For anybody currently living in El Salvador or planning to move to El Salvador, this is an important topic. One of the negatives to living in El Salvador is the heat. Its hot. Often around 98-100 degrees with a humidity level of 100%.
Being outside in the weather isn't half bad, it makes great for the beaches or yard work. Unfortunently sitting inside on the sofa or trying to sleep at night is quite unpleasant in the heat. In some states in the USA it does reach said temperatures however Central air conditioning is quite common.
In El Salvador cooling systems are not nearly as common. My first advice would be to get rid of the idea of a Central AC unit. The cost of electricity is way too high, there are very few companies to install them and they will charge plenty to do an installation. The actual cost of the units are considerably higher as well.
The best option is either a window unit or a Mini-split. A window unit can be used for a single room and a decent 8,000 BTU unit will comfortably cool a bedroom. I currently run a Haier 8,000 BTU window unit which utilizes 810 Watts of electricity an hour.
At the current rate of 0.17 cents a KW with Delsur in El Salvador, using the window unit 12 hours a day would cost roughly: $1.65 x 30 days = 49.50. Not half bad.
If you are more interested in a Mini-Split that is probably the best option. I recently upgraded to a 24,000 BTU Mini-split from Haier. The unit comfortably cools my kitchen, living room, bathroom, entry and bedroom. The Mini-Split resembles a central AC but does not use nearly as much electricity.
The 24,000 BTU unit uses 1.7KW of Electricity an hour. At the current energy rate and 12 hours usage daily that is roughly $3.4 daily x 30 = $102 monthly.
The cost is not half bad compared to what a Central AC unit would cost. A Central AC unit on average uses between 4-5 KW an hour. At the current electricity costs using a Central AC unit just 12 hours a day at 4.5KW electricity would cost about $9.18 daily x 30 = $275.40.
The savings by a Mini-Split should become quite apparent. In fact, having a Central AC unit here is very unpractical and very few do. The cost is just too high.
If you have never heard of a Mini-Split, they are much like a Central AC. The plus is that there are no vents to install. A Single blower unit is installed inside and connects to an outdoor compressor unit. An average 24,000 BTU unit currently costs $650 pre-charged with Freon. They can be purchased from OmniSport and many other dealers. Omnisport offers a finance plan and installation is an additional $70. You will also need to have the electrican connect the unit. The cost for us was about $15 for the electrician.
Here is more information and photos of the Haier Mini-Split units:
Here is a calculator to determine which one you would need to cool your space depending on the size in SQ FT:
Here is the current electricity cost per KWH via DelSur:
Remember to keep it cool. :-8