Are you looking for an air conditioner which can keep your small room or office cool? A 1-ton AC is recommended for small spaces under 800 sq ft. But not all 1-ton ACs are the same, and that’s the reason we’re here to help you.
Longer and harsher, summers are becoming a regular occurrence with temperatures in all major Indian cities regularly breaking the 40-degree barrier every summer. In such a world, an air conditioner isn’t a luxury but in fact a necessity.
As expected with any booming market, the air conditioner market in India is also growing high. In fact, experts in the industry feel that there’ll be a 14-15% growth during 2021-21. Despite heavy monsoons in major parts of the countries, it has already started to feel hot in Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi, Kolkata, and a few other parts of the country.
There are so many brands selling a wide variety of products. The difficult marketing jargon employed by salesmen can be difficult to comprehend for most consumers. This guide should ease out the process and make the final choice simpler for you.
So, to help you get the best one, shall we begin?
- Best 1 Ton Split ACs in India (2021)
- 1. Best Overall: LG 5 Star (Q12YNZA)
- 2. Best Runner Up: LG 3 Star (Q12YNXA)
- 3. Best Under 30K INR: Voltas 3 Star (123 CZA)
- 4. Best Energy Efficient: Godrej 5 Star (GSC 12 GIG 5 DGOG)
- 5. Best Premium Looking: Mitashi 5 Star (MiSAC105INv35)
- 6. Made in India Product: Samsung 3 Star (AR12NV3HLTR)
- 7. Best Value for Money: Daikin 3 Star (ATKL35TV)
- 8. Best with 4 Star BEE: Voltas (124V SZS)
- 9. Blue Star (3CNHW12NAFU)
- 10. Carrier 3 Star Split AC
- Top 5 AC Brands in India
- The Buying Guide for 2021
- What is a Split Air Conditioner?
- How to Choose a Split AC?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best 1 Ton Split ACs in India (2021)
|Voltas (123 CZA)||Check on Amazon|
|Godrej (GSC 12 GIG 5 DGOG)|
|Mitashi (MiSAC105INv35)||Check on Amazon|
|Voltas (124V SZS)||Check on Amazon|
|Blue Star (3CNHW12NAFU)|
|Carrier 3 Star|
While we have ensured that all the products listed on this page are great and worth investing in, but what you finally decide on should be something based on your specific needs. So make sure to read all the specs and choose the product that suits your needs most and come under your budget at the same time!
In case if you are buying it for the first time, we have a dedicated buying guide to understand things better. Now, without wasting your time, let us begin!
1. Best Overall: LG 5 Star (Q12YNZA)
The LG Q12YNZA is amongst LG’s latest offerings in the small split AC segment. It is suitable for small rooms up to 110 sq ft. LG has used a minimalistic design language in this product and it looks very sleek and modern.
LG’s dual inverter compressor works continuously to provide fast and efficient cooling. IT coasts through any voltage fluctuations and senses ambient temperatures to give a comfortable cooling experience.
LG claims that this model can perform well even under high ambient temperatures. In our testing we found this to be true. Even at temperatures as high as 43 degrees Celsius, the Q12YNZA cooled the room efficiently.
LG has included their patented Comfort Air system which ensures that all parts of your room are cooled well. The Monsoon Comfort mode is also specially calibrated to sense high moisture content in rooms during monsoons and provide a comfortable experience by drawing out excess moisture from the air.
The variety of features LG offers in the neatly designed package that is the Q12YNZA makes this a very good choice for those looking for an air conditioner that can efficiently cool a small room.
- Stabilizer-free operation
- Comes with dust protection filter
- Has energy saving mode
- Very well designed
- Low power consumption
- Can be noisy during operation
2. Best Runner Up: LG 3 Star (Q12YNXA)
LG’s Q12YNXA is an energy efficient 1-ton AC that is very capable of cooling smaller rooms up to 110 sq ft. It is a sleek and stylish dual inverter air conditioner that works remarkably well. LG has stuffed this model with attractive features that make it an excellent purchase for cooling your room or office.
The outdoor unit is coated with a special ocean black anti-corrosive layer that prolongs the life of the product. It has been specially designed to protect against dust, smoke, extreme heat, and pollution.
LG’s Himalayan cool technology allows this AC to cool the room quickly, even during high ambient temperatures. LG uses a four-step control system that senses ambient temperatures and the resultant heat load and keeps the compressor below its peak performance level to compensate for heavier stress loads. This saves large amounts of energy besides prolonging the life of the compressor.
This model can automatically detect when refrigerant levels are low and give out a warning so you can get the coolant refilled on time and avoid damaging the product. A special HD filter has also been included which has minute pores and protects against harmful particles present in the air like pollen, dust mites, and other particles.
The number of features LG has included coupled with the competitive pricing and a 3-star energy efficiency rating (consumption of only 685 units annually) makes this a very good buying choice.
- Low energy consumption
- Auto air swing feature
- Can work withwithout stabilizer
- Made with pure copper
- Can get noisy at times
3. Best Under 30K INR: Voltas 3 Star (123 CZA)
- Energy Efficiency: 3 Star BEE
- Coil Material: Copper
- Dimensions: 19.5 cm x 84.5 cm x 27.5 cm
- Warranty: 1 year on product, 1 year on condenser, 5 years on compressor
- Installation: Extra charges
The Voltas 3 Star (123 CZA) is an excellent one-ton air conditioner from an Indian brand. It does not have to be told that Voltas is a product from Tatas, a business house that is well known internationally for its products.
What makes this air conditioner so special is its ability to cool even when the ambient temperature reaches 50° C. That is not overkilling since it almost did reach that high in Delhi this summer.
The other attractive feature is the dehumidifier. At this price range, it is hard to come across such a thoughtful feature. The dehumidifier works to keep moisture content in the room under control during monsoon. Otherwise, when you cool a room with 90% relative humidity down to 23° C, there will be water droplets everywhere and make it uncomfortable.
To save power, always use the Sleep Mode in Voltas. A few hours after you turn it on it will gradually allow the temperature to rise slightly in steps of 1° C. Since early mornings are always cooler it reduces electricity consumption and you will never notice it since you are fast asleep at 3 AM. With an annual consumption of 782 units, it is very economical to operate.
- Value for money product
- Quiet whisper-silent operation
- Good design and build quality
- Comes with dust filter & dehumidifier
- After-sale service can be time-consuming
- Only a 5-year warranty on compressor
4. Best Energy Efficient: Godrej 5 Star (GSC 12 GIG 5 DGOG)
Godrej has been known for a long as a white goods manufacturer of repute. The Godrej 5 Star (GSC 12 GIG 5 DGOG) is one of the best options that we have tested when it comes to a one-ton air conditioner.
This is not only because it consumes slightly more than 500 units of power annually and you can shelve any worry about high utility bills, but because of its advanced design. There is a silver ion filter that keeps the air in your room free of dust, dirt, and bacteria.
The airflow system throws the air in every direction equally. You would be hard-pressed to find any pockets of warm air in the room after this machine has operated for half an hour. Not only this but a timer allows you to turn it off after a predetermined period and saves energy.
A full-function remote gives the ability to operate it without leaving your bed or sofa, and the Auto Mode runs the air conditioner at the optimum capacity by comparing the ambient air temperature with the preset.
- Reasonably power efficient
- Competitive pricing
- Has Auto-Clean technology
- Uses alloy condenser
5. Best Premium Looking: Mitashi 5 Star (MiSAC105INv35)
- Energy Efficiency: 5 Star BEE
- Coil Material: Copper
- Dimensions: 20 cm x 79 cm x 27 cm
- Warranty: 1 year on product, 1 year on condenser, 5 years on compressor
- Installation: Extra charges
It is a sleek and efficient air conditioner at an affordable price. This Mitashi air conditioner has all the features you would find in the top of the line premium models.
An advanced design inverter compressor can change its rate of work depending on the load and saves you money.
The copper coils and a patented Multi-Fold evaporator coil design gives you cooling that is rapid and comfortable. The display has large and easy to read numerals and the remote works from every angle.
A unique feature is that the water drain from the evaporator works on both sides. You can use it as you find it suitable.
The dehumidifier worked perfectly in our tests and made the room noticeably less damp. The Sleep Mode is also highly functional and acts late at night when you are fast asleep. It is possible to cool your room near instantaneously with Turbo Mode on.
An excellent offering from Mitashi that is suitable for every home.
- Variable speed compressor
- Has two-way water drainage
- Sleek and attractive design
- The blower fan is somewhat noisy
6. Made in India Product: Samsung 3 Star (AR12NV3HLTR)
Samsung air conditioners are powered by a revolutionary new 8 pole compressor that takes digital inverter technology a step further. It keeps the room cool and fresh but does not turn on and off frequently. This adds to its life and saves energy.
The Samsung (AR12NV3HLTR) cools using a 2 step cooling process. At first, the Fast Cool mode causes rapid cooling. Then the Comfort mode takes over and maintains the temperature.
The biggest USP of any Samsung air conditioner is the use of Durafin technology. It increases the performance of the heat exchanger and allows it to be more efficient at transferring heat from the room to outside.
The machine can tolerate a huge variation in voltage. Our tests showed that it can indeed operate from about 150 to 290 volts without any problem. This is very useful in large parts of the country where voltage fluctuation causes expensive appliances to burn out.
After we installed it in our lab, it performed a self-check for 15 minutes to find if the installation was error-free. A fabulously designed air conditioner from Samsung is our verdict.
- Excellent cooling
- Self-diagnosis after install
- Can operate at low voltage
- Large number of service centres
- Has alloy coils
7. Best Value for Money: Daikin 3 Star (ATKL35TV)
Despite having only a 3-star BEE energy efficiency rating, Daikin ATKL35TV is a very power efficient device and has a decent ISEER value. The R32 gas used as a coolant is also very environmentally friendly and has no global warming potential.
A special sleep mode saves power and ensures comfortable temperatures as you sleep. It automatically increases the temperature by 1 degree Celsius every hour and switches off after eight hours thus saving energy without compromising on cooling.
The copper condenser is very durable and provides good cooling. It requires minimal maintenance and can cool efficiently even at temperatures as high as 50 degrees.
This model can also self detect any issues. If any problem is detected a code flashes on the remote screen.
For consumers who are in the market for a durable device that is designed to work for a long and provide efficient cooling, this is a viable choice.
- Efficient cooling
- Built-in stabilizer
- Self-diagnosis feature available
- Energy efficient
- Good design
- Bit noisy
8. Best with 4 Star BEE: Voltas (124V SZS)
- Energy Efficiency: 4 Star BEE
- Coil Material: Copper
- Dimensions: 24.2 cm x 99 cm x 31.5 cm
- Warranty: 1 year on product, 1 year on condenser, 5 years on compressor
- Installation: Extra charges
With a 4 stage filtration process the Voltas 124V SZS makes sure that the air you breathe is pure and free of allergens and bacteria.
There is no doubt that this is powered by a highly efficient compressor. In our tests, it cooled about 120 sq ft from 38 to 22° C remarkably quickly. The inner grooved coils make it possible to allow a larger surface area, and that is what leads to this performance.
That is not all. A 4 Star rating means it consumes very little power. The Sleep Mode functions well and helps save on cost.
As is expected from Voltas, the air conditioner is hassle-free, and we learned to operate all the features quite easily. The remote has a large and comfortable to read LCD display that makes it convenient to choose mode and temperature.
The vents are designed to allow for smooth airflow, and our measurements showed about 450 cubic feet per minute was discharged by it. The only drawback is that it is a little noisy when Turbo Cooling is on. Otherwise, near-perfect design and sound performance were really impressive.
- Durable build
- Cools evenly at high temperatures
- Low power consumption
- Slightly more expensive
The Indian cooling giant Blue Star brings a truly modern product in the form of the Blue Star (3CNHW12NAFU). It is well designed, looks good, and feels sturdy. Blue Star air conditioners are usually up to date with the latest technology, and this model is no different.
Blue Star has designed its iFeel system which enhances comfort levels in a room. Unevenly cooled rooms contain pockets of cold and warm air and this lack of uniformity causes discomfort. Most air conditioners come with a single temperature sensor that has a small range and thus has a limited range.
I feel units employ sensors not just in the indoor unit but also in the remote controller. The unit thus senses the exact temperature around the user and provides uniform cooling throughout the room.
This is also amongst the quietest units we tested with average noise levels ranging from 33 decibels to 38 decibels. Blue Star’s comfort sleep feature senses ambient temperature throughout the night and keeps the cooling at a particular preset level ensuring comfortable sleep through the night.
Despite the admirable cooling and low noise levels, this offering from Blue Star isn’t the most energy-efficient AC in the market. Still, the competitive price and the features make for an attractive offer if one is so inclined.
- Efficient cooling
- Good build quality
- Not very energy efficient
- No dehumidifier
Carrier invented air conditioning and remained after almost a century, the world’s leading brand. We were excited to test the Carrier 3 Star Split AC because of its reputation.
The unit has a 2.5-micron filter that makes sure that no dust ever enters your room or office. An exceptionally powerful compressor is able to cool the inside within a few minutes no matter how hot the outside is.
Not only does it have all the usual features that you expect from a top brand – Turbo Cool, Sleep Mode, and Auto, but it has a louver position memory. This allows you to direct the airflow perfectly without having to fiddle with the controls all the time.
A refrigerant leak detector warns you so that you can shut off the device to prevent damage. In our tests, it was able to operate at a wide range of voltages quite efficiently, and the inverter compressor is noise-free for the most part.
We found it to be a very satisfactory unit that delivers just as you would expect.
- Not very expensive
- Durable build
- World’s foremost brand
- Superb cooling
- Self-cleaning function
- After-sale service is unavailable in many smaller cities
Top 5 AC Brands in India
A number of brands operate in the Indian market. They all have their specialties and areas of expertise. Different manufacturers bring something new to their products and make them a lot more attractive to everyday consumers.
The design and functioning of air conditioners have evolved over the past few decades and with the emphasis placed nowadays on energy efficiency, today’s manufacturers have a very challenging job.
Here is a brief look at a few of the best brands in the Indian market. These manufacturers have a reputation for providing reliable products designed with the latest technology.
The Korean technology giant LG has been making waves in the Indian markets ever since its entry in the early 90s. While LG has a very successful line of televisions, refrigerators and other home appliances, their air conditioners demand a special mention. LG has brought to the Indian market air conditioners with the latest technology and top of the line specifications for years now.
LG’s air conditioners are also very power efficient due to optimized cooling from their special compressors. The decade long warranty LG provides with almost all of its products has led to great consumer satisfaction and makes LG one of the leading brands in the Indian air conditioner market.
Daikin is a Japanese company that specializes in manufacturing premium grade air conditioners. Unlike other brands that work on a slew of home appliances, Daikin focuses on ACs alone and ensures that their research and development teams keep their products updated with the latest advancements in technology.
Due to this focus on technological advances, Daikin has pioneered many AC specific technologies that are now market standard and found in models from every brand. Daikin is truly amongst the pioneers of this field.
3. Blue Star
Probably the most renowned Indian brand in the air conditioner market, Blue Star has achieved easy recognisability thanks to its memorable logo that is ubiquitous and has imprinted on the minds of consumers as a mark of trust, reliability and premium cooling experience.
Blue Star is amongst the leading players in the Indian air conditioning market and specializes in supplying central cooling equipment and facilities to several commercial offices across India.
Blue Star has five manufacturing units across India and specializes in manufacturing medium-range air conditioners with a tonnage of 0.75 tons to 1.5 tons.
Voltas is a highly reputed brand in India. Not only because it belongs to the Tata Group of companies but because it has exceptional experience in designing the best white goods.
It goes without saying that Voltas is the leading manufacturer of air conditioners. The very fact that an Indian brand outperforms the Korean giants goes a long way to show the customer’s faith in the brand.
Their offer includes the popular All-Weather range that is guaranteed to cool even at a searing 50° C. Their latest range has remote that is backlit, making it easy to operate in the darkness. It is this dedication to customer’s needs that have gone a long way to making it hugely successful.
The pioneers of modern-day air conditioning technology, Carrier began operations in 1902 and have a century’s worth of experience that they put into their products. Carrier is one of the most reputed brands in the Indian market. Known for its robust and reliable products, Carrier is also amongst the most expensive air conditioning brands. Window ACs from Carrier cost as much as Split air conditioners from other manufacturers and it is widely accepted that Carrier is the gold standard when it comes to air conditioning.
Carrier ACs come with a wide variety of features and the brand name itself charges a premium. If you want a Carrier, you must be willing to pay for it.
The Buying Guide for 2021
In this section, we seek to simplify the plethora of terms in use with regards to air conditioners. Sales jargon can get very complicated, often including terms like “special copper coils”, “R32 gas” or “inverter system.” All this complicated terminology will be simplified for you here forth.
What is a Split Air Conditioner?
A split air conditioner consists of two separate units. The outdoor unit is placed on the outside wall of the house and the indoor unit is mounted inside the room. The basic system of the AC is simple. The outdoor unit contains the condenser and the compressor while the indoor unit has the fan. The compressor is connected to the indoor unit through pipes that pass through the wall. The compressor pulls warm air from outside, cools it through the condenser, and pushes it through to the indoor unit which blows this air out using its fans.
Split ACs are powerful and can efficiently cool large halls and commercial places. They are also sleeker to look at as the most visible part of the split AC is the indoor unit which comprises of solely the fan and therefore can be designed to look modern and stylish
The only restriction to the usage of a split AC is that it can only be installed in a room that has access to an outside wall. It cannot be located in the house’s interiors as the outdoor unit must be located on the outside walls and be connected through pipes to the indoor unit.
- Advantages: Split air conditioners are quieter as the main sources of noise (compressor unit) are located on the outside. It can be located on any wall of the room, unlike a window AC which requires a frame and a window. It also looks good and adds aesthetic value to the room.
- Disadvantages: Split air conditioners are far more expensive than window ACs. Installation, shifting, relocation, and removal of a Split AC is far more difficult than a window AC.
How to Choose a Split AC?
There will always be a great variety amongst models in the market. It is essential to understand what separates one model from the next. A variety of variables like tonnage, compressor type, coil material, energy efficiency separate models from each other. Here we’ll look at all these variables to make the best possible choice.
The basic idea behind a unit such as the tonnage of an AC has nothing to do with the weight of the product. One ton means the amount of heat needed to melt one ton of ice in 24 hours, which is equivalent to 2,88,000 British thermal units (Btu).
A one-ton air conditioner draws 12000 Btu of heat in an hour from a room while a two-ton AC draws double, i.e., 24000 Btu in an hour.
This depends on a variety of factors:
- Local weather: Warmer cities like Delhi or Jaipur require ACs of higher tonnage than colder cities like Darjeeling.
- Size of the room: Larger rooms hold greater volumes of air. Larger volumes of warmer air require ACs with greater tonnage to cool that air and to keep it cool for prolonged periods.
- Space allocation in a room: Heat can be trapped by objects and released continuously by humans. Thus an empty room requires lower tonnage than a room stuffed with furniture and with a lot of human presence. A room with three people requires a lower tonnage than an equivalent room with 10 people.
- Location of the room: Rooms located on the top floor get baked in the afternoon sun and are therefore warmer than rooms on the ground floor. Thus rooms on the top floor require ACs with greater tonnage compared to equivalent rooms at lower levels
The compressor is at the heart of an air conditioner’s functioning. It is equivalent to a car’s engine. Compressors cool air by converting the coolant gas into a liquid by pushing it into a small container and increasing pressure.
Traditionally, compressors used a piston. The piston would draw the gas in and then push it into the chamber thereby pressuring it into a liquid. Modern compressors are different. The newer rotary compressors use the force generated by a screwing motion to pressurize the coolant into liquid form.
While piston-type compressors were more efficient, they had a greater number of moving parts which meant frequent mechanical failure and longer, more expensive repairs. Rotary compressors have very few movable parts and are therefore more durable. This is why rotary compressors are preferred by almost all manufacturers in newer models.
3. Inverter AC
Inverter air conditioners provide prolonged cooling while saving a lot of energy by regulating compressor speed. All of this is achieved by simply converting AC currents to DC currents in order to regulate the compressor.
A traditional air conditioner would cool a room to a certain degree, then the compressor would turn off. When the room would warm up again, the compressor would turn on and start the cooling process. This was an inefficient system as the heat loss was massive and repeatedly turning the compressor off and on again led to massive usage of energy.
In Inverter ACs, the compressor is always on. After the compressor cools the room to the desired level, it does not get switched off. Instead, it runs at low consumption rates solely to maintain the cool temperatures. As the majority of the work done is in maintaining the temperatures and has no great heat load, this system saves a lot of electricity and is very energy efficient.
In traditional ACs, when the compressor would turn on again in a warmer room, it would work at peak rates thus consuming large amounts of energy. As the inverter compressor doesn’t have to work at peak rates, it saves a lot of energy. Most modern air conditioners have Inverter compressors. A BEE 3 star rated inverter AC consumes less power than a 5 star rated non-inverter AC with equivalent usage.
|Non-Inverter AC||Inverter AC|
|Compressor||Switching on and off||Always On|
The refrigerant coil is the most essential part of an AC. The quality of cooling an air conditioner will provide, how durable the product will be, how much will regular servicing cost are all questions that simply depend on the quality and material of the coil used by the manufacturer. To put it simply, coils are at the core of an AC and a malfunctioning coil means a dead AC.
Generally, two types of metals are used to make air conditioning coils: Pure Copper or an Aluminium-based alloy.
To put it bluntly, Copper is simply the better alternative. The basic function of a condenser coil is to quickly draw heat from the warm air and pass it to the liquefied gas. To enable this quick exchange of heat, the coil must be made of a material that is very good at heat transfer.
Copper is much better than aluminium at transferring heat. It is also corrosion-resistant and far more durable than aluminium. Aluminium can face heavy corrosion and even regular maintenance and servicing can’t prevent substantial corrosion to aluminium coils. Copper coils, on the other hand, are very durable and with regular maintenance can easily keep corrosion at bay.
Leaks in condenser coil are a common cause of malfunctioning air conditioners. Copper is better suited to this problem as a leak in a copper coil can be easily repaired while it is next to impossible to repair an aluminium coil with a leak. An aluminium-based condenser coil with a leak must be replaced in its entirety.
Aluminium is simply the inferior coil material and is used simply to cut costs. Copper is around four times more expensive than aluminium and manufacturers use aluminium to reduce manufacturing costs and stay competitive in the market.
While choosing an air conditioner, budget permitting, always opt for one with a copper coil. It provides reliable cooling and is very durable. With proper maintenance, an AC with copper coils should last you a very long time.
5. Energy Efficiency
While pondering over the plethora of features on offer many consumers fail to pay adequate attention to how energy efficient the air conditioner they are about to buy is. While the design, the looks, durability, and cooling performance are important criteria that affect your experience with the product, all of this comes to nought if the AC burns a hole in your pocket through skyrocketing electricity bills.
Air conditioners are power-hungry equipment. The amount of work that goes into cooling a room is simply massive. From seemingly simple processes like drawing in warm air and blowing out cold air to the myriad complexities involving the efficiency of the compressor in liquefying the coolant and the heat transferring ability of the condenser coil, all of this requires immense amounts of power.
The price you pay for brand new AC is only a one-time payment. But the monthly addition to your power bill also massively impacts your budget calculations. A decade-old AC might be cheap and cost you only a few thousand rupees but due to its lack of power-saving features and the general outdated nature of technology, it will cost you thousands in monthly electricity payment.
It is therefore essential that a consumer is well versed with the terminology of energy efficiency so he can make greater savings by buying a more efficient product.
The Star rating system is the simplest mechanism to determine whether your AC is power efficient or not. This system, developed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) applies across a number of home appliances and is a general marker of the efficiency of the product at saving power and reducing costs.
Older air conditioners were inefficient and guzzled a lot of power. The lack of inverter technology meant that the compressor would have to switch on again after repeated intervals and also peak repeatedly to keep the room sufficiently cool during extended usage. This meant that overnight, an older AC could use up anywhere between 15 to 20 units of electricity. With advances in technology, newer air conditioners rarely consume more than 3 units overnight.
Besides saving money, energy-efficient air conditioners are also important for the environment. One must seek to reduce his carbon footprint by consuming as little power as possible.
It is now important to simplify the calculation of BEE Star ratings. While it sounds complex, the process is actually quite a clear cut. The Star rating is simply the ratio of tonnage and electrical input supplied in watts.
We have already discussed tonnage and how a 1-ton air conditioner draws 12,000 Btu of heat from a room in one hour. 12,000 Btu per hour is equivalent to 3516 watts so this becomes the cooling capacity of the air conditioner. If this product is now supplied with an input of 1000 watts, its BEE rated efficiency level would be 3516/1000 or somewhere around 3.5 which would be mean the Star Rating of this unit would be 3.
With more power-efficient models coming to the market, the input wattage required to achieve an equivalent amount of cooling falls and thus provides a higher Star rating. The entire system is also overhauled every few years and what is a 5 Star AC today may only be 3 Star Ac in 2022.
Another system commonly in use besides the star rating is the Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER). ISEER is a measurement matrix designed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in 2016.
It is important to keep in mind that BEE Star ratings and ISEER values are only indicative. If you use your AC indiscriminately and or do not insulate your room properly (keep your windows and doors open) then no matter what the efficiency rating, your power bills will surge. A metric you can use is the average annual units consumed.
The BEE Star rating system does simplify the process of understanding how efficient an AC is but it is still a system in development. Advanced western countries have products that are equivalent to 10-star ratings on the current BEE system while we can only access 5-star ACs.
It is important to keep all of this in mind. Calculate your average usage, check how efficient your AC is, look out for BEE star ratings, ISEER values and the average consumption and make an informed choice.
Besides the quality and type of compressor, the material used in the condenser coils, the most important part of an air conditioner is the coolant. The coolant gas is what cools the air by absorbing heat from the warm room air and removing it through the outdoor unit. This process works through repeated liquefaction by the compressor and a transfer of heat through the condenser.
This process in its entirety is repeated hundreds of times every hour and thus the quality of the gas is of utmost importance. The nature of the gas and how well it is suited to quick transfer of heat is what determines the quality of cooling your AC provides.
Coolants using ChloroFluoroCarbons:
These gases were very harmful to the ozone layer and had very high global warming potential. The use of these gases throughout the second half of the 20th century led to the creation of a huge ozone hole above the continent of Antarctica. Restrictions have been imposed on the usage of CFCs in air conditioning from the 1990s and it is rarely used in modern air conditioners.
Coolants with HydroChloroFluoroCarbons:
These were used as a stop-gap solution for the air conditioning industry to use while technology caught up with environmental demands and safer and more environment-friendly options were discovered. These were simply halogenated CFCs and had methane in combination with chlorine and fluorine. HCFCs will be banned by 2021 and their use is already on a decline. Although better than CFCs, HCFCs still deplete the ozone layer and methane has very high global warming potential.
Coolants with HydroFluoroCarbons:
The next step in the evolution of coolant gases, these simply removed chlorine from the mix and were created combining hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon The absence of Chlorine made it a lot safer for the environment. HFCs cause no ozone layer depletion but still have huge global warming potential. They are widely used in the form of R-134A and R-125 and there is no plan to ban it anytime in the future.
Coolants with HydroCarbons:
R-600A and R-290 are common hydrocarb0ns that are used in modern air conditioners, these are safe for the ozone layer and have very low global warming potential. These are environment-friendly coolants and most modern air conditioners use these hydrocarbons as coolants.
AC models nowadays come with a variety of features and modes. It is important to understand what each mode implies so you can better understand what the model you opt for offers.
- Cool Mode: This is the ‘normal’ functioning mode of the AC where it cools the room to a preset temperature and maintains that temperature as long as it is powered on to keep you comfortable.
- Glacier Mode/ Power Chill/ Himalaya Mode: Different brands package this feature under different names but it is available in most new models from almost all manufacturers. Under this mode, the AC ignores the preset temperature and works at full power to quickly cool the room. Once the room is sufficiently cool the AC reverts to normal mode to save power.
- Monsoon mode/ Rapid dry/ Humidity control: Newer variants come with this feature. A special sensor allows the AC to analyze the surrounding air and estimates the humidity. Increased humidity can make you uncomfortable and high humidity also provides a suitable environment for the growth of bacteria and fungi. When the humidity is too high the AC automatically sucks out extra moisture and thus reduces the humidity of the room keeping it cool and comfortable.
- Low power mode: A special mode found in most modern ACs, this involves keeping the compressor at very low power levels while the room is still cold while the fan is turned on to circulate the air inside the room to maximize savings and reduce power consumption.
- Sleep sense mode: A feature offered nowadays by almost all manufacturers, sleep mode reduces power usage automatically while simultaneously providing a comfortable atmosphere while you sleep. It simply increases the temperature by 1 degree every hour for a while before automatically shutting down after eight hours of your sleep.
- Filtration technology: Most Indian cities are highly polluted. Five Indian cities feature in the list of ten most polluted cities in the world. To combat this prevalent pollution from entering our homes, brands are offering air conditioners with special filtration technology, that keeps the air flowing through your room clean and keeps you healthy. Common variants of filters include a dust filter that restricts dust and mites; special anti-bacteria filter also protect against pathogens and allergy-causing particles such as pollen.
- Heating ability: Certain models have the ability to reverse their internal mechanisms and instead of drawing in warm air from the room and cooling it, they can also draw in cold air and heat it. This is especially useful in cities that have a continental type of climate with harsh summers and cold winters. With the click of a button, these ACs can turn into heaters.
- Auto Clean mode: A special feature found in the premium models, the auto-clean feature allows the AC to avoid the formation of mold in the interiors of the AC. This helps against deterioration of cooling performance and makes the AC more durable.
Suggested Read: Best Portable Air Conditioners in India
Frequently Asked Questions
Modern air conditioners come with a special dehumidifier feature. A sensor in the indoor unit senses when the humidity levels are too high in the room. The AC automatically pushes the fan to full speed to suck out any extra humidity in the room to keep you cool and comfortable.
Absolutely! Online purchases simplify the entire process for you. Online retailers have reliable logistics suppliers that deliver the products to you in time. You can also return or get the product replaced at no cost. The online system is also more transparent as you get the entire list of specifications, features, and a large variety of reviews from fellow consumers which act as a guide of sorts to help you decide whether a product is worth investing money in. The offline market often hides or jumble facts to convince you to buy a product. There is nothing of that sort in the online world. All facts are out in the open and you can make an informed choice.
The Indian air conditioner market is filled with a wide variety of brands. While they are all very competitive and bring out some amazing products regularly, such a question is nearly impossible to answer. Brands like Carrier and Daikin specialize in air conditioning and are therefore regarded as amongst the best but LG, Samsung, and Blue Star products aren’t far off. Most models within a segment have similar specifications and you must take a look at what your specific needs are before deciding on a product.
LG and Blue Star have the largest number of service outlets and servicing can be easily done even in tier 3 cities. Daikin doesn’t have as many service centers in smaller cities and thus it might be an issue as they use local franchise shops to perform maintenance on their products. You can look for service centers available for your area and choose accordingly.
Most ACs including the models mentioned in this article have internal stabilizers that protect them from voltage surges between a certain range (usually around 150V to 290V) but it is always better to invest in a stabilizer to ensure proper safety. Also if you live in an area that experiences wild voltage fluctuations, a stabilizer is a must.
Yes indeed. The climate of your city matters a lot. For a city with very high pollution levels, opt for an AC with 7 stage filtration process. For humid cities along the coastline, buy an AC that has a copper condenser as aluminum condensers are susceptible to heavy corrosion due to salinity. If you live in a city that has both extremes – really hot summers and chilling winters – choose an AC that can double up as room heaters during winters.
Also, you must ensure that the brand you opt for has a service center in your city. It is therefore of essence that you consider the environment of your city before deciding on which AC you buy.
Filters used in air conditioners, although of high quality, will eventually get clogged after a few months. To ensure they keep doing their job and keep your room free of dust, bacteria, pollen, smoke, and other harmful particles, you should pull out the filters and clean them under plain water every few months.
If you were looking for an extremely budget-friendly option that costs the least and gets the job done then nothing quite beats the price to performance ratio of the products from Voltas. They are both very good and are priced below the competitors.
For those who seek no holds barred performer, there is nothing quite like the LG Q12YNXA. Although slightly expensive, it performs spectacularly well and has all the features you would expect from a top of the line device.
While these are our top picks, your choice could vary depending on whether you give priority to the price, performance, or features offered by the product. Thus, despite all our suggestions, the final choice lies with you. Weigh your options and your needs carefully and make the right choice.