The cost of staying cool this summer

The Cost of Staying Cool this Summer:

5 Most Expensive And Cheapest States

During extreme heat, it’s essential we maintain a cool house since overheating may harm our brain and other organs. Heat most undoubtedly increases our irritability. People often find it more challenging to fall asleep when they are hot, consequently, this contributes to us being less motivated to do our daily tasks and overcome different obstacles. 

This is where the need for air conditioners (AC) comes in. Thanks to their advanced technology, they’re able to keep us both comfortable and safe.

However, comfort comes with a price. Air conditioners are by far one of the most significant energy users in our houses. They consume around 6% of all power produced in the United States, costing American houses approximately $29 billion annually.

With that in mind, Home Air Authority set out to locate the less and most affordable states to stay cool during the hot summer days.

This study considered three significant factors for ranking the states: electricity price, average temperature, and average house size of each state.

Home Air Authority takes a look at which states are dominating the list of most expensive and cheapest states to keep the house cool this summer. In addition to the mentioned factors, this list also considers the number of hours per day the AC needs to be on to achieve the cool effect. The list ranks the states as follows: 

Key Takeaways

  • Hawaii leads the list of the most costly states to stay cool this summer despite having the smallest average house size of 1309 square feet, while Washington ranks as the most affordable state on the list.
  • Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia are the 5 most expensive states to have an AC running during the summer.
  • Washington, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, and Kentucky are the 5 cheapest states to have an AC running during the summer.
  • Even though Alaska doesn’t have the highest temperatures in summer and only needs to use air conditioning for two hours per day, it is still in the top 10 most expensive states to cool a home in the summer due to the high cost of electricity and the size of houses.

The 5 Most

Expensive States



Hawaii, one of the most beautiful places in the world, tops our list for the most expensive state to have an AC running during the hot summer days. 

In the average house size of 1,309 square feet, an AC will use up to 2,290 watts per hour (2.29kwh). Additionally, the cost of electricity in Hawaii tops all 49 other states, with an average of 34.3 cents per kWh. 

Running for four hours per day at the average kWh unit cost of 34.3 cents and on an average outside temperature of 80°F, a central air conditioner would cost $3.14 per day or about $94.2 per month.

Average house size

1,309 square feet

Average eletricity price

$94.2 per month

Average summer temperature

78 °F



While there is no bad weather throughout the year, the worst time to visit Texas is during the summer, when temperatures are high, especially in the state’s semi-arid and dry areas.

Texas sits in the top 5 states with the largest houses, averaging 2,031 square feet. To achieve a cool temperature, these houses need a running AC for six hours a day with 3,554 watts per hour.

If we take into account the average kWh unit cost of 12.24 cents, it costs Texans an average of $.,61 per day or $78.3 per month.

Average house size

2,031 square feet

Average eletricity price

$78.3 per month

Average summer temperature

81 °F



Overall, Florida is the hottest state all year. Being near the equator, it receives more sunshine than the rest of the country.

The average house size in Florida is approximately 1,694 square feet. A central AC consumes about 2,964 watts of electricity within such a spacious area. Considering the hot weather, the AC should be on for about six hours per day to freshen up the house.

This costs a Floridian family about $2.21 per day, ranking the state among the top three most expensive states with roughly $66.4 per month.

Average house size

1,786 square feet

Average eletricity price

$66.4 per month

Average summer temperature

81 °F



Louisiana also scores high in terms of the cost of staying cool this summer. Louisiana is the third-hottest state in the United States, with an average high temperature of 87°F. 

Within the average home size of 1,786 square feet, an AC consumes about 3,125.5 watts per hour. Because of Louisiana’s high temperatures, the AC should ideally stay on for six hours a day to achieve a cool temperature. 

Considering the average kWh unit price of 11.07 cents, this costs the average family approximately $2.19 per day or $65.8 per month.

Average house size

1,786 square feet

Average eletricity price

$66.4 per month

Average summer temperature

81 °F



The climate of Georgia is humid and subtropical. As a result, winters are moderate, and summers are hot and humid.

Georgia ranks in the top 10 states with the most spacious houses, averaging 1,963 square feet. Within this area, ACs run about 3,435.25 watts per hour, at the average kWh unit cost of 12.97 cents. The average summer temperature of about 78.7°F requires the AC to run for approximately four hours a day to achieve the desired temperature. 

Considering all of the above factors, the cost of staying cool for Georgians goes up to $1.78 per day or $53.4 per month.

Average house size

1,963 square feet

Average eletricity price

$53.4 per month

Average summer temperature

79 °F

The 5 Most

Cheapest States



Washington, the smallest but most densely populated state on the Pacific Coast, comes first as the most affordable state to stay cool this summer. 

An AC utilizes around 3,330.25 watts per hour in a 1,903 square feet house, which is the average house size in Washington. Considering the temperature, the AC should preferably be turned on for two hours daily to maintain a cool temperature. 

With an average kWh unit price of 10.04 cents, this costs the typical household $6.9 each day, making Washington the most affordable of all other states, with only a $20.8 monthly cost.

Average house size

1,903 square feet

Average eletricity price

$20.8 per month

Average summer temperature

62 °F



With all of Idaho’s mountains and valleys, the weather is wonderful, and the state’s natural aspects are superb.

The average house size in Idaho is one of the ten largest, with an average of 1,932 square feet. Air Conditioners in this area consume around 3,381 watts per hour, with a kWh unit cost of 10.42 cents on average. The typical summer temperature of about 61.8°F necessitates running the AC for roughly two hours daily to obtain the desired effect.

Considering the above, the cost of remaining cool for Idahoans is only $7.04 per day or $21.1 per month, placing the state second on the list of the most economical states to maintain a cool house.

Average house size

1,932 square feet

Average eletricity price

$21.1 per month

Average summer temperature

62 °F



Average house size

1,714 square feet

Average eletricity price

$21.2 per month

Average summer temperature

72 °F

Nebraska’s climate is typical of the Midwest, with big seasonal extremes such as hot summers and freezing winters.

In Nebraska, the average house size is roughly 1,714 square feet. In such large areas, a central air conditioner consumes approximately 2,999.5 watts of power. Considering Nebraska weather, the AC should be left on for roughly two hours a day to freshen up the house, for an average kWh unit price of 11.78 cents. 

Consequently, the typical household pays roughly 70.6 cents a day, placing the state in the top three most affordable states to spend a cool summer in, with a monthly cost of only $21.2 per month.



Average house size

1,835 square feet

Average eletricity price

$21.6 per month

Average summer temperature

69 °F

Nevada is one of the few states where the weather remains relatively constant. The climate of the Silver State provides citizens with plenty of sunshine, low humidity, little precipitation, and mild wind.

Nevada’s average house size is 1,835 square feet. Within this limit, an AC consumes roughly 3,211.25 watts per hour with the price of 11.22 cents kWh. The summer days have an average temperature of 68.7°F. Based on this temperature, it is ideal to have the AC running for two hours a day. 

All these factors come together to give us the price of 72.06 cents per day, which translates to $21.6 per month. This ranks Nevada fourth on our list.

Kentucky ​


Average house size

1,750 square feet

Average eletricity price

$21.7per month

Average summer temperature

75 °F

During peak summer in July, high temperatures routinely exceed 95°F, and the heat is often uncomfortable; however, Kentucky ranks relatively high in the most affordable states to keep the houses cool.

On an average home size of 1,750 square feet, an AC will use up to 3,062.5 watts per hour. Running for two hours a day at the average kWh unit cost of 11.79  cents, and with the average outside temperature of 74.5 °F, a central air conditioner would cost 72.21 cents per day. 

This means that, on average, the AC usage in Kentucky contributes to the monthly bill by only $21.7

How to Use an Air Conditioner Economically

When it comes to staying cool and saving money, you may be creative in various ways. When summer heat strikes, though, air conditioning is sometimes the best option. Using an air conditioner efficiently can help you maintain your physical and financial equilibrium.

Use your AC moderately

The most effective technique to save money on air conditioning is to use it sparingly. During the night, try to keep the setting of your air conditioner low. If you have a smart AC controller or a programmable thermostat, you can use it to set a temperature range for the night. This would aid you in maintaining a specified temperature range for a nice, restful sleep. During the day, you can keep your air conditioning on full blast (though it is not advised) or maintain a reasonable temperature. Some air conditioners include energy-saving features like eco or run-on auto. These modes help you maintain a low, consistent, and comfortable temperature.

Your air conditioning unit should be covered

If the outside of your air conditioner faces the sun, it will not run as efficiently as if it were in the shade. To prevent it from overheating, provide an awning or other sort of shade.

Limit other sources of heat

Baking is one of the major sources of excess heat in your house, and limiting the usage of your oven is another strategy to keep your house cool without causing your air conditioner to work extra. With this in mind, try to consume stuff that doesn't require baking so that you do not generate any heat. If you need to bake, iron, or run the dishwasher, wait until nightfall, when the temperature will normally begin to cool off outdoors


Electricity prices 

This study took into account the average price of electricity using Statista’s U.S. residential retail price. The data includes the cost in cents per kilowatt-hour that impacts the quantity of power usage. 

House size

House size also matters when it comes to air conditioner power usage. Using the data from Realtor, we collected the average size of houses per state. A larger house size indicates that an AC unit uses more electrical power to function. 


When the temperature outside is higher than the average, an air conditioner will operate at full capacity.

The high average temperatures collected from National Centers for Environmental Information contributed to the hottest states being ranked higher on the expensive list.

The study considered running the AC for:

  • 2h per day if the average temperature hits 75°F.
  • 4h per day if the average temperature is between 75-80°F. and,
  • 6h per day if the average temperature exceeds 80°F


We must mention that the calculations were made based on the Walt usage of Central Air Conditioners.