Just chill, with the right choice

Sravanthi Challapalli | Updated on April 10, 2014


If you’re thinking of replacing it or buying a new one, here is the lowdown

The heat is oppressive already and despite holding out valiantly, you find yourself reaching for the AC switch. Have you bought the right air conditioner? Or, if you’re thinking of replacing it or buying a new one, here are some findings from Consumer Voice magazine, which compared a range of split ACs.

Daikin was rated the best performer (it scored 93/100), followed by Blue Star in second place (88) and Voltas, LG and Panasonic all in third place (86). The factors taken into account were energy-efficiency ratio (EER), net total room cooling capacity, power consumption, maximum operating conditions test (MOCT), noise level, net dehumidifying effect and net total sensible effect. The EER was given the highest weightage of 20. Power consumption, room cooling capacity and MOCT were given a weightage of 10 each.

The AC you buy may be of lesser capacity than rated. Only four of nine brands tested – Daikin (3.51), LG (3.4), Blue Star (3.38) and Voltas (3.32) – meet their EER claim, which means they are more efficient in terms of high cooling capacity and are low on power consumption.

Samsung (3.08), Hitachi (3.11) and O General (3.01) failed to meet the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) standards for 5-star EER as claimed. Samsung and O General qualify for 3-star rating and Hitachi for 4-star.

All the brands passed the MOCT test, which means they are capable of running in high temperature during summer. Air conditioners were rated between 1,420 watts and 1,680 watts for input power, which should not be higher than that declared by the manufacturer. As the AC may run for hours during summer, this is a big concern as it affects the electricity bill. Godrej consumed the least power at 1,340 W, followed by Daikin, Voltas and LG. Samsung followed O General in terms of highest power consumption.

O General scored the highest (9.93/10) in the total room cooling effect test. Blue Star (9.88) and Panasonic (9.71) followed. Godrej was at the bottom of the pile (7.61) and Hitachi (8.76).

Only Daikin, Hitachi and O General are equipped with a copper condenser coil. The rest have an aluminium coil, which means a shorter life.

Consumer Voice tested and compared nine brands of split ACs of 1.5 tonnes, the most commonly sold capacity and with 5-star energy rating under the BEE of India. The test programme was mainly adopted from IS: 1391 (Part 2) 1992 with all the latest amendments as well as related sections from IEC and IS: 302-1-2008 for safety requirement. Other reference points were test parameters under BEE’s standards and labelling programme which makes energy labels mandatory for window and split air conditioners. The comparative testing, including repeat tests, was carried out in an independent laboratory accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. From January 1 this year, the 5-star EER requirement for split air conditioners is 3.50.

Vitamin C is a weekly dose of consumer empowerment.

Published on April 10, 2014

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