# How Much Does It Cost To Run A Mini Split Per Month? (Calculator)

Modern mini splits are considered the most efficient type of air conditioning. We are going to look into how much does it cost to run a mini split per hour for 9,000 BTU, 12,000 BTU, 18,000 BTU, 24,000 BTU, 30,000 BTU, and 36,000 BTU mini splits. Based on that, we will look at how much does it cost to run a mini split per month; basically how much a mini split electricity bill you should expect.

Below you will find two calculators and a chart with summarized calculations. Most people who install a mini split see a significant drop in cooling costs. A mini split can cost anywhere from below \$12 to above \$500 (in extreme cases) to run per month. A great majority of mini splits cost less than \$100/month to run. How much exactly? We are going to help you calculate just that.

In order to calculate how much does it cost to run a mini split per hour, day, week, or month, we will use 3 metrics. These are:

1. How many watts does a mini split use? Mini split average wattage depends on two factors; size of mini split (BTUs or tons) and SEER rating. If we know what size mini split we have and its SEER rating, we can calculate how many watts on average does a mini split use (we will show you how to do that). Example: A 12,000 BTU mini split with a 16SEER rating will, on average, run on 750 watts. It will consume 0.75 kWh every hour.
2. Price of electricity. How much does a kWh costs in your area? Throughout this article, we will use the US national average price of \$0.132 per kWh (kilowatt-hour). Of course, your electricity price per kWh will be different; it could be as low as \$0.08/kWh or as high as \$0.30/kWh.
3. How much do you use your mini split? In summer months (June, July, August), we run a mini split for about 8 hours per day (on average). Your monthly mini split electricity bill will be lower if you use the mini split less, or higher if you use it a bit more.

Quick example of mini split power usage and running cost: Let’s say we have a 24,000 BTU mini split with a 20 SEER rating. On average, it will run on 1,200W. That means it will consume 1.2 kWh every hour. At \$0.132/kWh electricity cost, such a 24,000 BTU mini split will have a running cost of:

• \$0.16 per hour.
• \$1.27 per day if you run it for 8 hours. Or \$3.80 per day if you run it 24 hours non-stop.
• \$8.87 per week if you run it for 8 hours. Or \$26.61 per week if you run it 24 hours non-stop.
• \$38.02 per month if you run it for 8 hours. Or \$114.05 per week if you run it 24 hours non-stop.

You probably don’t have a 20 SEER 24,000 BTU mini split. That’s why we will explain how you can adequately calculate the running cost of your mini split per hour and per month. Don’t worry, it’s quite easy and we will go step-by-step. Note: If you don’t find you answer, you can always use the comment section below, describe your situation, and we’ll help you out.

To help everybody out, we have also designed two ‘Mini Split Running Cost Calculators’:

• 1st calculator will tell you how much does your mini split cost to run per hour.
• 2nd calculator will tell you how much does your mini split cost to run per month.

We will also summarize all the running costs for mini splits ranging from 9,000 BTU to 36,000 BTU and with SEER rating ranging from 14 SEER to 25 SEER in a big chart at the end of the article. You can quite easily read how much does it cost to run a mini split per month from that chart. The most power-hungry part of a mini split is the compressor (located in the outdoor unit). Both blower fans also take more than 40W each to run.

Let’s first show how to calculate the mini split electricity bill manually. It’s quite useful to understand how to do that, and afterward, you can use the 2 calculators that do all this process manually:

## How To Calculate Mini Split Electricity Usage And Running Cost

Alright, we need to use 3 factors mentioned earlier – wattage, electricity price, usage hours – to calculate how much does it cost to run a mini split. Here is a rather simple mini split running cost formula we will use:

Mini Split Running Cost = Average Wattage × Electricity Price × Usage Hours / 1000

It’s quite simple to use. As an example, let’s calculate how much does it cost to run a 12,000 BTU 16 SEER mini split per month. Let’s presume that the electricity price is \$0.132/kWh and we use it for 8 hours per day (that would yield a total of 30×8 hours = 240 usage hours per month). That 1000 factor is just to convert watts into kilowatts (since electricity prices are given per kWh, not Wh).

Now, the key metric – the factor that most people struggle with – is how many watts does a mini split use. We can determine the average wattage of a mini split based on size and SEER rating using this equation:

Average Wattage = Size Of Mini Split (In BTUs) / SEER rating

In our case, we this formula looks like this:

Average Wattage (16 SEER 12,000 BTU Mini Split) = 12,000 BTUs / 17 = 750 Watts

In short, our mini split will run on 750 watts on average. Obviously, it will sometimes run on 1,000 watts and other times on 500 watts, but the average wattage (based on SEER rating) is 750 watts.

Now, we have all 3 factors and can simply use the mini split running cost equation to calculate the 16 SEER 12,000 BTU mini split running cost per month by just plugging the number in like this:

Mini Split Running Cost = 750W × \$0.132 kWh × 240h / 1000 = \$38.02 Per Month

As you can see, running a 12,000 BTU 16 SEER mini split 8 hours per day at \$0.132/kWh electricity price will cost \$38.02 per month.

You can use this calculation with pretty much any mini split; just insert your BTUs, price of electricity, SEER rating, and usage hours, and you will be able to estimate quite precisely how much does it cost to run a mini split.

As promised, to help you out, we have prepared 2 calculators that do all of this math automatically. You just insert the variables, and the 1st calculator will tell you how much does a running hour cost and the 2nd will tell you how much will running a mini split add to your electricity bill. After both of these calculators, we have summarized running costs of 9,000 BTU to 36,000 BTU and 14 SEER to 25 SEER mini splits in a big chart:

## How Much Does It Cost To Run A Mini Split Per Hour? (1st Calculator)

Just insert your mini split specs and the calculator will calculate the running cost of your mini split per hour (you can also play around with the numbers to see how the running cost changes):

Here is how to use this per hour calculator:

Let say you have a big 36,000 BTU 19 SEER mini split and want to know how much it will cost to run it per hour if the price of electricity is \$0.15/kWh. Use the sliders and slide them to ‘36000’ BTUs, ’19’ SEER, ‘0.15’ dollars per kWh, and you get the result: “\$0.28 Per Hour”.

Essentially, a big 36,000 BTU 19 SEER unit will cost about \$0.28/hour to run given the average price of electricity.

You can do this with any mini split. If you want to calculate how much such a mini split will cost to run per month, you only need to multiply the cost per hour by the number of hours you are going to run a mini split in a month. That’s exactly what this next calculator (per month) does:

## How Much Does It Cost To Run A Mini Split Per Month? (2nd Calculator)

You have the same inputs here, with an additional one: Number of hours you run a mini split per day. This is quite hard to determine since on hot days you can run it for 12 hours and on colder days you run it for 4 hours or less. Try to find a rough average and you can slide the last slider here to see how the mini splits monthly electricity bill changes with usage:

You can use this calculate the same as the first one. You can, for example, try to calculate what is the most you are likely to pay for running a mini split.

Here is an extreme example: Let’s say you have a big 48,000 BTU (4-ton) mini split with a very low 14 SEER rating efficiency. The price of electricity is very high – \$0.25/kWh – and you are running this mini split non-stop 24/7 for a whole month. How much will you pay for the electricity?

\$617.14 per month. This is the absolute highest running cost per month for a mini split. Most mini splits will increase the electricity bill by less than \$100 per month.

To illustrate what are likely monthly electricity bills for running a mini split, we have made several calculations and summarized them in this chart:

### Mini Split Monthly Electricity Bill Chart

Here we summarize the monthly running cost of the most common mini splits on the market: From the smallest 9,000 BTU unit to the big 36,000 BTU units, from the least efficient 14 SEER units to very efficient 25 SEER units. These are the monthly running cost if you run these units 8 hours per day (on average) and if your electricity price is \$0.132/kWh:

 SEER Rating: 9,000 BTU Mini Split: 12,000 BTU Mini Split: 18,000 BTU Mini Split: 24,000 BTU Mini Split: 30,000 BTU Mini Split: 36,000 BTU Mini Split: 14 SEER Mini Split \$20.37 Per Month \$27.15 Per Month \$40.73 Per Month \$54.31 Per Month \$67.89 Per Month \$81.46 Per Month 15 SEER Mini Split \$19.01 Per Month \$25.34 Per Month \$38.02 Per Month \$50.69 Per Month \$63.36 Per Month \$76.03 Per Month 16 SEER Mini Split \$17.82 Per Month \$23.76 Per Month \$35.64 Per Month \$47.52 Per Month \$59.40 Per Month \$71.28 Per Month 17 SEER Mini Split \$16.77 Per Month \$22.36 Per Month \$33.54 Per Month \$44.72 Per Month \$55.91 Per Month \$67.09 Per Month 18 SEER Mini Split \$15.84 Per Month \$21.12 Per Month \$31.68 Per Month \$42.24 Per Month \$52.80 Per Month \$63.36 Per Month 19 SEER Mini Split \$15.01 Per Month \$20.01 Per Month \$30.01 Per Month \$40.02 Per Month \$50.02 Per Month \$60.03 Per Month 20 SEER Mini Split \$14.26 Per Month \$19.01 Per Month \$28.51 Per Month \$38.02 Per Month \$47.52 Per Month \$57.02 Per Month 21 SEER Mini Split \$13.58 Per Month \$18.10 Per Month \$27.15 Per Month \$36.21 Per Month \$45.26 Per Month \$54.31 Per Month 22 SEER Mini Split \$12.96 Per Month \$17.28 Per Month \$25.92 Per Month \$34.56 Per Month \$43.20 Per Month \$51.84 Per Month 23 SEER Mini Split \$12.40 Per Month \$16.53 Per Month \$24.79 Per Month \$33.06 Per Month \$41.32 Per Month \$49.59 Per Month 24 SEER Mini Split \$11.88 Per Month \$17.28 Per Month \$25.92 Per Month \$31.68 Per Month \$39.60 Per Month \$47.52 Per Month 25 SEER Mini Split \$11.40 Per Month \$15.21 Per Month \$22.81 Per Month \$30.41 Per Month \$38.02 Per Month \$45.62 Per Month

With this chart, you get a clear picture of how much does it cost to run different mini splits per month.

Do notice how the monthly expenses for mini splits:

• Decrease with the increasing SEER rating. Example: If you check 36,000 BTU units, a 14 SEER rated model has \$81.46 per month running cost and a 25 SEER rated model has \$45.62 per month running cost. These are the SEER savings you can benefit from. Obviously, high SEER units cost more as well, so there is a compromise here between the initial mini split cost and later running cost.
• Increase with the increasing mini split size. If you check 20 SEER mini splits, a 12,000 BTU unit has a monthly running cost of only \$21.12. A bigger 36,000 BTU mini split has a 2 times higher monthly running cost (\$63.36/month) since it is 2 times bigger.

With both calculators and charts, you can now determine how much it costs to run a mini split per month. If you need any help with the calculations for your mini split, we are here for you; just use the comment section below, give us a bit of insight into your situation, and we will try to help you out.

### 19 thoughts on “How Much Does It Cost To Run A Mini Split Per Month? (Calculator)”

1. My RV could get by using a 9,000 BTU mini-split, but that is close to maxed out. Would operating cost be lower using a 12,000 BTU unit, not having to run it so hard to cool the same area?

• Hello Jim, well, let’s think like this: Normally, an AC is operating on average at 58% output (according to how the SEER rating is calculated). Let’s say these RV mini splits have a 10 EER rating; that means that max. wattage of 9,000 BTU unit would be 900W and max. wattage of 12,000 BTU unit would be 1,200W.

Now, if you run AC close to being maxed out, we can presume average output of 70-80% (due to on/off cycles it’s impossible to run it at 100% output). That’s 630W to 720W input for 9,000 BTU unit. If you replace it with a 12,000 BTU unit, it will operate at average 58% output, using about 696W input. So, it’s kind of the same.
Where you can lower mini split running costs, however, is by increasing SEER rating. If the new 12,000 BTU unit has a higher SEER rating than 9,000 BTU, you will save on cooling costs. Hope this makes sense.

2. Your calculators need updating. In CA where I live my electricity costs are currently .34 kwh off-peak and .48 peak, and going up soon again.

• Hi Warren, you are right, these electricity costs are through the roof. It’s extremely difficult to stay on top of these volatile electricity prices, we’ll try to figure something out. Thanks to your suggestion, we have extended the calculator to \$0.600 max. kWh price. Hope we don’t have to extend it even further soon.

3. Can you please tell me on a mini split that is 9,000 BTUs 16 seer that is kept at 72° 24 hours a day how much does it cost per month on my electric? Oops…our price is
Non-fuel:
1st 1000 kWh .073710
Over 1000 at .083710

Fuel:
1st 1000 kWh .034870
Over 1000 at .044870

• Hi LuAnn, alright, a 9,000 BTU 16 SEER mini split will require, on average, 562.5 watts to run. So, that is 0.5625 kWh of electricity expenditure per hour. Running it for 24 hours, that’s 13.5 kWh. If you run it 24 hours per day for a month (30 days), that’s 405 kWh of electricity expenditure in total.
I see that you have listed the electricity prices for non-fuel (let’s say about \$0.08/kWh) and fuel (let’s say about \$0.04/kWh).

Using non-fuel electricity, it will cost about \$32.40 per month. Using fuel electricity, it will cost about \$16.20 per month. Hope this makes sense.

4. I have 2 9,000 BTU 30 seer outdoor units each with 2 indoor units running 24/7 with an electric cost of .25 on average. My electric bills have been between \$500.00 to \$900.00 a month. No where near any of the examples given. Any thoughts to why?

• Hi Robin, the 30 SEER are incredibly efficient; the \$500-\$900 a month is a bit crazy numbers. 9,000 BTU outdoor unit with 2 indoor air handlers? That would mean that each air handler is 4,500 BTU? The smallest indoor unit is 6,000 BTU Mitsubishi unit, most of the small ones are 9,000 BTU.

Alright, regardless of this, let’s try to explain the maximum cost example. Most probably, you have a mini split heat pump and use it for heating. SEER is only for cooling; HSPF rating is for heating. An average HSPF rating is about 10. That means that a 9,000 BTU unit would run on 900 watts, if you run it at 100% output all the time (given the 2022 December temperatures, that might just be the case). Two of them would be powered by 1,800 watts 24/7. In 30 days, that would yield an electricity usage of 30 days * 24 hours/day * 1,800W = 1,296,000 Wh or 1,296 kWh. At electricity cost of \$0.25 per kWh, the total expense would be \$324. That is the absolute theoretical maximum electricity cost.

That’s still below to \$500-\$900 range. The logical conclusion would be that you have 2 outdoor units each providing more than 9,000 BTU. 18,000 BTU would be the minimum; for a total of 36,000 BTU. That would increase the maximum cost to \$648 per month.

It’s kind of weird to see such a case, to be honest. The cited metrics just don’t match up. Hopefully, these calculations give you a bit of insight on why the bills are so high. Almost all homeowners with much bigger units will not get these kinds of monthly bills.

5. Hello, I’m hoping to find a solution to my problem as well. I know this is a bit old thread but I have been experiencing this. I live in CT and for the past yrs my eletric bill has been nothing lower than 1800 kw per months. This month of January I was at 2200 kw. I do have a 42000 btu compressor with 5 heads in the house, 18k living room and bed room at 9k. The run approximately 7hrs per day. But mostly just the living room for heat and summer for cool. My house heats with oil. My water heats with the furnace. Nothing else runs. And I rarely turn my bedroom heat due to having house temp at 65 due to oil. What could be draining my. Energy.

My neighbors never pass 800kw per months and we pretty much have identical house at 2k sf house.

• Hi Richardo, that 800 kWh per month is in line with what you would expect for a 2000 sq ft house. Your 2000+ kWh per month numbers are quite out of the ordinary.
Alright, let’s calculate a bit. Let’s say that your 42,000 BTU mini split has an about average HSPF rating of 10. That means that, on average, the mini split runs on 4200 watts and is using 4.2 kWh of electricity per hour. If you run it for 7 hours per day for 1 month (30 days), that’s 210 running hours, for a total mini split electricity usage of 882 kWh per month.
Now, you could say we have a little bit colder winter, and round that up to 1000 kWh per month. That would be in line with expectations. Where the additional 1000+ kWh comes from is anybody’s guess. It’s not the mini split; could be any other high wattage appliances doing something it should be doing. Hope you solve this.

6. hi, I just installed a 48k heat pump with 23 SEER and 12 HSPF completely ductless with 6 indoor units. the 6 indoor units total 45K. lets say I run all 6 indoor units for 8 hrs a day at .33 cents kWh, how much will it cost me? is it cheaper to just set it at 68 degrees and forget it as a few people have told me… thank you very much

• Hi Julio, setting the thermostat to 68 degrees and forgetting about it is actually what is recommended. The only thing you need to check before is how much you are likely to pay on per month basis. Let’s calculate that:

Alright, we have a 48k unit (we take the outdoor unit BTUs). While cooling, the unit will run at an average wattage of 48,000 BTU / 23 SEER = 2086 Watts. That means your are use 2.086 kWh per hour. In 8 hours, you will use 8 × 2.086 kWh = 16.696 kWh per day. Given the high \$0.33/kWh price of electricity, that’s \$5.51 per day. On monthly basis, that’s 500.88 kWh per month at a cost of \$165.29 per month. That’s the cooling part.

While heating, the unit will run at an average wattage of 48,000 BTU / 12 HSPF = 4000 Watts. That means your are use 4 kWh per hour. In 8 hours, you will use 8 × 4 kWh = 32 kWh per day. Given the high \$0.33/kWh price of electricity, that’s \$10.56 per day. On monthly basis, that’s 960 kWh per month at a cost of \$316.80 per month for heating.

Now, what temperature you set on the thermostat will definitely impact these estimated costs, but these are the ballpark figures. Hope this helps.

• So u think setting it at 68 and leaving it alone will make it more or less efficient???

• Hi Julio, the efficiency should be the same. However, when cooling to 68 degrees, the mini split will use more electricity than cooling it to 72 degrees. In heating mode, heating to 68 degrees will use less electricity than heating to 72 degrees.

• Thank you

7. Hi
First off, thank you for spending the time to put this together. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
So from your examples above you have shared the cooling cost but as I live in Canada, is this the same for the heating costs?

I currently live in a two story house which is reasonable well insulated and relatively new windows. I spend 85% of my time in the 800 Sq ft basement so I am considering getting a 12000 BTU Mini Split system for the basement. The thought being why heat and cool the rest of the house any more than I have to when I spend more time in the basement. The house has a gas forced air system in good working order but is lacking for the basement.

My thought was in the winter to lower the temperature of the upper 2 floors to 58 F and use the Mini Split to heat the basement to a comfy 69. In the summer most of the time the basement is cool but gets a little humid so might run the Mini Split to reduce the humidity or if it gets a little warn just to bring it down a couple of degrees.

Is this a good idea or am I just wasting money that I could just invest into a good space heater?

Any thoughts would be appreciated

• Hi Kelly, your question is right on point. The key consideration here is that mini split heating output at very low degrees (Canada’s winters) will decrease. Namely, if you run a 12,000 BTU mini split at below 20°F (-7°C), the heating output will be reduced (to let’s say 6,000-8,000 BTU, depending on the unit).

The good thing is that the Canadian government has a challenge for mini split heat pump manufacturers to create high efficiency cold climate unit. Those would be very efficient at low winter temperatures as well. However, for now, your solution of getting a good 1,500W space heater is more optimal.

A 12,000 BTU mini split heat pump would cost more than \$1,000 while a space heater costs less than \$100. This difference in cost cannot be justified by energy savings. Hope this helps and gives you a bit of insight to make the right choice here.

8. • 