As per research, the global surface temperature has been added on by 0.85∞C (on an average) in the last 2 decades. Point being, the climate around the world is changing rapidly and it is getting hotter year on year.
The good news is that you can still do little things right around your house to help stop global warming. You can install solar panels, use minimal water, and of course, purchase energy-efficient appliances.
These actions will help save the planet. But what can you do to beat the heat and get some immediate relief? Well, one thing you can do is hydrate yourself. However, that’s rarely enough. If you wish to stay comfortable even in the scalding heat, you must consider investing in an energy efficient air-conditioner.
You will find air-conditioners catering to every budget and need. That said, hunting through hundreds of ACs and nailing down on the one that is the most suitable for you, can be quite a tall order.
But there’s no need to fret! This article is curated to help you decide which AC to buy with the help of our comprehensive buying guide and a well-researched list of our top picks.
Our List of the Best ACs in India:
Keeping features such as inverter technology, energy efficiency, coil, and quietness, and factors like price, cooling capacity, and customer service in mind, we have managed to boil down to 6 excellent air conditioners along with a few alternatives. These are listed in no particular order.
As stated in the title, this Hitachi model has a cooling capacity of 1 ton, more than enough to cool a small room with an area of 110 square feet or less. This AC is an inverter type, which means that its compressor runs at variable speeds, adjusting the power as per the heat load. As far as the coil goes, you get a high quality coil made of copper, which offers greater cooling and doesn’t require much maintenance. The refrigerant gas used in this model is the eco-friendly R410A. Other features which come with this AC are a dust filter, air-purifier, antibacterial coating, and dehumidifier. What’s more? You get a 1-year warranty on the product, 1 year on the condenser, and 5 years on the compressor!
If your budget is flexible, we’d highly recommend you to check this one out.
If you are interested in this particular product but have a bigger room, feel free to check out the 1.5-ton model. It has exactly the same features, except that it is slightly more expensive and is ideal for room size between 111-150 sq. ft.
This model from the house of Daikin, boasts of a BEE energy efficiency of 4 stars, meaning that it uses minimal electricity, thereby saving you quite a few monies. It has a cooling capacity of 1.5 ton, adequate for medium sized rooms with an area between 111-150 sq. ft. Similar to the Hitachi model, this AC also comes with a copper coil and an inverter compressor, providing you the utmost energy efficiency and longevity. The only major difference is that it doesn’t use the R410A refrigerant. Instead, it uses R32, which is still an eco-friendly agent. The Daikin AC is packed with additional features like the Econo Mode, in-built stabilizer, quiet operation, and Coanda airflow (upward air draft). You also get a standard 1-year warranty on the product and condenser, as well as a 5-year warranty on the compressor.
One common complaint with Daikin is that unlike Hitachi, their installation team is not as prompt as you’d like it to be.
If your room is small to medium sized, with either a double-hung window or a casement window, you can consider getting a window AC. Window ACs are fine if you don’t intend to keep them on for long periods of time. But like we mentioned above, they’re not as efficient as split ACs and may fail to cool every corner of the room depending upon where they are installed. And, you have to be prepared for a relatively noisier unit.
Having said all of that, they come at a cheaper price. This particular model by Hitachi boasts of a BEE 5-star rating, equivalent of a BEE 3 to 4-star rating of a split AC. So if you’re worried about paying hefty bills, don’t be. Some of the other features of this AC include dry mode, auto-climate technology, auto restart, koukin filter, extra heat exchanger technology, and more. To boot, you get the standard warranties on the product and the compressor.
It is important to note that window ACs do not come with an inverter compressor. Also note that the Hitachi window AC though highly durable, is not as cheap as some of the other Window ACs. If you want to check out a more budget option for an even smaller room, do consider the Blue Star 0.75 ton 3-star Window AC.
If you support the “Make in India” movement, you might want to check out the Blue Star split AC instead of Hitachi. This company has been making quality air conditioners, air purifiers, and water-coolers which are not only efficient but also light on the pocket.
Speaking about this particular model, you get a cooling capacity of 1.5 tons which the company claims, is enough to cool a room size between 121-179 sq. ft. It features a copper coil and an R32 refrigerant, both of which do their job of exchanging heat, fairly well. You also get a warranty of 1 year on the product and 4 years on the compressor. A few other features are 5 advance filters, iFeel, Blow Clean, Comfort sleep, Rotary compressor, self diagnosis, and metal enclosure for PCB.
The Blue Star split AC is an ideal choice for those looking to get good performance at a reasonable price. Keep in mind that this model is a non-inverter one.
Voltas is yet another reputable Indian company, known for manufacturing ACs, air coolers, and commercial refrigerators. This model sufficiently cools a room size of up to 300 sq. ft. It comes with an energy star rating of 3, which is decent enough to save on electricity given that it is an inverter model. You also get a warranty of 1 year on product, a year on condenser, and 5 years on the compressor. Other features include anti-dust, inner grooves, self diagnosis, LED display, LCD remote, glow button, turbo swing, and cross flow. These features aren’t very unique, but nonetheless, they’re useful.
This Voltas AC is a good choice for those with a slightly more spacious room and a flexible budget. The AC is also great if durability is your concern. However, it comes at a high price. If you want a similar product at a lower cost, do check out the Carrier 2 ton 3-star Inverter Split AC.
This AC almost always has a discount on it. In case you have not heard of it before, it is an American brand that is quickly gaining momentum in the Indian market for their air conditioners.
Much like the Voltas 2-ton model, the Carrier 2-ton model is also perfect for large sized rooms (up to 200 sq. ft.) and offers a significant save on energy consumption. It comes with a copper condenser soil and boasts of several features like dehumidifier, dust filter, and air purifier.
3-star rating not enough for you? You can check out this 1.5-ton AC by Carrier. This model provides the highest level of energy efficiency one can get in an AC. It is ideal for medium-sized rooms with an area between 111 sq. ft. to 150 sq. ft. What’s more?
It is an inverter AC, which means that it can operate at variable speeds and power based on the heat load. To boot, the Carrier 1.5-ton model is one of the quietest of the lot. Similar to the previous two ACs, this product also contains R32 refrigerant which endorses a reduction in global warming.
If you have a relatively smaller room and still want an AC with BEE 5-star rating, you can check out the same model with a cooling capacity of 1 ton.
Buying Guide for AC
Before you make a purchase, it is important to understand and keep certain aspects in mind. Here are a few of those aspects –
1. Energy Efficiency & Inverter ACs:
As we mentioned earlier, it is extremely vital for us to adopt environmental friendly measures in order to reduce climate change. Buying an energy efficient air-conditioner is a great place to start.
But how do we know which AC consumes the least amount of electricity?
You may have noticed a star-rating on the AC. These BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) ratings range between 1-5 stars. The rating basically tells you the amount of energy the AC will use up. Higher the rating, lower is the electricity consumed, thereby resulting in a reasonable electricity bill.
Normally, the choice of star-rating would depend upon factors such as electricity fees per unit in your area and the average number of hours you would use it on a daily basis. However, it is recommended that you buy an AC with at least a BEE 3-star rating.
Note that even though an AC with BEE 5-star rating consumes the least energy, it may not necessarily be an ideal choice if you plan to run your AC for less than 8 hours.
Speaking of Inverter AC, it is a fairly new technology that is capable of reducing energy consumption by 30-60%. Unlike regular AC compressors which run at a fixed speed and tonnage, inverter ACs can run on various speeds and adapt to different tonnages depending upon the room temperature. For example, a 1.5-ton AC can acclimate itself to the ambience of a 1-ton AC when it is not too hot.
This makes them way more efficient compared to regular non-inverter ACs.
Therefore, an inverter AC with a BEE 3 star-rating will be more efficient compared to a non-inverter AC with a BEE 3 or even 5-star rating.
You must be wondering, how to make a choice between the two? Well, its simple. If you would barely use your AC or live in a place with lower electricity tariff, you may not really need an inverter AC. But if you stay in a humid place like Mumbai and have higher tariffs to pay, inverter AC is the way to go.
2. AC Size:
When we speak of AC tonnage or size, we don’t refer to the actual footprint or the weight. Rather, tonnage refers to the cooling capacity of an AC. This capacity is measured in BTU.
BTU (or, British Thermal Unit) refers to the amount of heat that an AC can throw out. What you need to remember is that higher the BTU/hour/Watt, higher the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). Higher the EER, better the performance.
Note that this does not mean that an AC boasting of a higher performance consumes lesser energy. That is because it will use that much more electricity to remove heat from a bigger space.
The AC size that is right for you will depend upon factors such as the number of appliances in your room, the number of people in the room, the local climate (considering the hottest temperature in the year), and most importantly, the size of your room.
Let’s take the most measurable criterion, your room size. You can calculate the BTU required for your room using a simple method. Just remember to multiply the length of your room by the width/area that you want the AC to cool. Then, multiply that number by 25 BTU.
For example, if the length of your room is 20 feet long and the breadth is 16 feet wide, then the area would be 25 X 16 = 400 sq. ft. This is the area that needs to be cooled. Therefore 400 X 25 = 10,000 BTU. This is the BTU you’ll need your AC to have to be able to cool the area well.
Having said that, you may not find an AC that fits perfectly in the required BTU range. Moreover, the BTU method does not take factors such as the hottest weather into consideration. Alternatively, you can also go as per tonnage.
|AC Cooling Capacity||Room Size|
|100 sq. ft.||0.8 ton/1 ton|
|150 sq. ft.||1.5 ton|
|250 sq. ft.||2.0 ton|
|400 sq. ft.||2.5 ton|
If you live in an extremely hot place, it is best to consider the highest temperature of the year add 0.5 ton to the AC tonnage. In case of any confusion with regards to the tonnage, it is best to consult a salesperson.
Remember that an oversized AC could lead to higher electricity consumption and overcooling whereas an undersized AC may not cool the room sufficiently. Hence, it is important to get the appropriate size for your room.
AC coil, aka evaporator coil, is the main component to thank for the cooling process. The coil is responsible for, absorbing, transferring, and throwing the heat out.
There are normally two types of coils – Copper and Aluminum. Question is, which one’s a better choice?
As far as the heat transfer capability and strength is concerned, copper coils win hands down. This means more efficiency, fewer repairs, and higher durability.
However, aluminum coils are more malleable, making it easier to turn them into any desired shape. Plus, they’re cheaper.
In the AC market, you’ll find that the Blue Fin and Gold Fin technology use copper coils whereas the micro-channel condenser coils are made of aluminum. They’re all good quality. However, if you live in a hot and humid area, its advisable to get an AC with copper coils. Note that some aluminum coils today come with anti-corrosive features which can be used even in humid, coastal regions.
Let’s go back to the basics of the way ACs work; the vapor compression refrigeration cycle. This cycle includes the processes of compression, condensation, expansion, and evaporation.
Basically, the refrigerant enters the compressor in the gaseous state, maintaining the appropriate temperature and pressure, eventually condensing into water, and finally absorbing the heat and evaporating. This finally gives you the cool air in your room.
Refrigerant is the liquid agent that makes it possible to cool your room. This agent is present inside the AC coil and help in dehumidifying the air inside the room.
You must ensure that your AC comes with the R-410A refrigerant as it is chlorine-free, and therefore, eco-friendly. This refrigerant is also known for aiding in quitter operation and higher reliability. Beware of the R-22 used in older ACs as it is not environmental friendly.
5. AC Type (Split or Window):
Another important question to ask yourself is whether you want to get a split or a window AC. Both types of AC have their pros and cons.
To tell you in brief, window ACs are ideal if you have a relatively small room with a window sill. It is also worth considering if your budget is a constraint. On the downside, they tend to be noisy and have 1 level lower efficiency compared to split ACs.
Split ACs on the other hand are the perfect choice for medium to big spaces. They’re also more energy efficient with the availability of the BEE 5-star rating option. Furthermore, they are quieter and more hygienic overall given that the compressor unit is separate.
One must also keep in mind that newer technologies such as inverter ACs, mostly come with split ACs. The downside of split ACs is that they are not available in less than 1 ton and are slightly more expensive compared to window ACs. Also, note that Split ACs perform better so even though they maybe more energy efficient, you may have to pay a higher electricity bill depending upon your usage and tonnage.
6. Maintenance/After Sales Service:
Who doesn’t want clean cool air right? Well, it is very important to ensure that your AC filters are cleaned regularly along with occasional servicing.
Whether you buy a window AC or a split AC, you will have to call an AC repair professional to do the aforementioned. That’s why, you must look into any warranties offered by the manufacturer as well as the company’s after sales reputation, before buying an AC.
Voltage stabilizers function similar to transformers, aiding in the maintenance of steady power supply in event of a voltage fluctuations. Normally, your AC compressor installed outside would work within the voltage range of 190 V to 240V. If your area is susceptible to frequent voltage fluctuations or voltage drops below 190V, then it is recommended that you get a voltage stabilizer. Note, that this problem is more common with non-inverter/fixed-speed AC units.
Inverter ACs don’t usually run into a problem with voltage fluctuations. However, they may get damaged in case of a power surge, such as in the event of a short circuit. If you plan to get an inverter AC, a good quality surge guard should suffice.
You may have noticed the omission of brands like Samsung, LG, and several other big names on our list. Well, that’s because they all have issues as far as after sales service and durability is concerned.
We sincerely hope that this article has been useful for you to get some more clarity on which AC you should buy. If so, please do leave a comment and let us know.