How to Select the Right Air Conditioner in India: Tips and Tricks
Summers can be scorching in India, making Air Conditioners (AC) one of the essential appliances to use in homes or offices. It maintains optimal room temperature and provides clean air to breathe.
But before choosing your best Air Conditioner, one must consider multiple factors such as room size, AC type, cooling features, power consumption and so much more. After investing a good amount, you don’t want to end up being stuck with the wrong choice.
In this post, we will dive deep into an insightful Air Conditioner buying guide to help you understand multiple things about AC before making the purchase.
Window AC vs Split AC vs Portable AC
|Features||Window AC||Split AC||Portable AC|
|Number of Units||Single||Two||Single|
|Inverter option||Available||Available||Not Available|
|Heating Options||Available||Available||Not Available|
|Ease of Installation||Easy to install||High Installation Cost||Requires exclusively-crafted vent to pass exhaust hose|
|Cooling||Limited Cooling||Good Cooling||Limited Cooling|
|Ideal for||Cool one room||Cool larger rooms||Cool small spaces|
|Opt if you are||On a budget and want energy-efficient AC||Want to cool larger spaces||Want to cool multiple rooms with a single unit|
Things to Consider before buying an AC
As per the housing of the compressor and blower, the air conditioners can be classed into 3 main types:
As the name suggests, Split AC comes with two separate units, one installed inside the home and the other one outside. The inside one is commonly mounted on a wall and it consists of the blower. On the other hand, the outside unit houses a compressor and condenser. The blower is connected to the compressor via a hose pipe that passes through the window/wall.
Such units work by sucking the outer air through the compressor, compressing it to make it cool, and directing it to the blower. Blower then provides cool and clean air to the room.
Split ACs are ideal for large spaces or rooms and for when you want a quietly operating AC, as here only the outside unit makes noise. However, installing a split AC can be a bit hectic as you have to drill holes in the wall for the tubes and cables.
A Window AC comes with a single unit that houses a compressor as well as a blower. This is why these AC types can be a bit large in size. As the name suggests, it is installed in the window frame such that the blower side of the AC faces the room, while the other side faces open air outside the window.
Window ACs are easier to install and relocate.
A Portable AC, as the name suggests, is just like an air cooler and can be transported anywhere. It is best suitable for when you want to shift it from room to room in a home and you can’t install window AC or split AC. It is a perfect choice for people who live in a rented space and frequently move out.
You can place the portable AC and simply attach one end of the air hose to the AC and place the other end outside the window via a vent.
Size of the room heavily decides the cooling capacity you should choose for an AC. This capacity is measured in tons and it signifies the rate at which the AC can cool the room’s temperature. Window and split ACs are available in a variety of capacities- from 1 ton to 2 tons.
The thumb rule is that the larger the room, the higher the tonnage AC will require to cool the space.
The most precise way to determine the required capacity is by considering BTU (British Thermal Unit). BTU is a standard used to categorize ACs. The higher the BTU, the better its cooling capacity. Now, 1 ton has a 12000 BTU rating. According to international standards, 1 sq. ft. space will require up to 20 BTU, varying as per the ambience temperature and other factors as well.
Here is a capacity guide to help you decide the AC capacity you’ll require for your space:
|Room Size||100-125 sq. ft.||150 – 200 sq. ft.||200 + sq. ft.|
|Tonnage||1 ton||1.5 ton to 2 ton||2-ton or more|
Check the list of the best 1.5-ton AC in India here.
Apart from room size, other factors that determine the tonnage are the size of the windows, amount of sunlight in the room, number of lights in the room, number of electronic appliances that may increase the room’s temperature and proximity of other heat sources such as the kitchen.
Light sleepers or people with infants may have a problem with the Window ACs, as they have a noisy operation. As for Split ACs, the outside unit makes noise, while the unit inside has quiet operation.
The average temperature of the ambience is also a critical deciding factor when it comes to choosing an AC. If you live in an area where temperatures are considerably high, you should opt for a 1.5-ton or 2-ton capacity even for medium-sized rooms.
Power consumption is one of the major deciding factors when buying an AC. Previously, the energy efficiency of ACs was represented as EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio), but now a new ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) standard is imposed.
ISEER is the ratio of the AC’s cooling capacity (tonnage in BTU) to its total power consumption. This rating is given in ‘Stars’, hence higher the ISEER rating, the better the AC’s energy efficiency.
Even if two ACs have the same capacities, they may greatly differ in their power consumption and ISEER rating. Most likely, AC units with higher ISEER ratings are expensive.
Opt for an AC with Inverter teInchnology if electricity bill is one of your core concerns. This technology will save a considerable amount of costs in the long run. How?
An inverter AC will use just enough power initially to reach the desired room temperature and then after that it consumes less power to run economically and maintain this temperature. It will be able to control the speed of the compressor motor to make up for the slight change in the room’s temperature.
You can check the top inverter AC in India here.
You can look for the most energy efficient non inverter compressor ACs here.
Modern-day ACs provide ‘Eco Mode’ for this feature. When running on Eco mode, your AC will consume less power and run economically when an optimal room temperature is reached.
On the other hand, traditional ACs will consume fixed power at all times, making them costlier in the long run. Here, the compressor will run at full speed and then turn off. This mechanism constantly turns ON and turns OFF the compressor to reach optimal room temperature, thus consuming more overall power. It cannot control the speed of the compressor motor, thus increasing electricity bills.
This is one of the features to consider if you’re living in a humid area or near the sea. An AC with a dehumidification feature will reduce the level of moisture in the air whilst cooling the space. Thus, providing greater comfort.
Some brands offer all-weather ACs that can be converted into a heater for when the winters arrive. This will convert your AC into a heater to increase the room’s temperature to keep you warm and cozy during extremely cold temperatures.
ACs with built-in air filters will trap bacteria, pollen, dirt, and dust during the cooling process. This ensures you only breathe clean air. You may need to replace or clean these filters from time to time. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating determines the efficiency of the air filters. The higher the rating, the better the filter.
Auto-clean feature will automatically clean the inside of the AC unit by eliminating all the moisture. It prevents the growth of micro-organisms to maintain the cooling performance and provide clean air every time.
The modern-day AC models may come with fancy bells and whistles which may allure tech fanatics. If smart features are something you’re looking for, have a look at these:
- Wi-Fi compatibility: The AC allows you to connect with it wirelessly to provide remote access via a tablet or smartphone, even when you’re not at home.
- Activity Sensors: Automatically senses human activity and runs at low power when no one’s in the room.
- Voice-command compatibility: This allows you to remotely control the AC via voice commands.
- App control: This allows you to control the AC via an app. Also, provides more information about the AC and its current operation.
Warranty is again one of the critical factors to consider when buying an AC. Most brands will provide at least 1 to 2 years of the warranty period and a few extra years on key parts such as a compressor.
Also, one must consider whether the manufacturer provides good after-sales service and easy access to a professional technician who can fix AC issues if any.
FAQs for Buying Air Conditioners in India
- AC Type
- Room size and AC capacity
- Noise level
- Average temperature
- Energy efficiency
- Inverter AC technology
- Air filter
- Auto-clean feature
- Smart features
2. Which Brand AC Is Best?
LG, Voltas, Blue Star, Panasonic, Daikin, Whirlpool and Hitachi are some of the best AC brands available in India.
With this, we wrap up our comprehensive AC Buying Guide. With summers around the corner, we hope we’ve provided all the information you need to go buy your best-suited air conditioner.