How Much Does Your Air Conditioner Cost to Run?

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Arizona homeowners often dread summer because of the energy bill spike they experience when temperatures start to climb. After months of relatively low utility costs, it can be downright painful to open that first bill of the summer. In fact, it’s these bills that often propel homeowners to investigate the possibility of going solar. And they should!

In Arizona, consumers spend double the national average on air conditioning, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. For many, summer utility bills increase by hundreds of dollars just to keep the indoor temperature in a comfortable range. 

Of course, there are strategies to reduce air conditioning operating costs. By choosing a unit with a high SEER rating, it will cost less to cool your home. Smarter thermostats also help by enabling greater control over air conditioner usage. And of course, a properly installed, maintained HVAC system is always more cost-effective than one that has been neglected. But the fact remains that air conditioning is expensive, and as energy costs continue to rise, so will the cost of staying cool.

Crunching the Numbers

To determine how much your air conditioner actually costs, you need to know the amps drawn by the unit. A typical 16 SEER, 2-ton air conditioner draws about 15 amps. For 3-tons, it’s 18 amps, and for 4-tons 21 amps. Now, you’ll multiply the amps by 240 watts since a typical whole-home air conditioner uses a 240-volt power outlet. So, if you have a 3-ton unit, you can estimate that your wattage consumed is 4,320. Next, divide the wattage by 1000 to determine the kWh – 4,320 watts / 1000 = 4.32 kWh.

You can find your kWh unit cost on your utility bill to find out exactly how much you’re spending on air conditioning by the hour. The formula to get this calculation is kWh x  kWh unit cost = cost to operate an air conditioner for an hour.

There’s an “Alternative” Solution

Here in the Valley of the Sun, we have the advantage of sun. Lots of it! By going solar, you can break free of summer utility bill spikes and frustrating energy cost hikes that seem to be coming more and more frequently. Isn’t it time to see how the sun can help you stay comfortable all year round with a little more money in your pocket? Call Cool Blew Solar today to learn more.