It's getting hotter by the day? Air coolers are better, but they only add to the humidity, which makes the summer months unbearable. One of the best options then is to install an air conditioner in your home. But how? The answer is simple. Start looking for the Right air conditioner for your home. A right sized AC is the one that you buy keeping in mind the size of your room, ambient climate, amount of light coming into the room, area of windows, direction of windows, floor number, number of people occupying the room, number of lights and computers in the room. That sounds complex!
Here is an easy guide to help you buy the Right Air Conditioner :
1. Tonnage : Is bigger the better? Ton or Tonnage measures the cooling capacity of an air conditioner as per the size and requirement of the room. A thumb rule used internationally is that for every square foot, you need 20 Btu/hr (British Thermal Units per hour). The cooling capacity of an AC is its ability to extract a certain amount of heat from a room in an hour, which is measured in Btu/hr (British thermal unit/hour). The AC is considered to be more powerful when the Btu/hr value is higher. The Btu for an AC usually ranges from 5,000 to 24,000, with 12,000 Btu being equivalent to one ton. When it comes to air conditioners, bigger is not necessarily better – an oversized air-conditioner is less effective and less energy efficient. If the unit is too large, it will cool the room quickly, but only remove some of the humidity, leaving the room damp. A right sized unit removes humidity effectively as it cools. In order to cool a room uniformly while maximizing efficiency, the direction of the cooled air should be delivered to the center of the room rather than the left or right. Here is an approximation to assist you in picking the right sized AC for your room:
- Room Size Up to 120 sqft, AC capacity Needed is up to 0.75 ton
- Room Size 121 – 150 sqft, AC capacity Needed is up to 1 ton
- Room Size 151 – 250 sqft, AC capacity Needed is up to 1.5 ton
- Room Size 251 – 400 sqft, AC capacity Needed is 2 ton or above
The actual tonnage considers a number of factors such as the actual size of the room, ambient climate, amount of light that enters the room, area and direction of windows, the floor on which your room is situated, number of people occupying the room and the number of lights and computers in the room.
2. Split or Window AC?
Pros of Split AC :
- They are more efficient as compared to window ACs as they cool faster due to the wide blowers that dissipate higher volumes of cool air.
- They can be easily installed in rooms without window also.
- Make lesser noise as compressor and condenser are located outside in the external unit.
Cons of Split AC :
- The regular service and gas fill is more expensive for split AC.
- Their installation requires to drill holes in the wall for cables and tubes to connect the two units.
- Leakage Issue: In case of a Split AC, it has been observed that water drips from the air unit during high humidity. This is because the droplets are formed right on the face of blower.
Pros of Window AC :
- Suitable for small sized rooms where space is a bit constraint (but there should be a window in the room).
- Easier to install as compared to Split ACs since they do not require the drilling in the walls to conceal air pipes.
- Window ACs are affordably priced and cheaper to maintain.
- Most of their models are equipped with inbuilt heaters so as to stay warm in winters.
Window and split ACs are the two most popular type of ACs in every household. Window ACs are best suited for small-sized rooms and are mounted in a window or an opening in the wall. Whereas Split ACs consists of two units- an indoor unit which is placed inside the house and external unit placed outside.
3. Compressor: The most essential component of an AC is its compressor. Primarily, these are of three types—reciprocating, rotary and scroll. Reciprocating compressors are usually used in small to medium systems, such as car ACs, and are bulky and noisy. Rotary units are compact and less noisy, while scroll compressors are the quietest and most efficient of the three. However, the last two are more expensive and are also difficult to repair.
4. Energy Efficiency and Star Rating: A unit with a higher star rating is more expensive than the one with fewer stars. However, it will also consume less electricity and cut down on power consumption while saving energy and being environment-friendly. In India, an AC runs for around 252 days on an average. The BEE rates appliances from 1 to 5 stars. A 5 star AC is the most energy efficient and consumes the lowest energy while conserving energy and drastically reducing your electricity bills.But you should consider a 5 star rated product only when the consumption is extremely high.
5. Inverter AC Vs normal split AC : If lower electricity bill is your foremost priority, then you should definitely opt for inverter ACs. The motor of inverter AC compressor has a variable speed whereas the speed of non-inverter AC compressor is fixed which means it will operate either at full or minimum speed. Hence Inverter ACs are more efficient and have longer life than normal split ac models.
- Environment-friendly : Inverter AC compressor does not work at full capacity all the time and adjusts the speed according to the room temperature hence reducing the electrical consumption by around 40% and higher energy saving as compared to non-inverter AC.
- Noiseless operation : The compressor of inverter AC offers steady continous cooling and does not turn on and off all the time resulting in quiet operation.
- Faster operation : Inverter AC operates on variable speed compressor rather than at a fixed speed and runs at full power only when required which ensures faster cooling or heating of room.
- Longer Lifespan : Inverter AC uses less power leading to lesser wear and tear and longer life as compared to non-inverter AC.
Top 5 Best Selling Air-Conditioners are :
1. Voltas 1.5 Ton 3 Star 183 VCZT Split Inverter AC : This 1.5 tonnage split AC is suitable for medium room size upto 150 sqft. This inverter AC is durable, easy to maintain and is energy efficient providing best cooling solutions to the consumers so that they easily tolerate scorching heat upto 50 degrees. It comes with various beneficial filters including anti-dust filter and catalyst filter to effectively remove allergens, odours and other harmful particles present in your room hence offering high ambient cooling experience and cool and fresh air. It has R410a refrigerant which helps in keeping the environment safe. Its super silent operation (as low as 32dB) and faster cooling system provides cleaner, healthier and fresh air in the room.
2. Voltas 1.5 Ton 5 Star 185 CY Split Air Conditioner : Voltas 185 CY is an efficient 5 star split AC which is elegantly designed and is equipped with latest features such as sleep mode, LED display, anti-bacterial filter, anti-dust filter, catechin filter which provides cleaner, healthier and fresh air to the consumers and Dehumidifier which helps in reducing the humidity level in a room. The AC has Auto Restart function which offers uninterrupted sleep even in case of power cut.
3. LG 1.5 Ton 5 Star KS Q18YNZA Inverter AC : This 5 star split AC is equipped with latest technology features such as Dual Cool technology and Active Energy Control feature which ensures faster cooling and reduced electricity bills. The Low Refrigerant Detection functionality detects low refrigerant levels thereby ensuring that room remains comfortable. Other beneficial features include Monsoon Comfort Technology, Auto Clean function and inbuilt stabiliser.
4. Daikin 1.5 Ton FTKL50TV16U/V Inverter Split AC : Daikin is the most popular and reputed Air conditioner brand in India. Daikin 1.5 ton FTKL50TV16U/V Split AC cools larger area quickly and efficiently, providing a cleaner and fresh air and making your lives comfortable in such a hot weather. It produces minimal noise which makes it a suitable choice in your home or workspace. It provides best air-conditioning experience owing to its Coanda airflow technology and is highly energy effcient consuming only 1750KW.
5. Hitachi 1.5 Ton 3 Star RSD317HCEA Inverter AC : This 1.5 ton inverter AC is best suited for medium sized rooms upto 150 sqft. They are energy efficient with faster cooling and easy to maintain. The latest and advanced features included in the device are filter clean indicator, dry mode, backlit remocon, tropical inverter technology, 100% copper and stabilizer free operation.
Voltas AC models are quite good for both residential and industrial purposes. They provide great cooling and heating solutions and make sure that their air conditioning units are energy efficient and environment-friendly. For premium and highly efficient ACs, Daikin and Hitachi are the top most AC brands to look out for. Daikin ACs are highly energy efficient, have strong air flow and their compact and sleek design equipped with advanced filters and environment-friendly refrigerant gas make them a great buy by the consumers. Even Hitachi window and split ac models are built with latest technology and equipped with hi-tech features like anti-bacterial Koukin filter to provide fresh and pure air and auto climate technology to provide comfort and convenience to the consumer in any type of weather condition. In case you want to explore the brands that are active in this market and want to select an AC that fits your budget, you can choose from a wide range of the most sought after ACs.
Before buying any AC, you should read its reviews and feedback given by other users to get first-hand experience. The best time to buy an air-conditioner is the off-season i.e, the time between winter and summers in spring when the retail store owners wants to clear their old stock and old models and sell them at huge discounts. For instance, air conditioners are significantly cheaper after summer months, while heaters, woollens, blankets, etc., are available at lower prices in spring. You can also save by availing of various festive discounts being offered during diwali, christmas and other special holidays.
For less power bills, you can also use air-coolers for first few months when weather is less humid. In humid and rainy weather, they will not be effective at all and get replaced by ACs. For wide range of air-coolers and lowest online price, refer our Air Cooler section.
For further assistance, you can also refer our AIR-COOLER BUYING GUIDE.