Basic Information about Air-Conditioners (AC):

  • Type of AC : Window and Split?

Choice of AC depends on your comfort and room location. Window AC’s are cheaper than Split ac. Split AC consists of separate indoor and outdoor units thereby called split ac. Since it has separate outdoor unit consisting of Compressor and condenser, indoor unit is very quiet. Split ac are more decorative and comes with many filters.  If you want quite ac with aesthetic looks go with split ac. But if you have a window in your room or a wall which open to outside, you can go with window ac. Since window ac is a single unit incorporating all components including compressor, it makes more noise. Normally window ac are available upto 2.5 Ton because above that, their noise became unbearable. Consequently, for higher capacity you have to go with split ac. 5 ton and above split ac comes in floor mounted model.

If you are a middle class person or if you do not want to spend more on AC, window ac is good choice.

  • Inverter AC or Non Inverter AC: In Non inverter ac, compressor motor has two option-either on or off. Whereas in Inverter ac, motor can run at variable speed and thus saves electricity. Therefore, Inverter ac are good for power saving.
  • Refrigerant: Now, many companies stated shifting to CFC free, Ozone friendly refrigerant.  R410 was manufactured to replace R22. Now many companies are using R410 for their products. Previously R-22 was used in all the AC, but since it cause ozone depletion, it is being phased out by 2030. However, R-22 is more efficient refrigerant, but for environmental consideration, please go with Ozone friendly refrigerant. Companies like Godrej are befooling consumers by writing R-22 as eco-friendly. Most of refrigerant are ecofriendly, but we are concerned about Ozone here not ecology. Be careful. Say No to R-22 (Trade name Freon).
  • Compressor: Compressor is the heart of ac. Please read my last blog too for more information about different companies making AC’s by clicking here. Here I will let you know about different type of compressor. For small capacity i.e below 5 Ton, there are two type of compressor normally used: 1) Rotory. 2) Reciprocating.

Rotary compressor used less moving parts and thus need less maintenance. Reciprocating compressors are more rugged. For home AC, go with rotary compressor as they are more energy-efficient.

  • Some important terms: a) Ton or tonnage: In air-conditioning field, Ton is a unit of cooling not of weight. 1 Ton is defined as amount of cooling produce by melting of one ton of ice. The other unit for cooling capacity which is normally mentioned on AC unit is BTU/Hr. . One ton is equal to 12000 BTU/hr..
  • b) EER: Energy efficiency ratio: it is defined as the ratio of the cooling capacity (in Btu per hour) to the power input (in watts). Higher EER rating means the more efficient the air conditioner.

 

 

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Check the Compressor Make before Buying an Expensive AC

Summer is approaching in India.The most important part in any AC is its compressor. Therefore, I was interested in knowing which brands are making their own compressors and which are using Chinese and western brand. Surprisingly most of the so-called Indian brands use Chinese components. Videocon, Onida & now Voltas and many more are manufacturing most of component in china including compressor. Below is the list of few famous brands in no specific order and there price (taken from each company website in Feb.2018):

1.5 Ton Window ac comparison
S.No. Brand Name Price *     (in Rs) Energy efficiency (ERR) Refrigerant Remark
1  Voltas by TATA (LZH series) 32,890 5 Star (3.32) R-22  
2   Onida (WA185FLT) 34,990 5 Star (3.42) R410A BTU/hr.=17401
3  Blue Star            (G-series) 30,000 5 Star R-22  
4  Videocon 37,500 5 Star (3.32) R-22  
5  Godrej 27,990 5 Star (3.4) R-22 7 Year compressor warranty
6 Samsung N/A N/A N/A Only split ac data found
7  LG 35,140 5 Star (3.36) R-22  
8  Hitachi (RAV518HUD) 37,090 5 Star (3.50) R-22 Quite operation, Compressor manufacturer
9  Carrier 34,000 5-Star R-22  
10  O-General 40,530 3-Star R410A Work up to 55 deg.C
* Price are taken from different websites and shown only for comparison.

 

First five are Indian multinational brands, and last five are International brand available in India. Because of price war with multinational companies, Indian brands also started manufacturing in China. The secrecy these companies maintain about component of their products is surprising. I checked many manufacturer websites and there brochures but did not find any information about compressor make and other major component manufacturing list. I expected little more transparency from companies.

 

Companies must have courage to tell the truth about their product to the costumers. Else, it is the duty of Government to save costumers from such fraud. Companies must be clearer about the manufacturing. They can use tag such as “Indian technology, assembled in China” or “Made in India with Chinese component”!

A costumer has a right to know what he or she is buying. When a company mention on a product: Made in India. It gives an impression that majority of components and whole assembly is done in India. If a customer has full information then he can make a better choice. For example: Very few companies are making compressors for their own AC’s, rest of all companies are buying compressors from other companies. When we want to buy an ac, we choose best brand thinking it will have best components and thus we are ready to pay more for it. But if I tell you that your selected brand and another cheaper brand both are using same compressor and cheaper brand is giving you better energy efficiency? Will you still buy the same brand?

Component make and manufacturing is one of the best-kept secret in ac market. Even sales man will not be aware about it. They will tell you about filters, remote control, dust control, exterior body, coil materials, evaporator fans etc. However, nothing about compressor except 5 year warranty. All compressors comes with 5-7 years warranty. Nevertheless, 7 years is not such a long time when it comes to home appliances. We want to use it for next 20 years. If one compressor will work for 5 years, you have to replace it 4 times in 20 years’ service!

One more surprising thing is refrigerant. Most of the companies still using R-22 as refrigerant. R-22 (Trade name Freon) contain CFC- a chemical causing Ozone depletion. Eventually, all the HCFCs have to be phased out by the year 2030 including R-22. Hence, if you are planning to buy an AC and expecting to use it for more than 10 years, make sure you do not buy AC with R-22 refrigerant. After 2030, price of R-22 will increase abnormally. It is better to make wise decision now.

To protect environment, let us shift to green technology and CFC free gases. R-410a and R407 are CFC free and does not cause ozone depletion. Buy inverter AC to safe electricity.