In this AC buying guide, our goal is to save our money as much as possible in the initial and running cost of an air conditioner. We will explain how to pick the right air conditioner for your home in simple 7 steps. We understand that finding a great AC is not an easy task, mainly because this appliance costs an extra monthly bill, if not selected properly.
There are multiple factors that you need to understand before buying your first AC. Here are the recommended 7 steps to follow
- Decide your budget
- Select the AC Type
- Check your Room Size
- Look for better star rated AC
- Check for AC condenser coil type
- Go with inverter technology
- Look for additional important features
Step 1: Decide your Budget
The first step before buying anything is, of course, to decide your budget. In the case of AC, the more price you pay initially, the running cost will be substantially less. For example, purchasing a 5 star AC will definitely cost you more, but it will save more electric power, which is also a part of saving. With a high budget, you get the latest technology like inverter AC that has a 5 to 10 years longer lifespan. Furthermore, high budget AC comes with low maintenance costs. So, carefully decide your budget before you buy it.
Step 2: Select AC Type
Always understand that your requirement decides which AC type you need. So there are basically two types of AC available in the Indian market, i.e., Split AC and Window AC. So, here is how you can decide which AC type your home required.
Fun Fact: You barely can hear the compressor noise of a Split AC as it stays outside of your room. However, you can hear the noise of Window AC’s compressor clearly. Also, there is a misconception that the split AC compressor that stays outside can get damaged by rain. However, it’s not true. The compressor of split AC is built for the outdoor environment; even though, try to keep it dust-free.
Step 3: Check Your Room Size
Okay, now you have decided which AC type you need, the next step is to check your room size. You ask why? Because room size helps us to pick the correct tonnage (capacity in ton) limit.
For example: If you choose 1.5 ton AC in 8 x 8 feet the room then it will cause more power consumption. In such a scenario, having 1-ton capacity AC is a better choice for optimal cooling and power saving. Remember, the goal is still to save our money.
Fun fact: Try to face your AC in the East or North direction for optimal cooling in India. The cooling also depends on the floor in which you are installing an AC (higher capacity AC for the higher floor). If the window of the room is too large or the atmospheric temperature is above 38°C, you may require a high capacity AC.
Step 4: Look for Better Star Rating
Star rating is given by BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) which is an Indian government “Department of Energy Saving”. So this star rating is totally based on ISEER value (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Its ISEER value simply tells how efficiently an appliance is using electricity. In other terms, it means that your AC is using only the necessary amount of power to produce required cooling. Higher the value of ISEER means less wastage of electricity.
According to this chart, if an AC has 4.55 ISEER value, it should be a 4 Star AC. However, the star rating may change if the ISEER value is older than in 2018. Learn more about star rating in AC.
As a conclusion, we can say that AC consumes less power when it has a high energy star rating. Below is the chart of monthly saving on 1-star to 5-star energy star ACs. This chart is a rough figure for your monthly bill savings, assuming that you run your AC for 8 hours daily.
Fun Fact: Window AC with same star rating as Split AC, generally are less efficient. For the sake of simplicity, just remember that a 3-star window AC saves typically as much power as a 2-star split AC.
Step 5: Condenser Coil Type
Every AC has a condenser coil inside the body in which a refrigerant flows. Refrigerant requires better heat exchange (conductivity) within the coil so that AC can perform fast and consistent cooling. That is why we have to choose better material for the condenser coil.
The straightforward answer to this is to choose copper material. Always prefer copper condenser coil type over aluminum type because of its better property of conductivity. The copper coil is more heat transferable, efficient, high in performance, running cost, and lifespan. The copper coil is also corrosion resistance, easy to maintain, and repairable. So without a second choice, choose copper coil type in your AC to enjoy the optimal cooling performance for years.
Step 6: Go with Inverter Type AC (Optional)
What type of compressor technology does the AC use, inverter or non-inverter? You see, inverter AC has significant advantages over non-inverter AC but it is a little costly. Let us understand the primary benefits of using inverter AC.
- Constant cooling: Inverter type AC gives you consistent cooling performance under extreme weather. It will maintain your room temperature and keep it steady.
- Quick cooling: If you want rapid cooling under 5-6 minutes, you should consider choosing an inverter type AC over aa non-inverter type AC. The speed of the inverter type AC compressor varies with the temperature of your room.
- Less noise and uses optimal power: It’s the primary advantage of having an inverter type AC that it uses less energy to perform efficient cooling and remains less noisy.
- Long compressor life: Due to less load on your inverter type compressor, the age of your compressor is long-lasting for sure.
- Save more bill: Inverter compressor doesn’t start or stop the rotary motor automatically, which saves the power to start the compressor again and again. Instead, the inverter compressor simply changes the motor speed as per outdoor temperature. Due to this reason, inverter ACs end up saving 20% bill more bills annually.
Step 7: Cross-Check these Additional Features
Advance Air-conditions (AC) comes with additional features that are very helpful other than cooling.
- Noise level: Always check if the AC is quiet or not. A noise level of max 44 dB can be considered silent.
- Economic Mode: It is a simple yet useful feature that saves power by reducing undesired cooling in the room. Check if your AC has one.
- Anti-Bacteria Protection: Some AC can remove harmful bacteria and micro-organisms to keep the airflow healthy.
- Auto-Off Timer: The majority of AC has the function to turn on auto sleep timer from the remote (saves power).
- Dehumidification: On sweaty days, a good AC can dehumidify the moisture present in the air to make it more suitable for the human body. Always consider buying an AC with this feature, especially in India.
- Wifi Control: Wifi-control allows you to turn off or on your AC from any destination. You just have to connect your AC to the Wi-Fi internet connection to use this feature.