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How much does it cost to use air conditioning all day? How to calculate AC usage costs

Knowing how to calculate your air conditioning costs for cooling your house throughout the day can save you a surprise before the electric bill arrives.

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How to calculate the cost of running your AC all day

High temperatures can also wreak havoc on your body and also your wallet. As various states in the United States are impacted by ever more frequent heat waves, authorities recommend avoiding outdoor activities and staying at home, if possible, with air conditioning. However, this measure can have adverse consequences on your finances due to the high amonut of energy the cooling systems may use.

According to projections from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association of the United States (NEADA), Americans will see an approximate 8% increase in their energy bills between June and August this year, raising the figure from an estimated $661 to $719 dollars from one month to the next.

Given that the increase in the electricity bill is practically inevitable, experts on the subject recommend that the population stay up to date with how air conditioning costs are calculated, so that they have a better idea of the amount spent on cooling that is reflected on your invoice.

How to know how much it costs to use the air conditioning all day

According to an article in El Diario, there are three items that can help you know how much you spend on air conditioning: the Index of Energy Efficiency (EER), the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rate (SEER) and the Cost per hour.

Energy Efficiency Index (EER)

It is responsible for measuring the efficiency of the air conditioning system at a given time. To know it, you must divide the cooling capacity of your air in British thermal units (BTU) by the energy consumption in watts (W) at 95ºF. These values usually come in the user manual or marked on the device.

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Seasonal Energy Efficiency Index (SEER)

This is a ratio used for measuring your air conditioner’s efficiency throughout a season. To calculate it, you must divide the total cooling production in British thermal units (BTU) by the total energy consumption in watt-hours (Wh).

Cost per hour

To calculate how much it costs you to run the air conditioning per hour, multiply the unit power by the average cost per kWh and divide it by 1,000. Once you get this figure, you can multiply the cost per hour by the time you use the air per day and then multiply it again by the days of the month.

Other factors that influence your air conditioning bill

While this is a standard formula, there are several factors that influence your air conditioning bill, such as home size, air flow, local electricity costs, usage habits, and even the maintenance. If you are looking at purchasing a new air conditioner you will want to keep in mind the EER and SEER ratios.

According to the US Department of Energy, “EER is especially important in hot-dry climates [like the US Southwest], which experience more high-temperature days requiring air conditioners to work harder at cooling your home.” The agency also asks consumers to keep in mind that cooling systems with a higher SEER rating may be more expensive, but over the long run you might save money on your electricity bill.

“The higher the SEER rating, the less electrical energy your air conditioner uses to cool your home,” the DOE notes. Depending on your budget, it may be worth doing some back of the envelop calculations of the long-term savings you may get from paying more when shopping around.