AC Buying Guide India 2020

Looking for an AC buying guide in India to beat the heat of 2020 summer? Here you go.

India is a hot and humid country. There are many places in India, where surviving without an air conditioner is not possible in the summer season. However, buying an air conditioner is an expensive deal, and hence it must be purchased after proper research. Referring to an AC buying guide will help you to make an informed decision. We are here to help you with buying the best air conditioner according to your requirements.

If you do not have much time, you can simply refer to the list of best AC in India. Or, you can continue reading this AC buying guide to research further. All the air conditions mentioned here are available on Flipkart or Amazon.

AC buying guide India – By type

For home usage, there are majorly three types of air conditioners available in India – Split AC, Inverter AC and Windows AC. For office usage, there are few more options available like duct AC, tower AC, portable etc.

Window AC

Image credit: LG

As the name suggests, this type of air conditioner needs a window to be installed. It comes in a single unit and is easier to install. When it comes to the cost, not only Window ACs are cheaper in comparison to Split ACs, but their maintenance and servicing costs are also lower. You can opt for buying a Window AC if the construction of your room allows for it. Check out the list of the best Window ACs in India.


  • Cheaper in comparison to split AC
  • Installation is easier and cheaper
  • Lower annual maintenance cost


  • Can’t be installed in a room without windows
  • Lesser design options available

Split AC

Image credit: Voltas

Split AC is the most popular type of air conditioner in India. In this type of AC, there are two separate units – outdoor and indoor. The outdoor unit is needed to be installed outside the home, whereas the indoor unit is installed in the room where cooling is to be done. Both the units are connected using a pipe, which can be passed through a small-sized hole in the wall.

Unlike Window AC, which needs a window to be installed, a split AC can be installed anywhere in the room as per the availability of space and design of the room. Just that, more the distance between both the units, more expensive will be the installation cost since you will need to buy additional pipes to connect them.

In case, you are planning to buy a Split AC, check out the list of the best Split ACs in India.


  • Doesn’t need a window to be installed
  • Goes well with the design of the room
  • Have more options available in comparison to window AC


  • Expensive in comparison to the Window AC
  • Since there are two units, installation is expensive
  • Maintenance cost is higher
  • A high distance between both the units can increase the installation cost significantly

Inverter AC

Image credit: Blue Star

Inverter AC is a type of AC with inverter technology. This technology keeps adjusting the compressor speed according to the room temperature, which helps in considerable savings of electricity consumption. According to a report presented by Mr Sanjay Goyal of Daikin India to BEE India, an inverter AC consumes at least 30% to 50% less energy in comparison to a regular AC.

Since this technology is new, an inverter AC costs more than a regular AC. But that is just a one-time expense since it offers considerable savings in the long run. If budget permits, one must always prefer buying an Inverter AC above the non-inverter ones. Here’s our list of best split inverter AC and best window inverter AC in India.


  • Consume less energy in comparison to regular ACs
  • Don’t need high energy input to start


  • Expensive to buy

AC buying guide India – By room size

The space where you wish to install the air conditioning system plays a vital role when it comes to buying the device. The required capacity of the AC is usually measured by a unit called tonnage. It can be rather an arduous task to decide the appropriate tonnage that perfectly suits your room area.

Importance of tonnage

You can select an AC with a lower capacity than required, but then it will consume more energy to provide the requisite cooling in the area. The AC with a lower capacity tonnage will save you on the purchase price, but will add to the electricity bill along with the decrease in the lifespan of the appliance.

You might think the alternative way, that purchasing an AC with higher tonnage can be beneficial. However, this will not only add to your expenses during the purchase of the product but also fetch you larger power bills. Hence, getting the right tonnage is the best way to go.

Calculate the right tonnage

This is a quick method by which you can arrive at a perfect AC for your room to relax in the summer. At first, you must figure out the area of your room. To get the accurate and basic tonnage capacity you need to divide the figure with 600. So if your room measures about 120 sq ft, the basic AC tonnage required will be 0.2 tons i.e. (120 / 600). Moreover, for every five people in the room, you need to add 0.5 tons to the basic capacity. Ordinarily, a 0.8-ton capacity of AC will function better for a 120 sq. ft room.

The AC buying chart, according to the room size, can make it more simplified for you. Here is the chart provided below:

Room SizeAC Capacity
Up to 100 sq. ft0.8 ton
From 100 to 150 sq. ft1.0 ton
From 150 to 200 sq. ft1.5 ton
From 200 to 250 sq. ft.2.0 ton

Generally speaking, if a room has an area of 50-100 sq. ft, then an AC with 1-ton capacity will be a good option. This capacity ACs are suitable for a small room like study rooms, guest rooms and others. If the space of the room is about 150-200 sq.ft, then installing an AC with 1.5-ton capacity will work well. Bigger rooms like the master bedroom and living room can opt for this capacity AC. A larger space of 250 sq. ft and above can go for a 2-ton capacity of AC or install two AC of 1-1.5 ton capacity.

In addition to the space measurements, few other factors must be kept in mind. If you reside in a city where the mercury crosses 45`C during the summer, you should think to pick an AC with 0.5-ton extra for effective cooling. Also, other aspects like staying on the topmost floor, the height of the room, and a room facing towards the Sun will require additional tonnage.

AC buying guide India – By energy rating

Image credit: Quora

Indian summers are typically characterized by hot weather. The areas near the coastal lands experience humidity alongside. As the temperature of all the regions steep towards 40`C, it becomes requisite to implement the advanced technology of air conditioning. The energy efficiency becomes a driving factor for reducing the power consumption. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) prepares the energy ratings for all electronic devices. In the year 2016, it launched a new rating procedure, ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings, which are efficacious and stringent. A score on a higher side establishes that power consumption is less and helps to save on electricity bills.

However, this doesn’t mean that consumers should always be driven by higher energy ratings. The buyers should equally assess the usage part. If you want to use the AC for just a few hours, a 3-star rating can also be a good choice. In addition to this, the lower-rated AC cools the room faster as it has a higher air circulation rate. On the contrary, if the AC is operated for a minimum of 5-7 hours in a day, a higher rating AC should be preferred. This will help to bring a significant difference in the electricity bill. Besides, buyers can also think about trying the Inverter AC that consumes 30-50% lesser energy in comparison to a regular AC.

An initial one-time investment of capital in purchasing an AC is a wise decision because later, it will help in power savings and downsizing the electric bills. Also, one must check the after-sales service for optimum performance. Research shows that a sound performing AC can also help in conserving the power.

AC buying guide India – By brand

Customers can pick air conditioner from various companies and brands available in the Indian market. A good and established AC brand will reflect its competence, experience, quality and after-sale support, it offers to its customers. Most importantly, it needs to serve the utility purpose of the end-user. Being a user, you have to evaluate all the factors while preferring any particular brand for home or office.

Brand value

The brand valuation definitely matters when it comes to the purchase of an electronic appliance like an AC. A brand doesn’t create its identity in a month or two; rather, it takes time to flourish in the market. Brand reputation is developed primarily through its quality. It is wise to pick a brand that has a reputation for offering quality products.

The experience of the AC brand also counts as it reflects resilience in its business undertakings. A worthy brand will achieve better insights into the industry and create its own customer base with experience. Over the years, it will continuously enhance the products and cater to the needs of the users. Voltas and LG are two such brands which have created an excellent brand value in the Indian market.

Warranty and technology

You can also consider the warranty and technology offered by an AC brand which can impact the price as well. With improved technology and functionalities, the costs of the AC will naturally increase. A reliable brand will try to strike a balance between these aspects by offering the appliance at a customer-friendly price.

After-sales support

Finally, a good brand aims to provide services and supports to its customers in times of need. A brand remains incomplete if it fails to offer help to its users. At the time of purchasing the product, you need to enquire about its service centres in your area. In case the AC gets severely damaged, the service centres should provide immediate and effective solutions. A customer support team should exist for registering the complaints and answering the queries of the customers.

AC buying guide India – By price

When it comes to the price, the selection of the air conditioner completely depends upon the capital a user wants to invest. However, we would like to draw awareness to the fact that purchasing an AC is like a one-time investment, as customers would like to use it for over 10 years. The price point of a genuine AC falls in a range between INR 23,000-INR 50,000. If your pocket permits you, then you can go to an air conditioning system that offers excellent features and energy savings; otherwise, you can settle with a budget-friendly option. However, what most customers forget is the electricity cost while purchasing an AC. This is where the star rating matters that certainly elevates the cost of your air conditioner, but later on, it helps in saving in the electricity bills. Apart from the energy ratings, the Inverter ACs are popular among the buyers for providing power efficiency. The technology can save significantly up to 50% of energy consumption. Between a Split and Window AC, the former comes with a higher price tag.

There are some other costs involved in the purchase of an AC Machine that directly or indirectly affects the price. There consists of a cost of installation irrespective from where you buy the product. Some retailers operating both offline and online can offer free installation. The overall installation charges can be probably somewhere around INR 2000-INR 5000. Additionally, consumers have to bear the cost of the copper wire.

Besides, consumers must be prepared for the servicing charges required for the proper functioning and maintenance for the AC. If the compressor runs out of function, then it can cost anywhere between INR 8000 or more. Almost all compressors come with a minimum warranty of 5 years, and some even provide a warranty for up to 10 years. Also, the copper tubes in the AC are prone to rust leading to damage. The repair charges can be around INR 700-INR 800. Protection from anti-corrosive hydrophilic fins can offer better lifespan to the product. The more advanced feature your AC has, the more will be the product price, but it can help to overcome the frequent service charges. Most importantly, a buyer must have a clear idea regarding the product which he prefers to purchase and install at his house.

AC Purchase Guide FAQs

Which is the best AC brand in India?

When it comes to the AC brands in India, about 70% of the population look for brand value. The remaining 30% give priority to hardware technology and other features. Regardless of all these aspects, a brand gains a reputation in the market by offering quality products that perform well and have a longer shelf life. A genuine brand will also provide after-sales service and customer support to its buyers. This committed approach of the brands, in the long run, will make them trustworthy and reliable. Some of the best AC brands in India that customers can consider are Voltas, Carrier, LG, and Daikin.

Should I buy a 5-star or a 3-star air conditioner?

Star ratings are mandatory for electronic goods that consume a heavy power load like refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, geysers, and others. These standards are laid by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India (BEE) to designate the star ratings on different electrical appliances. Generally, it is recommended that people should invest in a 5-star rating air conditioner. Although it will elevate the price of the product at the time of purchase, eventually it will reduce the power consumption in the longer run. Regardless of this fact, if the usage of the AC is limited to a shorter duration like 3-5 hours, then the 3-star rating will also work fine.

When the AC is operated for a brief period, there aren’t any significant changes in power consumption. Hence, there is no point in going with a 5-star rating. Only if the duration of utilization per day is more than 5 hours, it is ideal to prefer a 5-star rating AC.

Is a 1.5-ton AC sufficient for my room (200 sq ft)?

Installing an AC with a capacity 1.5 ton works preferably well in a 200 sq.ft of room. A medium to a large-sized room like a master bedroom, living room, etc., can opt for 1.5 tonnages. However, certain other factors also need to be assessed before coming to the final conclusion. This includes the height of the ceiling, which means a greater height might increase the tonnage. Similarly, a room facing towards the Sun, residing on the topmost floor, having more furniture and accessories in the room will put an impact on the tonnage capacity. In such instances, a 1.5 ton capacity of AC for a 200 sq.ft room might not be sufficient.

Why inverter ACs are costly?

According to the prevailing myth, you might believe that inverter ACs can be operated at the time of power outage and hence it fetches a higher price tag. This is absolutely wrong as the inverter-based technology in the air conditioners is meant to control frequency, current and electric voltage.

The regular ACs without inverter technology simply starts the cooling process by switching on and switching off the compressor. In sharp contrast, the inverter AC adjusts the speed of the compressor, which regulates the flow of the refrigerant air, and this helps in reducing the current consumption. This further, eliminates the temperature fluctuations and helps to maintain the precise temperature in the room. The PCB circuit that supports an inverter AC is relatively more complicated and expensive than the one used in non-inverter AC. Hence, it requires more investment in purchasing the sophisticated technology of inverter AC

Do portable ACs work?

Portable ACs are a good way to introduce the cooling mechanism in homes if you are looking for an alternative to the conventional Window and Split ACs. The portable feature in the AC allows mobility in different spaces apart from keeping it stationed in one place. Although the working mechanism is the same, the BTU or British Thermal Unit should be checked. The square footage of the room, insulation and floor planning helps in determining the proper BTU. 8,000 BTUs can suffice an area having 200 sq.ft. A relatively large room having 600 sq. Ft. of the area should go for 14,000 BTUs.

Besides, a single hose in a portable AC uses the same duct for both intake and exhaust of air. While a dual hose provides separate ducts for intake and exhaust of air, enhancing the cooling conditions. The cooling process in a portable AC is similar to that of other ACs, and if you want it to work effectively, these criteria are essential.

How to buy the right AC according to room size?

You will stumble upon this question whenever you are going to buy an AC for your room. In deciding the correct tonnage for your room, certain factors need to be assessed. This starts with the square footage area of a place. The higher the room area, the greater will be the requirement of tonnage. Typically, an area 100-150 sq.ft will require an AC having 1.0-ton capacity. This will work well in small and compact rooms meant for kids and guests. A bigger space having 200-220 sq. ft. can do with a 1.5-ton capacity of AC. Larger areas like master bedrooms and living rooms can easily pick this AC. If the area is relatively widespread, then 2.0-ton capacity AC will be a good choice.

Moreover, the height of the ceiling, rooms facing the intensity of Sun rays and residing on the topmost floor are some other factors that can lead to an increase of the AC tonnage.

AC Buying Guide India 2020 Video