With summer only a couple of months away, now is the time to start looking for a right AC for your room. Unlike phones, most consumers hardly understand the technical aspects of an aircon, which is why most sellers trick you into buying an unnecessarily expensive product. Worry not, though, as we have compiled a list of important aspects you need to understand before buying an AC.
Ideal AC capacity depends on various factors such as your room’s size, number of windows, outside temperature, walls exposed to the sunlight, lights and appliances in the room such as TVs, computers, etc. Since we like to keep things easy, let us focus on the most important aspect, which is the volume of your room. To find the volume of your room, multiply your room’s length (feet), width (feet), and height (feet). Simply divide this number by 1000 to find out the ideal capacity for the room. For instance, if your room has a length of 12 feet, 10 feet width, and 10 feet height, the recommended AC capacity would be (12 x 10 x 10)/1000 = 1.2 ton. In the majority of cases, this formula works perfectly fine. However, if you think that your house gets a lot of sunlight or you are in a state that has a higher temperature such as Chennai, you should consider a slightly higher capacity. So, if the calculator suggests 1.2 ton, you should play it safe by going for a 1.5 ton AC.
2. Split Vs Window
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ACs come in different types: portable, split, window, and duct. However, for Indian households, only the split and window ACs are worth your consideration.
Until a few years back, window aircon have been very popular in India due to its affordable pricing. These ACs have a slide-out chassis that requires to being mounted on your window. In addition to blocking your window, these ACs are also notorious for producing more sound than the competition.
Split ACs comprises of two units: wall mounted indoor unit and a compressor unit that sits outside your house. Such configuration nullifies the sound being generated by the outdoor compressor unit. These aircons are aesthetically pleasing compared to the window ones. However, split ACs get no points in the value proposition.
3. Energy Efficiency
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ACs require a lot of power, which is why Bureau of Energy has come up with easy to understand an energy efficiency star rating system. The idea is simple: when it comes to energy efficiency star rating, more the merrier. A 5-star AC saves more electricity than a 2 or 3-star aircon. However, are these savings significant enough to justify the higher selling price of 5-star ACs?
We all know that the AC manufacturers want you to purchase more expensive products. +
We found out that a 1.5 ton split AC with 2 star rating consumes 1565 KWH/Units per year. If the electricity board charges you Rs 5 per unit, your AC will end up consuming Rs 15,024 worth of electricity every year. In the same scenario, a 5-star AC will consume 1465 KWH/Units. Since the per unit rate is Rs 5, your AC will consume Rs 14,064 worth of electricity. So basically, it is safe to assume that a 5-star AC will save your around Rs 1000 compared to a 2-star aircon. Looking at the current selling prices, a 2-star 1.5 ton Samsung AC or LG AC costs around Rs 27,000whereas a 5-star AC of the same capacity sells for at least 34,000. It is going to take at least seven years for you to recover the price difference between a 2 and 5 star AC. If you run AC for at least 10 hours a day, it makes sense to go for a 5 star aircon. On the other hand, if you are not going to use it a lot, you should not be bothered with the energy efficiency.
The new inverter ACs are more energy efficient than a 5 star cooling machines. However, considering their upfront cost, you should only buy them for commercial installation such as a shop, where AC has to be running all the time.
4. Aluminium Vs Copper
In a cooling device, a condenser is the most important part. These are mostly made of either aluminium or copper. The latter is an ideal choice since Copper has better heat transfer efficiency. Copper coils are more durable compared to the aluminium coils. Moreover, AC servicemen will tell you that copper condensers are easier to repair on the field than its aluminium counterpart. In fact, in most cases, if an aluminium condenser is damaged, the only solution is to replace the entire coil assembly. However, manufacturers choose to go with aluminium because it is cost effective for them. As a consumer, if you get an option to choose between these two, you should choose copper coil condenser over the aluminium one.
5. After sales service
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Unlike mobile phones, local service support is essential for large appliances. You cannot simply courier these products to a service centre, after all. In aircons, reputed brands such as LG, Samsung, Daikin, and Blue Star offer excellent after-sales support. However, these experiences vary depending on the area. Therefore, you should ideally call up the service centre numbers of the brands you have short listed and check if they cover your area.