Summer is already upon us. And it’s that time of the year when people think of cooling down their surroundings. And when it means cooling down, it generally means using an Air Conditioner. People who plan early might have already bought an AC in low demand season (rainy or winter season) when the prices too, are low. If you didn’t get an AC already, you’re only left with getting one now (peak demand time) by paying at least Rs.2000 more. Popular AC brands have increased their AC prices citing other reasons (than demand), from Rs.2000 for a 2 star AC to at least Rs.4000 for a 5 star rated AC.
If you’re a new buyer, we have a good guide on importance of Star rating while buying an AC. Basically, the more stars your AC has, the less power it consumes. But, keep in mind that a 5 star AC costs at least Rs.3000 more than a 3 star AC. So, you’ll mostly end up having to choose between a 3 star one and a 5 star one depending on your need and usage.
As for the ratings go, the standards change every year. A 2011 5 star AC is only as efficient as a 4 star AC made in 2012.
Another important aspect that buyers see is estimating monthly bills. Just to give you an idea, this is what an AC adds to your bill (considering it’s a 2012 1.5 Ton split AC):
5 Star AC running for an hour: 0.8 units
3 star AC running for an hour: 0.96 units
2 star AC running for an hour: 1.02 units
Example: Assuming you buy a 5 star split AC and run it for 8 hours in a day, you will burn 6.4 units every day, which comes out as 192 units per month. For where I stay, this comes out as Rs.1150 a month (for just AC usage).
Note: Unit rates will be different in different cities. Most cities have tiered unit rates (normally between Rs.2 and Rs.6 per unit for domestic users). So check your current monthly bill for the unit rate applicable to you and calculate accordingly.