Trying to choose the right air conditioning system for your home or business? Or simply working out whether it could be a good climate control option for you? Whatever position you’re in, finding out how much air conditioning costs to run can be a great way to work out what your best options are.

Getting estimates for how much your new air conditioning will cost to run might not be at the top of your priority list – especially if you’re busy finding installation prices. But it’s no good investing in air conditioning that you can’t afford to use.

Here are some guide prices for how expensive your air conditioning could be to run, plus 7 factors that might affect this.

How much air conditioning costs to run: guide prices

It’s really hard to say for sure how much your air conditioning could end up costing to run. There are lots of variables that could make a big difference – find out more about these below.

But to give you a rough idea, here are some guide running costs for the most popular type of air conditioning – split and multi split units.

Air conditioning unit output Room size Cost to run per hour
2.5kW Small 10p
3.5kW Medium 14p
5kW Large 20p


If you’re keen to install air conditioning and would like to know more, just get in touch. We can give you quotes to design and install a bespoke system for your property, plus give you accurate advice on how much it could cost to run.

7 factors that can affect how expensive air conditioning is to run

There are several different things that can make a big difference to how expensive your air conditioning is to run. Find out more about these factors to help you create an accurate cost estimate for your new climate control.

1. Type of air conditioning system

Different types of air conditioning system have different efficiency levels. The more efficient your climate control system is, the cheaper it is to run. However, many people choose to buy a less efficient option because it’s cheaper to buy.

Portable air conditioning unitThe 3 main types of air conditioning system are:

  • Portable or standalone air conditioner
  • Central air conditioning
  • Split or multi split air conditioning

Portable air conditioners are usually much cheaper than other air conditioning systems, but they’re considerably more expensive to run. This means that they’re great as a quick fix, but aren’t the best long-term solution.

Central air conditioning uses ducting to distribute air around a building. While this offers a subtle, property-wide solution, the air can lose or gain heat as it travels through the ducting. This means that, although much more efficient than portable air conditioners, it’s not always the most economical option out there.

Split or multi split air conditioning offers high levels of efficiency and flexibility. It’s almost always the best option if you want a long-term air conditioning solution with low running costs.

To find out more about different types of air conditioning, take a look at our handy article.

2. System output

Another way to avoid expensive air conditioning running costs is to get a system with the right output. This dictates how powerful your climate control is.

Get a system that’s not powerful enough and you’ll have to keep it on for longer because it’s not delivering. But invest in a system that’s too powerful and you’ll be paying to use energy you don’t need.

When we quote for an air conditioning installation, we factor in the size and type of rooms you have so we can recommend a system with the right output for you. You can find out more about how to work out what system output you need here.

3. Air conditioning efficiency

Your system’s efficiency rating can make a big difference to how much your air conditioning costs to run. The units that make up your system will all have efficiency ratings – the more efficient the unit is, the cheaper your electricity bills will be.

Ceiling cassette air conditioning unitLike system types, more efficient air conditioning units tend to be more expensive. If avoiding expensive air conditioning running costs is a top priority for you, make sure you get the most efficient air conditioning units you can.

4. Property insulation levels

Make sure you consider how well-insulated your property is when estimating how much your air conditioning could cost to run.

If you have a new-build property, or a building with high levels of insulation, this will definitely help to reduce your air conditioning running costs. This is because the air in your property will stay the temperature you want for longer, so you won’t need to use your climate control as much.

Properties with poorer insulation levels are typically more expensive to run air conditioning is. This is because the air in your property is more affected by the temperature outside – if it’s hot your property will warm up more quickly, and if it’s cold it will cool down more quickly.

5. Air conditioning servicing and maintenance

Maintaining your air conditioning can make a big difference to your running costs too.

We recommend servicing home air con systems at least once a year, and commercial systems at least twice a year. It’s also a good idea fix any faults you notice as soon as possible. This will help to keep your air conditioning system efficiency high, and keep your electricity bills as low as possible.

6. System controls

When you’re picking your air conditioning system, bear in mind that its controls can have an impact on how much it costs to run.

Remote control wall mounted panel for air conditioningFeatures like programmable timers and zonal control can help you make sure your air conditioning is on when and where you need it and off when you don’t. Remote control via an app can also be handy if plans or timetables change at the last minute, and the air conditioning in your home or business doesn’t need to be on.

Make sure you’re only using your air conditioning when you need it and this is sure to have a positive effect on your running costs.

7. System features

Many manufacturers build their air conditioning units with features to boost energy efficiency and comfort. These include Mitsubishi Electric’s 3D i-see sensor, which adapts air flow to suit the inhabitants of a room, and Toshiba’s self-cleaning function.

Features like these can make your air conditioning more effective when it’s on, potentially reducing its operation time or the temperature you set it at. Providing they don’t reduce the unit’s overall efficiency, using a system with these features can be a great way to reduce your air conditioning running costs.

So, it can be tricky to know exactly how much your air conditioning will cost to run until you’ve decided on a specific system. However, you can use our guide costs and weigh up factors to give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to spend.

After accurate prices for your home or business air conditioning? Complete our online form or give us a call on 0800 756 9601 today.