency! 
  • Keep the door shut: You don’t want to cool the entire neighborhood. Keep your doors and windows shut while using an air conditioner inside your room. 
  • Reduce heat sources: There is no point in cooling the room if you already have a heat source to heat up the room. Reduce the heat sources before you start using an AC. 

Frequently asked questions 

Here are the most frequently asked questions about using portable air conditioners that you might find interesting and helpful: 

Is it OK for an air conditioner to run all day?

There are no problems running an air conditioner all day, but you should avoid running it like so. You’ll dry up the air, strain the AC, and get a hefty energy bill for running the AC all day.

What is the best AC temperature to sleep?

The ideal AC temperature for an AC is 60° F to 67° F (15.55°C to 19°C) while you’re sleeping. However, the temperature may vary depending on the place, person, and weather. 

Does Portable AC use a lot of electricity?

A portable AC unit uses electricity as low as one-eighth of the cost a central AC will give you. It’s also cheaper than most split AC units and can get you better energy efficiency if used properly.

Final thought

Using a portable air conditioner comes with some advantages that you cannot get from any other types of AC systems.

You can get it anywhere and start a cool moment no matter which room you go to. However, one of the most common questions while getting any energy-consuming product is the bills you pay for it. 

If you’ve been wondering how much will a portable air conditioner raise my electric bill, you now have a systematic answer to that question. Covering any room in your house and keeping it cool requires a larger portable AC unit size.

Choose a portable AC with a higher EER rating and never neglect the importance of the maintenance to get the best service from it cost-effectively.