How Much Does Window AC Installation Cost?

Typical Range:

$139 - $527

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,046 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated October 14, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

A window AC installation costs on average $313, with a typical range of $139 and $527. This includes an average unit price of $250 plus about $60 to $200 for labor. Window air conditioning is a good option for homeowners who don't 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. Depending on your needs, you can also get wall-mounted air conditioners or a portable AC system. This is a popular DIY job, but there are a few cases when you want to hire a pro.

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National Average $313
Typical Range $139 - $527
Low End - High End $75 - $1,200

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,046 HomeAdvisor members.

Window Air Conditioner Price by Size

Window AC sizes range from 5,000 to 28,000 British thermal units (BTUs), or 0.5 to 2-plus tons. Most units run 1.5 tons or less. The right size for your needs depends mostly on your home’s square footage:

  • 0.5–1 ton: 150–500 sq. ft.

  • 1.5+ tons: 1,000+ sq. ft.

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’ll fit in your window by measuring the dimensions of your window's opening at least twice. Keep in mind that the best place for installation may not be in the main living area.

Note: 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.

Window AC in TonsWindow AC in BTUsAverage Cost Range (All-In)
0.55,000 – 9,000$110 – $650
110,000 – 14,000$400 – $650
1.518,000$550 – $850
2+24,000$800 – $1,150

The above table shows how many tons are equal to BTUs and how much that costs. The table below lists how many BTUs you need by room size and how much you can expect to pay per room.

Room Size in Sq. Ft.Recommended BTUs for Window AC UnitAverage Cost Range (All-In)
150 5,000$110 – $300
2506,000$120 – $400
3007,000$250 – $650
55012,000$400 – $650
70014,000$450 – $650
1,00018,000$550 – $850
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Window Air Conditioner Installation Cost

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

  • Inspecting the window

  • Preparing the area

  • Placing the air conditioner

  • Testing the unit

  • Cleaning up

There may be additional costs aside from the window AC. For example, you may need to weather strip your window to make the AC unit more efficient. The price of weather stripping averages $100 per window. You may also need to add a dedicated circuit, which will prevent fuses from blowing out or the circuit board from tripping. Hiring an electrician costs approximately $50 to $100 per hour.

Cost to Replace a Window Air Conditioner

Replacing a window AC costs around $280 to $1,470, depending on the size. Upgrading your unit can give you better cooling and efficiency since a window air conditioner typically lasts about 10 years.

Window AC Unit TaskAverage Price RangeAverage Price
Old AC removal$40 – $120$80
New unit cost$150 – $1,100$630
Installation$60 – $200$130
Disposal$25 – $50$38
Total$280 – $1,470$880

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

Window AC Installation Cost Factors

Window AC installation isn't a one-size-fits-all job, and several factors influence how much you'll pay, ranging from labor to the scope of the project and any accessories or upgrades you choose.

Labor

It typically costs between $50 and $150 for labor to install a new window AC unit. While the removal and disposal of the old unit are often included in the price, it's always worth checking with your pro, as you may pay up to $50 more for this service. 

Temporary vs. Permanent Installation

Temporary window AC units are less costly to install than permanent ones. A temporary AC unit costs between $50 and $75 to install, while a fancier permanent unit with a discrete profile and positioning costs around $100 and $150 to install. 

With temporary units, you remove them when the weather cools and replace them when the weather warms again in late spring. Permanent units stay in place year-round.

Outlet Installation

Installing an electrical outlet costs between $75 and $490. You'll need to hire a local electrician to complete an electrical outlet installation, which is necessary if you don't have an existing outlet close to your new AC and don't want to run extension cables over it. 

Accessories and Upgrades

To keep your prices down, you may just want bare-bones installation. However, you should consider several other accessories or upgrades while having your AC replaced or installed. Common options include:

  • Thermostat installation: $150–$400

  • AC cover: $25–$60

  • AC skirt: $25–$75

  • AC insulation: $10–$25

  • AC side panels: $20–$30

  • AC brackets: $100–$150

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Window AC Units vs. Portable or Wall-Mounted Units

The type of AC unit you install has a direct impact on the price because of the cost of the unit itself. Portable and wall-mounted units are the most budget-friendly, while window models are the most costly.

Type of AC unitAverage Price Range
Window$150 – $1,100
Portable$250 – $700
Wall-mounted$450 – $700

Window AC Unit Cost

Window air conditioners cost around $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, a step up from a ceiling fan.

Portable AC Unit Prices

Portable air conditioner kits costaround $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 exterior

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

Wall AC Unit Cost

Through-the-wall air conditioners costabout $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 and use an exterior condenser connected to multiple indoor air handlers.

In addition, 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 two to four hours for a window unit. In addition to a higher total for labor, you may need to pay for these expenses:

  • Drywall repair: $550

  • Trim repair: $650

  • Siding repair: $700

  • Spray foam insulation: $0.50–$1.50 per board ft.

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro 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, so you’ll need at least two strong adults. If you install it incorrectly, you may damage your window or the air conditioner.

Hiring mini-split installers near you costs about $60 to $200, or a handyperson charges around $60 to $65 per hour, 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 they’ve installed the unit correctly and efficiently

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Frequently Asked Questions

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 per day. You'll pay more for bigger units or if you run it for more than eight hours per day. To optimize energy efficiency, ensure you get yearly AC inspections, only run your AC when you need to, and choose the right sized unit.

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

Running a window air conditioner to cool one small room costs less than $4 per day compared to using central air. Central air is probably more efficient if you use several units or need to cool a room 1,000 square feet or larger. Make sure you choose the right size since an AC that's too big uses more energy to achieve the same cooling effect and one that's too small has to work harder and use more energy to cool the space adequately.

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. You can make your window AC more efficient by doing the following:

  • Running it when necessary

  • Keeping the door closed so the cooled air doesn't escape to other areas of your home

  • Cleaning the filters and coils

  • Filling any gaps around the unit to prevent conditioned air from escaping outside

Are cheap window air conditioners under $100 worth it?

The most inexpensive window air conditioners typically cool spaces 150 square feet or smaller. Inexpensive products from popular brands like General Electric, LG, Whirlpool, or Frigidaire may be a reasonable investment. However, putting a small, budget-friendly unit in a large room wastes energy and shortens the life span of the AC since it has to draw more power and work much harder to cool the space, which consumes more energy and puts greater stress on the motor and other internal parts.

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

The best deals on window AC units come during the fall when businesses slash prices to clear out old inventory. You can also speak with your local AC installer, as they may be able to get you a good deal on a window AC unit since they have access to trade pricing. It's also worth shopping for discontinued products and flash sales around your local area.

How much does it cost to repair a window AC?

Window AC repair costs between $110 and $390, with most people paying around $250. Parts typically cost between $2 and $150, and the rest of the cost goes toward labor, at around $30 per hour. The occasional one-off repair and a regular AC tuneup cost around $75 to $200. Servicing can keep your AC running in good condition for several more years before you need to pay for a replacement unit.