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How Much Does Air Conditioning Cost Per Month?


Everyone hates their electricity bill. Especially in the summer.

It always seems to get higher along with the temperature.

But how much are you actually spending on air conditioning each month? More importantly, is there a more affordable way to stay cool?

Central Air Conditioning Costs About $68.40 Per Month

We based this math on an air conditioner with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of 13 and a cooling capacity of 3.6 kilowatt hours (kWh) at 24,000 British thermal units (BTU) per hour. This will cool a home of up to 1,5000 square feet.

Unless you’ve upgraded in the last few years, a SEER rating of 13 will most likely be the closest rating to your current air conditioner. It’s also the minimum rating for an upgrade under Canada’s energy regulations.

Air conditioning costs per month in Calgary are dependent on current electricity rates. We took the average of 4 electricity company rates in the month of July to reach the cost of 7.9 cents/kWH.

To find out how much your air conditioning costs per month, we first need to figure out the cost per hour.

0.079 x 3.6 = 28.5 cents per hour of air conditioning.

Monthly costs will vary depending on how much you use your air conditioner and the temperature outside. For this example, we’ll use 8 hours a day, or 240 hours in 30 days.

240 hours x 0.285 cents = $68.40

Remember: This is just a rough estimate based on the information we’ve provided. The size of your AC, the SEER rating, your exact electricity rates, the state of your air conditioner, and many other factors will play a role in your monthly costs.

Our air conditioners range from 13-24.5 SEER ratings, and come in a variety of sizes to suit the right home. The higher your SEER rating, the more you’ll save.

What About Window ACs?

Window and portable air conditioners are the AC of choice for renters because they’re cheaper and portable.

But they’re actually incredibly inefficient.

A window air conditioner with a cooling output of 12,000 BTU uses approximately 15 amps from a 125 volt outlet. This translates to approximately 1.8 kWh.

Sticking with an average of 8 hours a day, your daily costs would equal to approximately $1.20

At the end of a month, one window air conditioner will cost about $35.60.

Remember, that’s only for one room. You’ll need between 2-3 window air conditioners to reach your desired comfort level at home. And suddenly, you’re spending more per month than with a central air conditioner.

Another big downside of window ACs is that you can’t hook them up to a smart thermostat like central air conditioners. This means it’s up to you to more closely monitor them – and that’s not nearly as efficient as a smart thermostat.

In the end, the efficient choice will always be installing a central air conditioner.

Okay, but What About Fans?

Many homeowners think foregoing an air conditioner in favour of multiple fans will save them on cooling costs each summer.

There’s a reasons fans aren’t recommended to cool your home.

  • Fans don’t actually cool rooms – they just cool people. They circulate air, which evaporates sweat on your skin and makes you feel cooler. That’s why you instantly feel hot again when you turn a fan off. It’s not actually introducing cooler air into your home: it’s just moving around the hot air that’s already there.
  • Fans don’t dehumidify like central air conditioners do. Part of the reason you feel so hot in the summer is the humidity levels in your home. A fan does nothing to help that, which means you’ll have to keep them on longer to feel at all comfortable.
  • A fan only “cools” the immediate area it’s in – this means that you’ll have to have multiple fans running at the same time, especially if everyone in your family spends time in separate rooms.

We spend a lot of our time at home, especially during the week. And you won’t stay cool if your fan isn’t operating. That means they’ll have to run much longer than an air conditioner would.

An air conditioner is the only way to deliver actual cool air into your home – but you can use fans to reduce your air conditioning cost per month. Fans will circulate the cooled air, actually making a difference in your home.

It’s a true partnership, and you’ll get the most savings when your AC and your fan work together.

The Key to Saving is Strategy

Your air conditioning cost per month is always going to be changing. You can have more control over how much you spend – and how much you save – by doing the following things.

  • Get a smart thermostat and use it wisely
  • Only use your air conditioner when you’re home
  • Keep windows and curtains closed during the day
  • Have your insulation inspected and repaired

Knight Makes Upgrading Easy and Affordable

In a place that gets as hot as Calgary, central air conditioning is your best option – and Knight is your best installer.

We carry a variety of high-quality, affordable air conditioners in a variety of sizes and SEER ratings. We can match you and your home with the perfect air conditioner that will work the best and save the most.

If you’ve already found an air conditioner, no problem – we can install any make or model.

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