Typically, the cost to install a window air conditioning unit, including the A/C unit plus supplies and labor, ranges from $400 to $620.
Air conditioning is designed to cool and dehumidify indoor spaces, and may include a heating function, as well. A window unit is also called a room air conditioner because it is capable of cooling only a single room, as opposed to central air, which can cool an entire home.
Window A/C is a popular choice for renters and homeowners on a limited budget, due to its relatively low cost and easy installation. Usually a unit is installed in the living room and perhaps one or two bedrooms.
Although it is possible to set up a room air conditioner as a DIY project, hiring a professional HVAC technician will ensure that the unit is correctly installed and sealed for optimal efficiency.
The correct capacity (size) of the air conditioner for maximum cooling efficiency will depend on the size of the room in square feet. Too small a unit will not cool sufficiently, while a unit that is too large wastes energy and fails to dehumidify properly.
The federal Energy Star program publishes a chart indicating optimal window A/C capacity per room size:
AREA TO BE COOLED (square feet)
A/C CAPACITY NEEDED (BTUs per hour)
100 up to 150
150 up to 250
250 up to 300
300 up to 350
350 up to 400
400 up to 450
450 up to 550
550 up to 700
700 up to 1,000
1,000 up to 1,200
1,200 up to 1,400
1,400 up to 1,500
1,500 up to 2,000
2,000 up to 2,500
Materials -- A correctly sized air conditioning unit, thermostat, fittings, fastenings, and hardware are required.
Labor -- Labor involves preparation of the window area and installation of the A/C unit(s). Modification of the window or jamb or installation of a bracket might be necessary. Additional labor costs may include replacement of the A/C skirts with Lexan or Plexiglas for improved air exclusion, as well as permanent sealing with silicone, if requested.
Get the Most for Your Money
Energy Star certified air conditioners use approximately 15 percent less energy than standard models, saving electricity and money on utility bills.
A thermostat controlled by a timer is an easy way to make A/C usage even more efficient.