How Much Does it Cost to Run a Portable Air Conditioner?

There are a lot of questions revolving around portable air conditioners that are left answered. Many are confused about how does the AC work; it is efficient in cooling, and what is the best option available. In this post, we will address it all for you to understand how portable air conditioners work. We will also touch on the pros and cons of owning one, so you can make a sensible choice about whether to purchase one. Read on.


Is It Costly To Run A Portable Air Conditioner?

It is not costly to run a portable air conditioner compared with other types of AC. However, you will need to account for variables like BTU ratings, hours of use, technology, and state electricity rates that will directly impact the portable air conditioner electricity cost.

As a general guideline, below is the cost of running a portable air conditioner. It is based on the EER rating of 10, with an average electricity cost of $0.13 per kWh. Use it as a reference to determine if a PAC performance and running cost fits your budget.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Portable Air Conditioner?

Portable Air Conditioner (BTU)Estimated Electricity Use (kWh)Estimated Electric Cost Per HourEstimated Daily Electric Cost
(8 hours)
Estimated Monthly Electric Cost
(30 days)

How To Calculate Energy (kWh) To Cents

To calculate the kWh of a portable AC, multiply the BTU by 0.000293071. As such:

BTU x 0.000293071 = energy (kWh)

Multiply by 1,000 to get the power in watts. To get the energy cost in days, multiply the number of hours the AC runs. To get the energy cost in months, multiply the number of days in a month.

What Is BTU In Portable Air Conditioners?

All portable air conditioners will have BTU ratings in their technical specifications or side of the unit. BTU is the abbreviation for British thermal unit, an international customary unit that specifies the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In AC, BTU measures the amount of heat lost instead.

You can use BTU ratings to measure how powerful is the portable air conditioner and the energy costs required to run the device. The higher the BTU rating of a portable air conditioner, the more powerful it is at cooling a room; therefore, the more square footage it can cover.

How Do Portable Air Conditioners Save You Money?

When it comes to cost-saving, portable air conditioners are the undisputed champion. Here is the reason why this small appliance can help save you money all year long.

  • No expensive installation - A portable air conditioner is a plug-and-play device that can run without drilling or wall hacking. You will save a lot of money upfront as there is no need to hire an expert for installation, cleaning, and schedule maintenance. Everything can be done by yourself.
  • Individually adjustable temperature - Unlike a central air conditioning system that caters to many places, a portable AC only targets a single room. You can adjust the temperature according to your preferences or even switch it off when not needed to.
  • More than just an air conditioner - Some portable air conditioners have multi-functions such as an air purifier with a HEPA filter, dehumidifier, or heater. So instead of having to buy multiple appliances that are costly to own and maintain, get a multipurpose portable AC that will do it all. Just make sure the BTU range is still within your requirement.
  • Runs efficiently with advanced features - Unlike a centralized system that runs all day and uses a lot of energy, portable air conditioners usually come with convenience and energy-saving features such as a timer/ scheduler. You can customize the time, day, and temperature so the room only stays cool when you return from work or a trip.
  • Complement each other - portable air conditioners also work well with the existing central AC system. You can shut down the centralized system at night and only leave the portable AC on in the bedroom.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide clearly reflects how a portable air conditioner can save you a considerable amount of money than a central air conditioning system. As the fame and exposure increase, PAC is gaining traction among homeowners that needs a portable cooling device that is inexpensive to own and runs efficiently. With the newly acquired knowledge of how a portable air conditioner works, you can confidently pick the suitable model with enough BTU to cover your home.

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.