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How Much Does It Cost to Run a 8000 BTU Air Conditioner?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how much does it cost to run a 8000 btu air conditioner

Air conditioning units are essential in households, especially during the warm summer months. They cool the room to comfortable levels that allow us to sleep or relax better.

However, air conditioners have a high power consumption. Homeowners need to include the cost of running air conditioning units in their budget.

How much does it cost to run a 8000 BTU air conditioner? Based on some estimates, running this air conditioner for 8 hours a day will cost you $1.12 per day.

Estimate the Cost of Running a 8000 BTU AC Unit

First, we determine the power of the unit in watts. Normally, this is listed on the nameplate of the device or the manufacturer’s website. For example, a Midea MAW08V1QWT 8000 BTU U-shaped air conditioner runs at 710 watts at 115 volts (but it may have a greater starting watts to activate the motor).

If the power of the air conditioner is not available, then you can estimate it using the amp draw and voltage. Electrical power is defined as:

Electrical power (watts)=current (amps)×voltage(volts)

Usually, 8000 BTU AC amps range from 5.80 to 8.70 amps. If we take the average of these values (7.25 amps) at 115 volts, then the electrical power will be:

Power=current×voltage=7.25 amps×115 volts=834 watts

After we determine the electrical power, we get the energy consumption of the air conditioner in kilowatt-hour (kWh). This can be calculated using:

energy (kWh)=power/1000 (kW)×1hr

Let’s look at our two previous examples. The Midea air conditioner will consume this much energy in 1 hour:

energy (kWh)=power/1000 (kW)×1hr=710/1000×1=0.710 kWh

Also, the 8000 BTU air conditioner watts we estimated earlier will have an energy consumption of:

energy (kWh)=power/1000 (kW)×1hr=834/1000×1=0.834 kWh

Finally, we multiply the energy consumption with the electrical cost per kWh. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average price of electricity per kWh in the US in February 2023 as $0.168. So, the cost of running our air conditioner for 1 hour will be:

Cost=energy(kWh)×cost($ per kWh)=0.834×0.168=$0.14

Now that we have the cost of running the air conditioner per hour, we can guess the price of using the appliance for 8 hours, for 24 hours, and for a month. You can use an online calculator for this, but the table below summarizes the estimates:

Cost=energy(kWh)×cost($ per kWh)=0.710×0.168=$0.12

Time period Per hour For 8 hours For 24 hours For one month (30 days, 24 hr)
Total Cost ($) 0.14 1.12 3.36 100.8

Also, if we try to estimate the running cost of 8000 BTU air conditioner using our Midea example, then the cost for 1 hour will be:

Cost=energy(kWh)×cost($ per kWh)=0.710×0.168=$0.12

The cost of running air conditioner using the above estimate for different time frames will be:

Time period Per hour For 8 hours For 24 hours For one month (30 days, 24 hr)
Total Cost ($) 0.12 0.96 2.88 86.4

Factors Affect to Cost to Run a 8000 BTU Air Conditioner


However, these costs are affected by several factors. These factors include how hot it is outside, how often the aircon runs at 100% power, how good the insulation of the room is, and the local electrical rate.

  • The outdoor temperature can impact the running costs. When the outdoor temperature is higher, more energy is necessary to operate the compressor. This increases the energy consumption of the air conditioner.
  • How often an air conditioner runs at 100% power also affects running costs. Generally, it should work for two to three cycles during an hour to keep the air cool. In this case, the running cost per month should be lower than if an AC short-cycles or turns off abruptly before completing its cooling round.
  • Also, insulation can affect how often your air conditioner will run, affecting the electrical A poorly insulated home is less able to maintain the comfortable temperature the air conditioner has been trying to achieve. Poor insulation can increase the air conditioner’s running costs.
  • Lastly, the energy price may vary from state to state and affects the expense of running your air conditioner. As of February 2023, the price of electricity in Seattle ($0.126) is cheaper than that in San Diego ($0.475), so the cost of running air conditioners is cheaper in Seattle.

How Large of an Area Can a 8000 BTU Air Conditioner Cool?


The 8000 BTU air conditioner room size recommendation is average rooms and offices up to 350 sq ft. Also, aside from the floor space, the ceiling height should also be considered. The ceiling height should be around 8 feet maximum.

8,000-BTU AC vs. Other AC Sizes (energy efficiency)

If a 350 sq ft room needs an air-cooling running window unit 24/7 for a month, the 8000 BTU air conditioner is the best.

A larger AC unit may not be very ideal for a smaller room, since it will not have enough time to reduce ambient humidity due to the frequent on-off cycles. A smaller AC unit is also not good for a larger room because it will operate at 100% all the time.

Overall, different air conditioners work best with their respective room sizes. It is best to look at manufacturer recommendations before purchasing a unit.

Tips to Increase Energy Efficiency

1. You can put the outdoor unit of the air conditioner under shade.


If the outdoor unit of your air conditioner is under shade, it will not get too hot. Direct sunlight will increase the temperature of the outdoor unit and may make it more difficult for the appliance to give off cool air.

2. Clean your air filter frequently.


Make sure that the filters are cleaned on a regular basis, especially if the air conditioner is turned on for longer periods. This prevents any dust from entering the unit.

3. Set the temperature higher instead of lower.


Interestingly, air conditioners work harder if the difference between the outdoor and the indoor temperatures are too significant. Make your air conditioner run more efficiently by setting the temperature a little higher, just enough for you to feel comfortable.

4. Plant trees and use fans and solar screens.


These measures keep your residence cooler, so the AC won’t have to work as hard to bring temperatures down.

Tips to Reduce AC Costs

1. Turn off the air conditioner when it’s not in use.


It’s best to turn off the AC unit when you are not home. You will not have any energy consumption if the device is off.

2. Improve your home insulation.


By improving the insulation, you can reduce the energy needed by air conditioners to reduce room temperatures. Home insulation can be in the walls, ceilings, attics, and floors.

3. Choose window type air conditioners over portable air conditioners if you can.


A 8000 BTU window unit will be more efficient than a 8000 BTU portable air conditioner. The cost to run portable AC units can be twice the cost to run cheaper window type units. Also, window designs have less noise as an added bonus.


We estimated how much does it cost to run a 8000 BTU air conditioner to help you with your budgeting needs. An 8000 BTU AC unit will cost you around $0.14 per hour, or $1.12 per eight hours of operation. However, this may vary depending on several factors and different brands of air conditioners.

To save money when using your appliance, make your unit run more efficiently through different means such as putting the outdoor unit under a shade or cleaning its filters. This ensures you get that comfortable feeling at home during summer.

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