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How Much Does Air Conditioning Cost in Portland?

If you currently use an air conditioner or are thinking about buying one, it is important to understand the costs associated with operating an air conditioner in your home, and what you can do to save money and stay cool in Portland this summer.

There is no one answer for how much it costs to run an AC unit, as all homes are different and several variables will affect the overall cost. Learn what those are, how they affect your cooling costs, as well as averages so you can estimate your seasonal cooling costs. Our HVAC contractors have put together everything you need to estimate your costs and help you stay on budget this summer.


5 Factors that Affect Air Conditioning Costs

1-Energy-CostsEnergy costs

The cost per unit of energy consumed has the greatest effect on how much your total AC costs are. Electric utility providers typically charge by the kilowatt/hour, or kWh. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in Oregon, the average kWh is 10.61. You can find out exactly how much you are charged in Portland per kWh by contacting your utility provider, or checking your last utility statement.


2-AC-Energy-EfficiencyAC energy efficiency

The SEER rating of your AC unit will have a direct impact on your cooling costs this summer. The higher the SEER rating of your air conditioner, the more energy efficient it is. Simply said, the more efficient your AC unit, the more cool air it can produce with each unit of energy consumed. With proper installation, a unit with a higher SEER rating can save money while cooling your home by using less energy.


3-Outdoor-conditionsOutdoor conditions

Summer in Portland can bring about varied weather conditions. The hotter and more humid the weather, the more it costs to run an air conditioner. This is because your air conditioner must work harder to keep your home cool. With summer weather somewhat unpredictable in Portland, it can help to estimate the average temperature for each mnth and factor that in to your overall cooling costs.


4-AC-Installation-MaintenanceAC installation, maintenance, and ducts

If your AC system wasn’t installed properly, your unit will not perform at the expected efficiency level. Also, if you do not have your cooling system professionally maintained each season, or fail to change the furnace filter regularly, your system will consume more energy. Duct leaks in your system can result in up to 30 percent energy loss, forcing your air conditioner to work much harder to cool your home. The fall and spring are great times to get your air conditioner serviced as it will allow you to be prepared for the warm weather.


5-Size-of-HomeSize of home

The overall size of your home directly correlates with air conditioning costs. Naturally, a larger home is going to cost more to keep cool simply because there is more space. To combat high air conditioning costs in a larger home, it is possible to limit which rooms are being cooled using a zoning system. This system can reduce the cooling load.


Calculate your cost

Careful consideration of each of these factors can help you cut out the guesswork to set a utility budget this summer.  Let our HVAC professionals help you decide on an air conditioning plan that works for your home.