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The Most Cost-Effective Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

5 minute read

By Chelsea Dolan

During the last days of June 2021, northwestern areas of the US reached all-time high temperatures, with previous records broken in some places. Many cities in Washington and Oregon tied their soaring heat records, where the high temperatures reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit.¹ Find out how to save money on air conditioners with a quick online search.

This intense heatwave has affected everyone, especially those unaccustomed to such exceptional temperatures and those who don’t have air conditioning. Many people who have always done without air conditioners are now rushing to get them while trying not to break the bank. Search online to find the most cost-effective air conditioner for you.

living room with AC3DPhoto / Shutterstock

How to Save on Air Conditioners

Purchasing a new air conditioner is certainly a big home investment, but fortunately, there are some ways to help smart homeowners keep their initial and future costs as minimal as possible.

Get Tax Credits

Many manufacturers offer products that qualify for residential energy credits, enabling you to save money on your monthly energy bill and apply for immediate tax credits. So, when purchasing a new AC unit, do your research on whether the unit you’re looking at qualifies for any federal, state, or local tax credits.²

Focus On Rebate Opportunities

Many states, and AC manufacturers, offer rebates to offset the cost of a new system, especially if you are looking at a high-efficiency unit. Places like New Jersey have clean energy programs in place that provide rebates of up to $500 to help residents who are looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency.³

Choose The Right Size Air Conditioner

The appropriate size of an air conditioner in relation to the area you need to cool also plays a part in your monthly electricity bills. If the AC unit is too small for a room, it will have to work harder to cool the area down. If it is too big, it will use more energy than needed to keep the space cool. Therefore, it is important to ensure your AC is the right size.

Finance a Ductless AC

A new AC unit is a long-term home investment for sure. To help buyers with the upfront costs, many manufactures offer financing options to allow you to make multiple small payments instead of one large payment. Companies such as Ygrene and Trane offer great financing options, which include convenient monthly payments, competitive interest rates, and more.⁴

Ask For a Warranty

Every AC comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, typically varying from one year to several years. If you invest in a contractor’s warranty, the labor for air conditioner unit repairs and extra work will be covered. Extended warranties can even cover the part’s replacement costs. If you want peace of mind in case your AC breaks, looking at the available warranties for your machine is a great option.

Most Affordable Air Conditioners

Regardless of what your budget is, there is an AC to meet your needs. Gone are the days of needing a high-priced unit in order to keep living spaces at just the right temperature. There are now many more cost-effective and energy-efficient units to fit in your price point. Some of the best air conditioners you buy can even be found for less than $200, allowing you to keep cool this summer without breaking the bank.


This General Electric (GE) AHT05LZ 115-Volt mechanical room AC delivers 5,000 BTUs to cool rooms that are up to 150 sq. ft. It features two cooling settings, two fan speeds, and an easy temperature control that allows you to customize the exact comfort of your living spaces.

The air conditioner comes with an EZ mount kit to mount the unit in a window with a slide-out chassis for better fitting. Additional feature includes two-way adjustable air direction–easily direct airflow toward any area. It’s a popular pick with Walmart shoppers, and is available for $149 with free delivery.5

Toshiba RAC-WK0512CMU

Toshiba RAC-WK0512CMU is a 5,000 BTU air conditioner that comes in a sleek and contemporary design. This unit features easy-to-use controls with seven temperature settings, two speeds, and two cooling modes, enabling users to adjust the temperature at their own pace. It has a two-in-one cooling mode with ventilation settings for rooms up to 150 sq. ft. Washable filter, window install kit, and one-year limited warranty make this unit stand out among others. This Toshiba AC is available at Home Depot for $159, with free home delivery and curbside pickup.⁶

Midea MAW05M1BWT

The Midea MAW05M1BWT is a 5,000 BTU compact air conditioner that has all the cooling power needed for even the hottest days in the US. With an easy-to-use electronic control panel and sleek LED remote, the temperature can be adjusted to meet all your cooling needs. This air conditioner has up to 150 sq. ft. cooling coverage, seven temperature settings, two different cooling modes, two fan speeds, and a two-way air stream for perfect cooling every time.

The washable antibacterial mesh filter makes maintenance simple and quick. It can be easily installed with minimum changes to the existing window frame and fits in any standard window. This unit can be purchased from Walmart for $188 with free delivery.⁷

Frigidaire FFRA051WAE

Frigidaire FFRA051WAE 5,000 BTU AC is designed to efficiently cool a space that is up to 150 sq. ft. in size. It maintains a pre-set room temperature and features mechanical rotary controls with two cooling modes and two fan speeds, seven different temperature settings, and multi-directional air control.

Effortless restart technology automatically resumes operating once the power is stored to the unit. Its adjustable side panels keep it secure in its place and an easy-to-clean filter captures dust to keep the unit working efficiently. This air conditioner can be purchased from Walmart for $159.⁸

NewAir Luma Comfort EC111B Evaporative Cooler

The Luma Comfort is a 2-in-1 evaporative cooler and fan which serves as a great air conditioning alternative for arid climates, particularly Southwestern US. It features three fan speeds, two operation modes, wide-angle oscillation, a programmable timer, a digital display, and remote control. Instead of releasing harmful chemicals like freon, this cooler uses evaporative cooling technology to produce fresh air that can cool down a room up to 250 sq. ft.

This air conditioner can also be used as an air humidifier. The unit uses a removable 1.8-gallon tank for evaporative cooling and features a 500 CFM fan, enabling users to enjoy both features together or one at a time. Moreover, it uses 75% less energy than traditional air conditioners. NewAir Luma Comfort EC111B Evaporative Cooler can be purchased from Amazon for $199.⁹

Costway 23664-CYPE-CS

Another evaporative cooler, Costway 23664 is a 4-in-1 system that provides a total of four functions in a single unit–-cooler, heater, humidifier, and fan. It features an 8-hour timer, three different fan modes and speeds, a swing feature, an LED control panel, and far-range remote control. This unit can cool an area of up to 300 sq. ft. and can be moved from room to room, thanks to its four caster wheels.

For proper cooling or heating, the air passes through the honeycomb cooling media, while the dust filter purifies the air. This multifunctional device can be used all year long in both hot and cool weather. The Costway 23664-CYPE-CS air conditioner can be purchased for $199 from Amazon.¹⁰

Find Your Air Conditioner

Considering the blistering temperatures across the US, an air conditioner is certainly a lifesaver. Look for certain money-saving tips like tax credits, utility rebates, and financing options in your area and do your research on any of the above-listed air conditioners to beat the heat this summer.

Chelsea Dolan