Summers in India can be oppressive because of the extreme heat. Except for hill stations and areas located at high altitude, almost every house in India uses the air conditioner during these months.

People living in the southern states use the AC also during the winter months. Thus, this appliance has become more of a necessity than a luxury today.

AC manufacturing technology has also significantly improved, as is evident from the excellent range of these machines available in India. It has become challenging to choose the ideal one for your house.

You get world-renowned brands like LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Daikin, Godrej, Voltas, Blue Star, Carrier, etc., thereby making it even more challenging to select the perfect appliance.

This buying guide endeavors to make it simple for everyone.

Best Air Conditioners In India

1. LG 1.5 Ton 5-Star Inverter Split AC – LS-Q18YNZA

When it comes to homemaker’s choice in India, LG is a perennial favorite in almost all categories. If you are looking for quality performance and power-saving capabilities, you need not look beyond the LG 1.5-ton AC model, LS-Q18YNZA.

Your LG AC is one of the best in saving power because of the dual inverter compressor. The varied speed dual rotary motor has a broader rotational frequency that provides a higher speed cooling range while consuming less power than conventional compressors.

This air conditioner is ideal for your home as it provides 4-in-1 convertible cooling to suit your air conditioning requirements. It can run at four different capacities, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%, depending on your seasonal needs.

You do not have to worry about voltage fluctuations as this AC can work in the voltage range of 120V to 290V. Thus, you save a lot by not purchasing a step-up voltage stabilizer. High-grooved copper tubing enhances the oscillatory movement to agitate the refrigerant and ensure better heat dissipation.

This air conditioner is the perfect one to have if you reside in areas with high humidity or industrial pollution levels as the Ocean Black Fin provides excellent protection to the machine parts. This protective layer enhances the longevity of your AC and makes it exceptionally durable.

Are you worried about the humidity in your home during the monsoon season? You need not because this LG appliance comes equipped with Monsoon Comfort technology to control the room temperature, humidity levels, and air movement inside the room to make it perfectly hospitable.

In summers, you can rely on this appliance to cool your room within no time because of Himalaya Cool technology. This AC is different from its ilk because the horizontal and vertical swing action ensures uniform airflow throughout the room to provide high-quality cooling performance.

You can call this appliance a smart one as it features a smart diagnosis system to check and troubleshoot issues using your smartphone. These ACs come with sensors that can detect low gas levels, thereby reminding you to arrange for a refill.

In short, this air conditioner is perfectly suited for Indian weather conditions.

2. Carrier 1.5 Ton 5 Star Inverter Split AC CAI18EK5R30F0

Carrier is the world’s leading AC manufacturer, with its products available globally. The 5-star BEE rating ensures that you save power when using this appliance. One of the significant aspects of this air conditioner is that it can deliver powerful cooling even when the outdoor temperatures reach an almost impossible figure of 55 degrees Celsius.

The Carrier ESKO series appliances come with excellent technological features like Flexicool Technology that enables them to work at varying capacities such as Free Running, 100%, 75%, and 50%. Thus, you can adjust the cooling and power consumption, depending on your requirements.

The outdoor unit Hybridjet features an innovative design that efficiently reduces the temperature levels and cools the indoor air quickly to deliver excellent performance.

The Carrier ESKO comes equipped with a PM2.5 air filter to purify the indoor air by removing micro-particle contaminants and keeps the atmosphere fresh and healthy. Controlling this appliance is never an issue, even during the nights because of the backlit remote that provides perfect visibility.

If you plan to purchase an external stabilizer, you should change your mind because this device can work at all input voltages between 150 and 280V, even at 48 degrees Centigrade.

The Carrier ESKO model can be classified as a smart appliance because of the Follow Me feature. On activating the feature, this air conditioner adjusts the ambient temperature around the remote control to provide outstanding comfort.

ACs can get uncomfortably chilly during the night as the air gets cold. The Sleep Mode present in this appliance automatically increases the temperature by 1-degree Celsius for the first two hours and maintains it for the next six hours to ensure that you sleep comfortably.

This air conditioner saves on recurring maintenance costs because of the Auto Cleanser option. This mode operates in the cooling mode with low fan speed. As a result, the condensed water removes the dust from the evaporator fins and subsequently returns to the fan-only mode to blow away the wet air. As a result, it disinfects your room and eliminates all bacteria.

The Carrier ESKO is, indeed, a perfect appliance to have in your home.

3. Whirlpool 1.5-Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC MAGICOOL PRO+

Whirlpool appliances come equipped with a unique 6th sense technology that makes it one of the favorites amongst Indian homemakers. This air conditioning unit, MAGICOOL PRO+ can keep the interiors cool even when the temperature outside is raging at 55 degrees Celsius.

The advanced MPFi (Multi-Port Fluid Injection) technology fuses a smart circuitry and capillary design to ensure instant cooling for your home. The unique design uses a 4×4 evaporator circuit for rapid heat exchange, resulting in enhanced cooling and power savings.

Your Whirlpool appliance uses R32 eco-friendly refrigerant, whereby it emits fewer greenhouse gases. Besides, this refrigerant requires less operating volume, thereby displaying enhanced efficiency.

You save money on maintenance costs as this machine is a 100% copper unit where all the condenser, evaporator, and connecting pipes are made of copper. This AC features a HEPA filter media to trap harmful pollutants and purify the air you breathe.

Your family can sleep at ease during the night because the sleep mode automatically adjusts the temperature around you and maintains it at comfortable levels. The Eco mode saves power as it slows down the compressor and reduces the condenser unit’s pressure. Thus, it enhances efficiency levels considerably.

This air conditioner features an Auto Air Swing function that automatically swings the airflow from one side of the vent to the other.

The Self-Clean feature enhances the evaporator coil’s lifespan by preventing rust formation and inhibits the growth of harmful microorganisms inside the unit. Another exciting feature is the Self-Diagnosis functionality that displays the error code on the display panel to make it easy for the technician to diagnose the problem.

You can sleep peacefully at night, even during power cuts, as this machine features an Auto Restart option to switch on the appliance on the restoration of electricity. Besides, this AC comes equipped with an in-built voltage stabilizer that allows convenient operations in the 145 to 290V range.

4. Blue Star 1.5 Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC – IC318QATU

When it comes to elegance in design and excellence in performance, few ACs can come close to the Blue Star 1.5-ton model IC318QATU. While delivering comfortable cooling throughout the year, this unit saves on the energy front, as well.

This appliance is unique in the sense that it ensures precise temperature control (+/- 0.5 degrees Celsius) to prevent temperature fluctuations from affecting your comfort inside your home. It is possible because of the unique fuzzy logic and ultra-wide frequency microprocessor-based controller.

The remote-control unit features in-built sensors to ensure you get the desired comfort. The Turbo Cool feature enhances the cooling speed and enhances your convenience levels in extreme summer conditions.

Fuzzy Logic is an excellent feature that allows you to have an undisturbed sleep throughout the night. The 2-way auto swing delivers a horizontal and vertical swing to ensure uniform cooling throughout the room.

This unit comes with a hidden light-up display that adds to the aesthetic quotient while being easy on the eye during the night. Besides, your room looks classy.

You have a durable AC on hand that comes with anti-corrosive blue fins for protection against humidity, dust, and corrosion. It also facilitates easy heat transfer to increase cooling efficiency.

Similar to its peers in the market, your Blue Star appliance features smart detection technology that can self-diagnose errors and faults to alert you immediately. Thus, you can take the required corrective actions to keep the machine in working condition.

Self-Clean technology prohibits moisture accumulation and prevents the formation of mold and dust within the indoor unit. This feature starts working the moment you switch off the AC.

The device runs for a couple of minutes to clean the coil inside the indoor unit. Thus, you get clean and fresh air when you switch it on again.

5. Sanyo 1.5-Ton 5 Star Dual Inverter Wide Split AC – SI/SO-15TSSCIC

When you purchase a Sanyo AC, you get assured Japanese technology and the most convenient features to satisfy your cooling requirements. These air conditioners are specifically manufactured to withstand Indian climatic conditions. The inverter technology delivers optimal cooling while keeping your electricity bills to the minimum.

The Sanyo Inverter air conditioner has two independent rotors in the compressor to ensure energy-efficient and quick cooling. This appliance comes with an in-built PM2.5 and anti-dust filter to trap dust, pollen, and other suspended pollutants. Thus, you ensure pure and healthy air for everyone in your family.

The Glacier Mode speeds up the fan by around 35% compared to the medium mode to deliver instant cooling when you arrive home from work. As a result, you end up feeling refreshed.

The Sanyo units are smart appliances that come equipped with a self-diagnosis feature to enable easy troubleshooting. The Eco Function on the remote allows for optimal performance and energy-efficient operation. The Auto-Restart feature saves you the trouble of switching the device every time the power supply is restored after a power cut.

The copper condenser coils make your AC one of the most efficient devices in its niche. The hydrophilic fins ensure protection against rust and salt damage, thereby proving to be an ideal appliance to have if you live in coastal areas.

On the convenience front, it is one of the best devices to have as the backlit remote allows you to control the temperature comfortably during the nights. This air conditioner uses R32 refrigerant, one of the most eco-friendly coolants available today.

You ensure a peaceful sleep for your family because the Sleep Function allows automatic adjustment of the temperature levels during nights. Sanyo devices are excellent when it comes to saving energy. This 5-star AC ranks right at the top of the heap as far as power savings is concerned.

For people who love to add a dash of style to their homes, this air conditioner should be perfect as the hidden temperature display adds to the classy quotient.

You feel refreshed in the morning after an undisturbed night’s sleep as the timer function allows you to switch your appliance on/off automatically.

6. Panasonic 1.5-Ton 5 Star Wi-Fi Twin Cool Inverter Split AC – CS/CU-NU18WKYW

Japanese ACs have the knack of being technologically equipped to meet the demands of the future. The unique feature of this Panasonic appliance is its Wi-Fi compatibility and the ability to work with Alexa.

The younger generation would love this air conditioner as it uses AI to offer a higher diagnostics level. The MirAIe platform connects to the appliance and detects issues in advance, thereby ensuring enhanced performance levels and extended lifespan.

The MirAIe App also helps customize sleep profiles. It enhances the flexibility levels to allow users to pre-set temperatures and provide comfort throughout the night. This app enables you to have complete control over the unit. It is also compatible with Alexa, whereby you can use your voice commands to control its features.

This AC features multiple operation modes to enhance your comfort. The Powerful Mode enables the appliance to work on higher fan speeds to deliver rapid cooling. The Dry Mode is perfect to use on rainy days as it optimizes moisture levels and makes the air dry.

This unit ranks at the top on the durability front because of the 100% copper coils to enable faster heat transfer and resist corrosion. The Shield Blu technology protects the evaporator against corrosion from air, water, and other corrosive elements.

Panasonic AC models feature twin inverters with independent rotors to balance the load, thereby ensuring less wear and tear. Thus, this unit comes with an extended lifespan. You also save money because the machine can work in an extensive input voltage range of 145 to 285V.

Other exciting features include the eco-friendly R32 refrigerant that prevents damage to the ozone layer. You can ensure that your children get fresh air to breathe as this device includes a two-stage ail filtration process. The Catechin filter deactivates 90% of bacteria and other microorganisms, whereas the PM2.5 air filter removes airborne contaminants smaller than 2.5 micrometers to deliver dust-free air.

7. Voltas 1.5-Ton 3 Star Split AC – 183EZA

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Voltas AC is another reputed Indian brand that people prefer because it offers guaranteed performance. The 1.5-ton appliance is one of the most durable appliances in its niche. When you purchase a Voltas air conditioner, you get all-weather comfort because of features like high ambient cooling, active dehumidifier, and multi-stage filtration.

You get relief from the scorching summers as this Voltas model can cool the interiors even if the outdoor temperatures cross an impossible 50 degrees Celsius. Similarly, the active dehumidifier feature makes it comfortable during the monsoon.

This appliance comes equipped with various modes to enhance comfort levels. The Turbo Mode offers instant cooling to provide immediate relief from the oppressive heat. Similarly, the Sleep Mode maintains the temperature at bearable levels during the nights to enable you to sleep peacefully.

This Voltas unit offers a 4-stage filtration advantage to remove dust, dirt, allergens, odors, and other pollutants to deliver pure and fresh air. The 100% copper coils add to the durability and enhance its overall efficiency.

You save maintenance costs because of the self-diagnosis feature. It checks the appliance for abnormalities and failures and resets them automatically.

The Voltas AC is easy to operate at night because the remote buttons glow in the dark to enable you to have the perfect settings. You can also lock the current settings using the Lock button to avoid accidental changes while you toss and turn around in your sleep.

This Voltas model is unique because it features a dual temperature display. You can view the room temperature and the set temperature simultaneously.

This air conditioner is an eco-friendly model as it uses an R32 refrigerant. This coolant does not deplete the ozone layer and features low global warming potential.

Buying Guide For The Ideal Air Conditioner For Your Home

ACs have become commonplace almost all over India. These machines have extensive use throughout the year, especially in cities like Chennai that experiences three types of weather, hot, hotter, and hottest.

Nowadays, no one purchases window air conditioners. Hence, we shall keep them out of our discussion’s purview and focus on split ACs alone. However, we shall discuss the areas of prime difference between these two appliances.

Window ACs Split air conditioners
Cheaper because it comprises of a single unit to house all the components Comparatively expensive because it has two separate units, the indoor, and the outdoor unit
Easy to install as the procedure does not involve the drilling of holes in the walls Comparatively challenging to install, but it can be set up on any wall.
Makes more noise Less noise because of two separate units
Requires a sturdy wall for installation The installation process involves drilling a hole to allow the wires and pipes to pass through. Hence, it does not require the walls to be sturdy.

Purchasing an AC is not like buying a bar of 5-star chocolate from the departmental store. Various factors go into deciding the ideal brand. Let us discuss them one by one.

Calculation of the AC size – Capacity or Tonnage

You should do your homework before venturing to purchase an air conditioner for your home. The following aspects merit consideration.

  1. The Room Volume – Length x Breadth x Height
  2. Exposure of the windows, walls, and ceiling to the sun
  3. The number of people in the room
  4. The furniture and other items present in the room
  5. The city you reside
  6. The total appliance load
  7. The daily usage and the number of months you use the AC in a year

We provide a calculation table that should work for Indian homes because the average size of the rooms in Indian homes do not exceed 400 square feet (around 4000 cubic feet in volume).

If you have large rooms, you might have to install multiple air conditioners. It is also advisable to consult a qualified technician to evaluate the requirements.

This calculation table is ideal for a residential setup. Commercial installations require multiple ACs or appliances with higher tonnage.

  Parameter Choose the ideal option Total
1 Room Volume (Cubic feet) Up to 1000 1001 to 2000 2001 to 3000 3001 to 4000
  Score 2 3 4 5  
2 Window Area exposed to the sun (Facing West – Square feet) Up to 10 11 to 20 21 to 30 NA
  Score 1 2 3    
3 Window Area exposed to the sun (Directions other than West – sq. ft. Up to 10 11 to 20 21 to 35 36 to 50
  Score 0 1 2 3  
4 Wall area exposed to the sun (West facing – square feet) Up to 100 101 to 150 151 to 200 201 to 300
  Score 1 2 3 4  
5 Wall area exposed to the sun (other than West – square feet Up to 100 101 to 150 151 to 200 201 to 300
  Score 0 1 2 3  
6 Wall area not exposed to the sun – square feet Up to 100 101 to 300 301 to 600 601 to 1000
  Score 0 1 2 3  
7 Ceiling area exposed to the sun – square feet Up to 200 201 to 300 301 to 400 NA
  Score 1 2 3    
8 Ceiling area not exposed to the sun – square feet Up to 200 201 to 300 301 to 400 NA
  Score 0 1 2    
9 Number of people in the room 2 4 6 8
  Score 1 2 3 4  
10 Total Appliance Load Up to 100W 100 to 250W 251 to 500W NA
  Score 2 3 4    
    Grand Total  

These figures are easy to calculate. You can write down the individual scores in the final column and arrive at the total. Depending on the total, you can go for the recommended tonnage.

Grand Total Recommended Tonnage
6 to 10 1-ton
11 to 17 1.5-ton
18 to 25 2-ton

Star Ratings – Concept of EER, SEER, ISEER

Generally, the star ratings are the first aspects you note when you purchase any appliance for your home. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency makes it mandatory for all air conditioner manufacturers to indicate every appliance’s star ratings. Let us understand the concept of star ratings and the various terms connected with them.

Energy Efficiency Ratio – EER

EER is the ratio of the amount of heat removed by the appliance per hour and the power consumed during the period. It is expressed in BTU/hr/watt. An AC with a higher EER is a better appliance because it removed more heat per hour per unit of power consumption.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – SEER

The external and internal temperature affects the performance of an AC. In the summer months, the temperature outside is high. Hence, the appliance consumes more electricity when compared to the winter months. The EER of your appliance depends on the seasons. SEER works on this concept.

Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – ISEER

The ISEER concept is similar to that of SEER, except that it applies to Indian conditions. However, two additional factors determine ISEER.

The energy consumed by the appliance in the Active Mode constitutes Cooling Seasonal Energy Consumption (CSEC).

The total amount of heat removed by the unit in the Active Mode is the Cooling Seasonal Total Load (CSTL)

The mathematical formula of ISEER is as follows.

ISEER is the ratio of CSTL and CSEC.

In India, all air conditioner manufacturers should declare the ISEER on the appliance. BEE has proposed the following ISEER bands for all inverter ACs.

Star Rating ISEER – January 01, 2020, to December 31, 2021 ISEER – January 01, 2021, to December 31, 2024
1-Star 3.30 to 3.49 3.50 to 3.99
2-Star 3.50 to 3.99 4.00 to 4.49
3-Star 4.0 to 4.49 4.50 to 4.99
4-Star 4.5 to 4.99 5.00 to 5.49
5-Star >= 5.0 >=5.50

How does the AC work?

Generally, people think that the air conditioner cools the air inside the rooms. No, it does not. It removes the heat from inside the rooms, thereby automatically bringing down the temperature levels. Does it sound contradictory? The scientific explanation should make it simple.

  1. The refrigerant gas is compressed into a high-pressure liquid in the compressor.
  2. This liquid flows through condenser coils, where the liquid cools down due to the escaping of the heat. However, the liquid pressure remains high.
  3. The expansion valve converts the liquid at high pressure into the liquid at low pressure.
  4. This liquid then flows through the evaporator coils, absorbs the heat from your room, and makes it cool. The fans inside the appliance maintain the chill.
  5. The absorbed heat converts the liquid into gas.
  6. This process keeps on repeating.

Choose the right refrigerant

The refrigerant plays a critical role in the functioning of the AC. Different types of refrigerants are available in the market.

Refrigerant Type Global Warming Potential Ozone Depletion Potential
R22 1810 Medium
R410A 2088 Nil
R32 675 Nil
R134A 1430 Nil
R290 3 Nil
R600A 3 Nil

Today, you have almost all ACs in India using the R32 refrigerant. The advantage of R32 is that they are eco-friendly.

R22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, is an outdated refrigerant. R32, R410A, and R134A are hydrofluorocarbons, whereas R290 and R600A are hydrocarbons and are the refrigerants of the future.

Different Modes of Operation

ACs come with different operational modes. You can check out the manual to understand the different modes available on the appliance.

Cool Mode

This mode is the default mode and available on all appliances.

Fan Mode

This mode saves you the maximum energy as the compressor remains off. The fans do the cooling. It does not cool the room as the cool mode does, but it can maintain the chill if you keep the windows closed.

Dry Mode

The dry mode comes with a dehumidifier and is ideal for use in the monsoon season. This mode removes the humidity and dries the air inside the room. Here, the fans rotate or lower speeds. This mode’s primary function is to remove the humidity and not enhance the cooling inside the room.

Power Saver Mode

The Power Saver Mode saves energy as the compressor stops functioning on reaching the set temperature. The fans keep functioning to maintain the chill.

Quick Cool Mode

This mode is useful in the hot summer months. The AC starts functioning directly at the lowest temperature of around 16 degrees Celsius. The advantage of this Quick Cool mode is that it cools the room quickly.

Sleep Mode

The latest air conditioners come with this feature. In this mode, the temperature increases by 1 degree Celsius every hour for two hours and then switches over to the Power Saver Mode. Thus, it is ideal for use at night.

6th Sense Cooling Mode

Whirlpool ACs come with this feature. The fan speed adjusts to the temperature inside the room accordingly.

Inverter Compressor – The Concept

The inverter compressor is not available in window air conditioners. The compressor keeps functioning throughout and does not switch off. However, it runs at varying speeds, and thus, consumes less power.

You can compare the functioning of the inverter compressor to your car accelerator. As you press the pedal, the speed increases. On removing the foot from the pedal, the car slows down automatically.

The advantage of an inverter compressor is that it consumes less power when compared to the regular compressor. Thus, these appliances are energy efficient.

This table of energy consumption clarifies matters. (Total power consumption 1600 hours)

AC Type/Tonnage 0.75 ton 1 ton 1.5 ton 2 ton
1-star AC – non-inverter 627 units 843 units 1246 units 1648 units
2-star AC – non-inverter 596 units 800 units 1184 units 1626 units
3-star AC – both 542 units 747 units 1104 units 1448 units
4-star AC – inverter 464 units 645 units 945 units 1293 units
5-star AC – inverter 450 units 554 units 840 units 1113 units

Aluminum Coils Vs. Copper Coils

When compared to aluminum coils, copper is preferable because of various factors.

  • Copper is a better heat exchanger when compared to aluminum.
  • On the costs front, aluminum is cheaper than copper.
  • Aluminum has a higher malleability than copper. Hence, molding aluminum is more comfortable than copper.
  • Copper coils last longer than aluminum.
  • Copper coils do not require much maintenance compared to aluminum.
  • Both copper and aluminum are excellent when it comes to resisting corrosion. However, air conditioners feature different types of technology, like Blue Fin technology, to reduce corrosion. This technology involves painting the coils with anti-corrosive materials to enhance the unit’s lifespan.

Rotary Compressors Vs. Reciprocating Compressors

Reciprocating compressors work like an automobile engine using the cylinder and piston concept. The back-and-forth movement of the piston compresses and releases the gas.

Rotary compressors have multiple rotors with little clearance space between them. As these rotors spin in opposite directions, the air emerges at high pressure.

Today, almost all air conditioners have rotary compressors.

Miscellaneous Features

Air Filters

You can also look for air filters inside your AC. The latest appliances come equipped with HEPA filters and PM2.5 filters to remove pollutants from the air and purify it. Thus, you end enjoying the dual benefits of fresh and cool air.

Timers

This function allows you to set the timings for operating the air conditioner. It proves useful at night where you want the AC to shut off automatically after the set time.

Heating Function

Some of the air conditioners feature a heating element to keep the room warm in the winter months. Such an appliance is useful to reduce the number of appliances in the room, thereby affecting the AC tonnage, as discussed earlier in this guide.

Dehumidifier

The dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the room and keeps the air dry. Thus, it does not encourage bacterial formation.  The dehumidifier is present in the Dry Mode and is useful in the monsoon season.

Auto Cleaning Option

This option is available in almost all air conditioners today. The feature works after you switch off the appliance. It keeps functioning for a few minutes to clean the coils. Thus, you get fresh air when you switch on the device.

Self-Diagnosis

The self-diagnosis feature identifies issues with the appliances and indicates a specific error code. It helps you to troubleshoot accordingly.

Smartphone Compatibility

ACs today come with smartphone compatibility that allows you to control the appliance using a smartphone app. Some of the latest ACs come with Wi-Fi and Voice Assistant compatibility. You can operate your AC and also other compatible devices.

Tips for using your appliance better

We have discussed the crucial factors to consider when purchasing an air conditioner. Here are some tips that allow you to save power.

  • Choose your AC according to the size of your room.
  • Always run the AC on the right cooling setting.
  • Never keep your windows and doors open when using the AC.
  • The Sleep Mode is ideal for use at night.
  • Painting the walls with light colors keeps the room cooler, as dark colors absorb heat.
  • Reduce the furniture in the room.
  • Maintain your AC well and service the appliance regularly.
  • Switch off the electronic appliances when not in use.

Now, it should be easy to purchase the ideal air conditioning appliance for your home. Use your AC wisely and save energy while enjoying the comforts.

Last update on 2021-03-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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