Which is Cheaper: Window Unit or Central Air Conditioning?

You have a lot of options when it comes to keeping cool in the summertime. But how do you choose between a window unit and a central air conditioning system? You might be asking: is central air cheaper? Is a window unit cheaper? In this blog, we’ll answer those questions and dive into the benefits of both window units and central AC systems to see which one might work best for you!

Do window units use less electricity than central air?

When compared to central air conditioning, window units use much less electricity. Because they only cool a single space, they don’t have to use as much energy. A small window unit may use around 500 watts while a large air conditioner may use around 1,440 watts.

A central AC unit uses much higher wattages, usually around 1,000 to 5,000 watts but some units may use more. However, central units are more efficient at cooling an entire building than window units.

Is a window unit cheaper than central air?

Based on the initial cost and installation prices, window units are cheaper than central air. Complete central air systems are pricey, often ranging from around $3,800 to $7,000, and installation only adds to the costs. Window units are much cheaper, usually between $150 and $1,500.

You can typically install a window unit as a DIY job while central systems require professional installation. Even if you hire a professional to install a window unit, the initial cost of the unit is still much lower than a central AC system.

If you’re trying to cool a single room, a window unit is cheaper than a central air system. However, if you’re trying to cool an entire building, running multiple window units at the same time is inefficient and more expensive than a central air conditioning system. So, to cool an entire building, a central air conditioning system is more efficient than window units.

So, which should you choose?

A window unit is a great way to cool a single room or small area. They are also a good option for supplementing a central air system if you want to add a little extra cooling to a single zone or room.

Central systems cool with minimal noise and because they use ductwork to supply the cool air, the unit can remain out of sight inside the home. They’re the most efficient option if you’re trying to cool an entire building.

However, we always recommend getting a quote and recommendation from a licensed HVAC professional before you make your final decision.

Avery Dietzen
Avery Dietzen

Originally from Wisconsin, Avery earned her degree in English before making the trip down to the Atlanta, GA area. Writer by day, reader by night, she prides herself on having a creative outlook and tries to instill that in everything she writes. As a content writer for HomElectrical, she uses her skills to share tips and tricks about lighting, HVAC, and going green. If she’s not writing, she’s reading, painting, hanging out with her dog, or spending time with family and friends.

Join Our Mailing List

Receive special deals and more, right to your inbox

Need Assistance?