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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Window Air Conditioner?

Typical Range: $138 - $505

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Window Air Conditioner Installation Cost

The cost to install a window air conditioner averages $296, with a typical range of $138 and $505. This includes an average unit price of $250, plus $60 to $200 for labor.

Window air conditioning is a good option for homeowners who do not want to invest in a central AC system. After all, these units cost a fraction of central air installation costs, which run about $5,500.

Window AC units can cool rooms ranging from a small bedroom to your main living area, usually about 150 to 500 square feet. You can also get wall-mounted air conditioners or a portable AC system, depending on what you need. This is a popular DIY job, but there are a few cases when you’ll want to hire a pro.

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National Average
$296
Typical Range
$138 - $505
Low End - High End
$75 - $1,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 773 HomeAdvisor members in .

Portable AC Units vs. Window or Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners

Window$150-$1,100
Portable$250-$700
Wall-Mounted$450-$700

Window AC Unit Cost

window ac unit in nyc apartment

Window air conditioners cost $150 to $1,100. The price range mostly relates to size, measured in BTUs or tons. Bigger units, usually 1 ton and higher, cool rooms 500 square feet and larger. You’ll also pay more for higher efficiency or added features like a remote control.

Homeowners like window AC systems for efficient cooling that’s a step up from a ceiling fan.

Portable AC Unit Prices

portable ac unit in home

Portable air conditioner kits cost $250 to $700. This type attaches to a window with a hose that connects to a free-moving floor unit. Some products have dual hoses, one to bring in fresh air and another to expel hot air. Homeowners may prefer a portable system if they:

  • have limited window space
  • need to move the unit frequently
  • don’t want a visible AC unit on the home’s exterior

If you want a model that also offers heating, you’ll pay closer to $800.

Wall AC Unit Cost

wall-mounted ac unit on building

Through-the-wall air conditioners cost $450 to $700, with a metal enclosure on an exterior wall. This type is popular for homeowners who want effective cooling but need to keep the window free.

The price range covers smaller units, 1 ton or less. Homeowners who want a bigger wall-mounted system usually choose a ductless mini-split AC.

Although a wall-mounted unit seems similar to a ductless AC, they aren’t the same thing. Ductless mini-split system installation costs range from $1,300 to $4,500. Ductless systems use an exterior condenser connected to multiple indoor air handlers.

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Window Air Conditioner Price by Size

TonsBTUs
0.55,000-9,000
110,000-14,000
1.518,000
2+24,000

Window AC sizes range from 5,000 to 28,000 BTUs, or 0.5 to 2+ tons. Most units run 1.5 tons or less.

The right size depends mostly on the square footage:

  • 0.5 to 1 ton: 150 to 500 square feet
  • 1.5+ tons: 1,000 square feet or more

Window air conditioners are designed for one room, not the whole house. If you’re trying to cool multiple spaces, you’ll need more than one unit.

Before buying a unit, make sure it will fit in your window. Measure the dimensions of your window's opening at least twice to ensure you have the correct figures. Keep in mind that the best place for installation may not be in the main living area.

A note about sizing: Buying more BTUs isn’t always the better deal. If you get a bigger unit than you need, you’ll use more energy for the same effect.

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Window Air Conditioner Installation Cost

the cost to install a window ac is $300, or $80 to $1,000.

Window AC installation charges run $60 to $200. Pros typically cost $30 to $50 per hour, and the average job takes 2 to 4 hours. This total usually includes:

  • inspecting the window
  • preparing the area
  • placing the air conditioner
  • testing the unit
  • cleaning up

The price of weather-stripping averages $100 per window. You may need this service to make the AC unit more efficient.

If you’ve never had a window AC in this room before, you might need to add a dedicated circuit. This will prevent fuses from blowing or the circuit board tripping. Hiring an electrician costs $50 to $100 per hour.

Temporary vs. Permanent Installation

Window and wall-mounted units can have a temporary or permanent installation, but it’s important to understand the difference.

Temporary means that you can remove it during the winter, to avoid damage from exposure to the elements. This is also a great option for renters who would like to take it with them when they leave.

Temporary installation doesn’t mean you can easily move it from room to room. If you want this capability, get a portable AC unit.

Permanent installation requires more protection on the exterior parts that are exposed to snow, rain and cold temperatures. This typically involves additional equipment, like a cover.

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioner Installation Cost Factors

Cutting through an exterior wall to mount an air conditioner can cost up to $1,000 more than putting in a window AC. Installation takes 10 to 12 hours, compared to 2 to 4 hours for a window unit.

If you’re not already handy with wall and siding repair, this is a case to hire a professional. A pro may perform all the work or subcontract services listed below.

In addition to a higher total for labor, you may need to pay these average expenses:

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Cost to Replace Window Air Conditioner

Remove Old AC$40-$120
New Unit$150-$1,100
Installation$60-$200
Disposal$25-$50
Total$275-$1,470

Replacing a window AC costs $275 to $1,470, depending mostly on the size. Upgrading your unit often gives you better cooling and efficiency. A window air conditioner typically lasts about 10 years.

Sometimes, removing the old unit reveals problems with the window. On top of replacement expenses, you’ll pay extra if you need these services:

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DIY vs. Hiring a Handyman to Install a Window Air Conditioner

Although many homeowners like to DIY this project, it’s not necessarily an easy job. Window AC units can weigh 200 pounds or more, which means you’ll need at least two strong adults. If you do it wrong, you may damage your window or the air conditioner.

Hiring mini-split installers near you costs $60 to $200, not including the unit. For the price, your pro can:

  • save you the hassle and physical labor of lifting and placing the unit
  • help you avoid injuries during the project
  • give you peace of mind, knowing the unit is installed correctly and efficiently
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FAQs

How much does it cost to run a window air conditioner?

The average cost to run a window air conditioner is $1.50 to $2.00 per day. You’ll pay more for bigger units, or if you run it more than about 8 hours per day.

Is it cheaper to run a window air conditioner or central air?

Running a window air conditioner to cool one smaller room costs less than the $4 per day average to use central air. If you use several units or need to cool a room 1,000 square feet or larger, central is probably more efficient.

Do window AC units use a lot of electricity?

Window AC units use about 12 to 17 kilowatt-hours per day on average. By comparison, a refrigerator needs 1 to 1.5 kilowatt-hours per day.

How much is a window AC fan motor?

A window AC fan motor costs $50 to $125, not including the price of labor to replace it. Since this can be a tricky job, many homeowners may decide it’s easier to replace the whole unit.

Are cheap window air conditioners under $100 worth it?

The cheapest window air conditioners typically cool spaces 150 square feet or smaller. Inexpensive products from popular brands like GE, LG, Whirlpool or Frigidaire may be a reasonable investment.

How can I get the best price on window AC units?

The best deals on window AC units come during the fall. That’s when businesses slash prices to clear out old inventory. You’ll find them at big-box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot.

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.