How much does it cost to run an air fryer and is it cheaper than a microwave?

Wondering how much does it cost to run an air fryer? You're not alone, especially as energy bills are still sky high

Woman cooking fries in an air fryer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Air fryers might have surged in popularity in recent years, but how much does it cost to run an air fryer and does it work out cheaper than using an oven or microwave? It's an important question to ask with energy bills still much higher than this time last year. 

If you're worried about how much your energy bills will cost (opens in new tab), there is some good news in that in October bill's aren't going to rise as much as originally announced, thanks to Liz Truss' energy bill freeze scheme, the Energy Price Guarantee, which replaces the energy price cap (opens in new tab)

The Energy Price Guarantee comes into force on 1 October. October will also see the roll out of the £400 energy rebate (opens in new tab) pledged by former Chancellor Rishi Sunak. 

But while prices for October aren't as high as originally announced, they are still considerable higher than last year, and so knowing how to save energy in homes will be high on family agendas to keep costs as low as possible. 

Understanding how much your most-used appliances cost to run can be quite eye opening, especially when compared to energy-saving alternatives.

Personal finance expert John Fitzsimons (opens in new tab), who has written for the Mirror, the Sun, loveMONEY, Moneywise and our sister brand The Money Edit, said: "Air fryers are faster and generally thought to be more efficient than regular ovens, which not only means that the food is cooked more quickly, but you also use less energy in the process. 

“Nonetheless, it's a good idea to understand how much energy you are using when cooking with your air fryer, and how much it is therefore costing you." 

How much does it cost to run an air fryer? 

Air fryers cost between 11p and 28p to run per day, which works out as between £40.80 and £124.08 per year. But exact running costs will depend on the type and model you have, how often you use it and how much you pay for your electricity. 

We have taken the example of a 1,400W basket air fryer, that is large enough to cook three to four portions at a time, and assumed it's used for 30 minutes every day. Also right now, the average price per kWh for electricity is 28p, but from 1 October this figure will rise to 34p. Here's how that will affect this example air fryer's running costs. 

  • Until 30 September, average running costs would be 19.6p per use, which works out as £5.96 per month and £71.52 per year. 
  • But from 1 October, this will rise to 23.8p per use, £7.24 per month or £86.88 per year, when the Energy Price Guarantee comes into force. 

For comparison if you have an 800W air fryer, right now, your running costs will be roughly 11.2p per use, £3.40 per month and £40.80 per year (based on using it for 30 mins every day). From 1 October, these will be 13.6p per use, £4.13 per month, and £49.56 per year.

If you have a 2,000W air fryer, until the end of September, you'd be looking at running costs of around 28p per use, £8.51 per month and £102.12 per year.  These will rise to 34p per use, £10.34 per month and £124.08 per year from 1 October when the price you pay per unit of electricity changes. 

Cost per use (from 1 October)Cost per month (from 1 October)Cost per year (from 1 October)
800W air fryer13.6p£4.13£49.56
1400W air fryer23.8p£7.24£86.88
2000W air fryer 34p£10.34£124.08

Two things to consider when using an air fryer are the newer models tend to be more energy efficient to run so they may cost less, and the more powerful the air fryer, the quicker the cooking time. 

 Are air fryers cheaper to run than an oven?

An air fryer is cheaper to run than a conventional oven. Not only do they use less energy, but they can also cook food quicker. For example, you can cook a potato waffle in an air fryer in about eight minutes, where it would take more than double that in a conventional oven. 

But if you need to cook large amounts of food that wouldn't fit into an air fryer, it could work out cheaper to use your oven, rather than using your air fryer multiple times. 

It reportedly costs around 87p per day (opens in new tab) to run an oven, which is more expensive than an air fryer, A conventional oven uses an average of 2,000 to 5,000 Watts depending on whether it’s on a high, medium or low heat. This is easily more than double the energy used by an air fryer. 

Goodto.com's Money Editor Sarah Handley (opens in new tab) says: "If you use your oven daily, it might be worth considering an air fryer. Not only it is a healthy way of cooking, but an air fryer uses significantly less energy, and can cook food faster too. But do your research first. See what kinds of foods you can and can't cook in an air fryer, and what capacity air fryer would best suit the needs of you and your family." 

 Are air fryers cheaper to run than a microwave?

Air fryers are not cheaper to run than a microwave - they are slightly more expensive. Microwaves are quite energy efficient to use and depending on the specification of the microwave you have, can cost between 6.5p and 10.9p per use compared to 11p to 28p for an air fryer. 

But it is likely that you will use your microwave for different types of food than you would an air fryer. You are much more likely to cook chips in an air fryer than in a microwave, but if you wanted to quickly heat up soup, you'd be more likely to turn to your microwave. 

How much does it cost to buy an air fryer and is it worth it?

With air fryers growing in popularity there are a lot of options available to buy at a variety of price points. You can pay anything from £30 up to around £200+ for an all-singing, all-dancing model. Both Asda (opens in new tab) and Aldi (opens in new tab) have sold air fryers recently for around £30, although both are currently out of stock. Check out this list of the best air fryers (opens in new tab) from our sister brand Real Homes. 

If you are looking to buy an air fryer, make sure you choose one with the right capacity for you and your family. Buying a small one, where you can only cook one portion at a time, but need to feed a family of four will leave you disappointed. 

Air fryers are worth it if you are looking for a healthier, more energy efficient way to cook, but you'll need to regularly use it instead of your oven to see any real cost savings. 

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