How Much Does Window AC Installation Cost? (2023 Guide)

By Alex Hawkins

Apr 28, 2023
Exterior view of air conditioning window unit extruding from the window sill of a red brick building

Affiliate Disclaimer: All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Some window ACs cost as little as $150 to install, while others can be upwards of $2,000.* Still, this is a fraction of the cost to install a central air conditioner, which runs $3,800 to $7,500. A new air conditioner (AC) is a big investment. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective alternative, window-mounted ACs are a good option to cool smaller living spaces, such as apartments.

We analyzed price ranges from multiple retailers, and here we provide a breakdown of the various factors that impact window AC installation costs. We’ve also compared window units to other options, such as portable and wall-mounted ACs, to help you find the right fit for your home.

*Cost figures are averaged from multiple sources, including The Home Depot, ComfortUp, and Walmart.



When to Buy a Window AC

If you only need to cool a small space, window ACs are much more cost-effective than central AC units. They’re also quick and easy to install, requiring no ductwork, thermostat, or refrigerant. We recommend installing central air conditioning if you’re cooling more than three rooms.



Cost of Window AC Installation

A new window AC unit costs about $150 to $800. Basic models start around $150 and have simple functions that allow you to select a cooling level and set the unit to fan or cooling mode. More expensive models can cost up to $800 for the unit alone. Many of these high-end units have additional features such as heating functions, timers, and Wi-Fi capability.

Labor costs an additional $50 to $200 for professional window air conditioner installation. Most HVAC contractors charge an hourly rate, but some may have a flat service call fee. Window ACs typically take two to four hours to install, costing a total of $600 to $2,000 including the unit itself.

Price by Size

An AC unit’s size has the biggest impact on cost. An air conditioning system’s size is measured in tons. This doesn’t refer to the unit’s physical weight, but rather the volume of air it can cool in an hour. Many companies also use British thermal units (BTUs) to measure cooling capacity. BTUs measure how much heat a unit can remove per hour.

The higher either of these measurements are, the more the AC will cost. Central air conditioning systems can exceed 5 tons, but most window AC units are 2 tons or less.

See average prices for various AC sizes in the table below.

Unit Size (Tons)Unit Size (BTUs)Unit Cost















Cost Factors

Though the unit’s size has the most influence on price, the following factors can also impact the cost.



Window AC Units vs. Portable vs. Wall-Mounted Units

Window air conditioners are one of many options for heating and cooling systems for smaller spaces. Wall-mounted and portable air conditioners are also designed for smaller households and situations. Learn more about these options below to see if they better suit your needs. 

Portable AC Unit

A portable AC is a good option if you don’t have the proper window space for other AC types, need to move the unit regularly, or don’t want an AC unit to clash with your window’s style. These units attach to a window with a hose that connects to a free-moving floor unit. Some products have dual hoses: one to bring in outside air and another to expel hot air. Portable air conditioner kits cost around $250 to $700.

Wall-Mounted AC Unit

This type of AC is popular for homeowners who want effective cooling but need to keep their windows free. A wall-mounted AC, also called a through-the-wall AC, uses a metal enclosure on an interior wall. 

Wall-mounted air conditioners cost around $450 to $700 for the unit alone, but the project’s total cost is higher. Installation requires an HVAC technician to cut through an exterior wall and mount the air conditioner, which takes 10 to 12 hours and costs up to $1,000. You may also have to pay for extra drywall and trim repair. 



Professional vs. DIY Window AC Installation

Window AC unit installation can be a do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement project. However, there are some situations where you should hire a professional. 

Professional Window AC Installation

Consider hiring a professional HVAC contractor and electrician to install your window AC if the unit is 15,000 BTUs or higher, or if you can’t carry a 200-pound unit alone. We highly recommend contacting a professional if you’re unsure about the window’s structural integrity, or if the job requires any special wiring or electrical work. 

Using a professional HVAC company ensures the job is completed correctly, resulting in fewer costly repairs from unforeseen issues later on. Additionally, many professionals include a warranty covering workmanship and parts to protect your investment.

DIY Window AC Installation

Most window AC units—especially smaller ones—come with an installation kit to help you put them in place yourself. You’ll need a utility knife, screwdriver, power drill, torpedo level, and a tape measure. You may want some help if the unit is heavy. You can also buy a support bracket that doesn’t require drilling or tools for an additional price (typically under $100).

You might want to call a pro if you don’t own the necessary tools and can’t find help. You should hire a professional HVAC company if your project requires extra work, such as electrical outlet installation, as this is more complicated and potentially dangerous. 



Our Recommendation

Window ACs are an excellent, cost-effective solution for small spaces. There are other options, such as portable or wall-mounted ACs, so do your research to determine what type of unit best suits your needs. Though window ACs can be easy DIY projects, we recommend looking into professional installation for any type of HVAC system. Hiring a pro ensures that the AC unit is installed correctly and prevents the need for future repairs and replacements due to slight mistakes. 

Use our tool below to connect with HVAC contractors that service your home’s address. 

Compare Quotes from HVAC Specialists
Just answer a few questions, and we’ll take care of the rest!



Window AC Installation Cost FAQ

Is a window AC hard to install?

A window AC is not hard to install. It requires minimal heavy lifting and tightening of a few screws. However, you should contact a professional if your installation requires changes to the window or additional work for the surrounding area, such as drywall and electrical work.

When are window ACs not preferred?

Window AC units are not ideal for homes with three or more rooms. They won’t effectively cool large spaces. In addition, you may not want to install a window AC unit if noise is a concern. A mini-split or central AC system may be better in these cases.

Do I need to winterize my window air conditioner?

You should winterize your window AC unit for maximum performance and efficiency. In most cases, it’s best to remove your unit, clean it, and store it during colder months to keep it in good condition for its entire 10-year life span.