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AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
A/C - HEAT PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES
AIR CONDITIONER COMPONENT PARTS
AIR CONDITIONER TYPES, ENERGY SOURCES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS, FIBERGLASS PARTICLES
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - Air Conditioning "How To" Books
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CLEANING & Legionella BACTERIA
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
DEFINITION of Heating & Cooling Terms
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DIAGNOSTIC GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DUCTS - Asbestos
DUCT INSULATION, Asbestos Paper
DUCT INSULATION for SOUNDPROOFING
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUCT SYSTEM NOISES
DUCTS, Asbestos Transite Pipe
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) in buildings
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEATING SMALL LOADS
INSPECTION CHECKLIST - OUTDOOR UNIT
INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, A/C SYSTEMS
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOST COOLING CAPACITY
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
MOLD in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
OPERATING COST, AIR CONDITIONER
OPERATING DEFECTS, AIR CONDITIONING
REPAIR GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
REPAIR & DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for A/C
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
WATER COOLED AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL A/C SUPPORTS
Air conditioner or heat pump operating cost guide: this article explains how to calculate the actual cost of operating an air conditioning system in easy to understand language. Separately at SEER RATINGS & OTHER DEFINITIONS we discuss operating cost efficiency ratings or SEER and EER ratings for air conditioners and heat pumps.This article series answers most questions about air conditioning systems. We continue to add to and update this text as new details are provided.
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At SEER RATINGS & OTHER DEFINITIONS we explained SEER ratings that measure air conditioning system efficiency, and we explained how we can determine how much energy an air conditioner uses either by the hour of by the season of use. At the end of that section we knew how much energy our air conditioner used, either on an hourly basis or for use during the whole cooling season. We were able to express the total air conditioning energy used in BTUs or in Kilowatts per hour or per season. Here we complete the process of translating air conditioner use into actual dollar costs.
How Much Will It Cost Per Year to Run An Air Conditioner?
In the United States for December 2007 the average retail price of electricity paid by residential consumers ranged from about $0.063 per kWh (Idaho) to $0.287 per kWh (Hawaii). Your electrical bill will indicate the current charge per kilowatt hour kWh of electricity you use.
How to use the air conditioning cost formula:
How Much Does It Cost Per Hour to Run An Air Conditioning System
This is an even simpler calculation. Using as an example information from our example air conditioner's data tag,
500 Wh x $0.25 = $0.12 per hour to run our air conditioner. Twelve cents per hour is your hourly cooling cost to run your A/C.
Other Equations Using SEER Ratings
We can also write the SEER equation shown above as:
SEER = BTUs / Watt-hours
For more definitions of heating and air conditioning terms see SEER RATINGS & OTHER DEFINITIONS.
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Question: How Can I Reduce the Operating Cost and Energy Consumption of my Air Conditioning & Heat Pump System?
Answer: List of Air Conditioning & Heat Pump System Steps or Installation Details that Save on Operating Cost
According to SoCalEdison's "Comprehensive Packaged Air Conditioning Systems", Residential and commercial air conditioning is responsible for the largest share of peak demand in California, contributing approximately 33% of peak demand.  
Saving money on central or even portable air conditioners and heat pumps starts by buying equipment with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)) rating. But as SoCalEd points out , the purchase of high efficiency (high SEER) HVAC equipment captures only a small part of the total savings in air conditioning or heat pump costs that could be saved by other installation and maintenance steps that we outline here [quoted, paraphrased, and expanded from ]:
Readers should also see ENERGY SAVINGS in buildings for our home page on this topic.
Questions & answers or comments about the operating cost of air conditioners or heat pumps..
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.