Summers in India are fast approaching and if you plan to buy an Air Conditioner (AC) to beat the heat, then here is a quick “how to spend your money wisely” guide on the same. I ended up writing this when I realized that we often shop for a lot of consumer durable products without having first read about how to best judge the product.
And surprisingly it takes not more than 15 mins to dig out all you need to know about any such product. Spending your hard earned money is an integral part of your financial planning, so make sure you get don’t fooled at the showroom by the glib salesman. I will kill my inner instincts and stop this Gyaan and dive straight away on how to buy an air conditioner tutorial.
Split Air Conditioners or Window ACs ?
Even before you hop over to buy air conditioners this summer, you first need to be clear what is a split air conditioner or split AC and what is a window AC. As the name suggests, a split AC comes as 2 separate units, in which one unit is wall mounted inside the room and the other (split) unit is parked outside the apartment/house. Windows ACs, as the name leads you to believe, is mounted on a window of the room and juts both in and out of the room.
Split ACs are smaller in size and less noisier and are preferably used for residential apartment rooms while window ACs are bigger in size, more noisier and cool a bigger room quickly.
How to choose
And this is where most of the spenders get taken for a ride by the showroom sales person. But it is really simple to choose an air conditioner unit.
The first most important factor that will drive your selection is the size of your room. The larger a room, you need a more powerful Air Conditioner (AC).
ACs in India, and I guess elsewhere as well, come in units called TONs. Note this unit ton is a measurement of energy and not weight – energy or heat required to convert 1 ton of ice to cool air.
So an ACs cooling capacity is measured in something called BTU (British Thermal Unit). As you would have guessed by now, more the BTU, more powerful is the AC and so would be the cost.
Having understood this, first measure the size of your room in square foot and use the below guide to decide which ton of AC you need for your room.
While you can use the above as a ready reckoner for choosing air conditioner units, note that there are other parameters like height of the room, number of windows, number of people using the room and even the climate that matters.
The second thing you want to look at when you want to choose an air conditioner unit is its star rating. Star rating of air conditioners in India are a very quick way of inferring what an AC can cost you in the long run and how much your bills could be.
The star ratings of air conditioners in India are done by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency and are very reliable. The more the number of stars, the more efficient it is and lesser will be the power consumption. All ACs will come with the star ratings shown on them so you can easily decide which one to choose.
5 star rated ACs cost the most but in the long run they will save you more money than a 3 star or 1 star AC.
Other points to note
Having an air conditioner definitely means a larger electricity bill. An AC can easily mean a bill of Rs 15 per hour of operation.
Like all other products, ACs also require maintenance and so make sure you clean the filter at regular intervals. There are many types of filters available for an AC but stick with the most basic ones.
Never keep the AC in direct sunlight as it’s efficiency will get impacted.
Note that to bring down your electricity bill, always keep the temperate between the outside and the inside as close as possible. This is not always possible but try it out. Use the thermostat to adjust the AC automatically to say 25 C.
Buy a good brand AC, don’t go for local stuff which is easy on your wallet. It can cost you dearly if it breaks down.
ACs can cost from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 – decide based on capacity and star ratings. And have a happy summer !