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Energy ratings decoded: Air conditioners

Energy ratings decoded: Air conditioners

If you thought that buying a 5-star AC helps you save money, you are right. But to recover the extra cash you spent on buying it, your usage needs to justify the additional expense.

Energy ratings are a big sales pitch to sell you a product. Air conditioners are rated from one to five – the higher the rating, the more efficient the machine. But better-rated ACs also cost more. Should you splurge more and get yourself that 5-star AC or settle for a cheaper 2-star one? The cost differential between the two can be almost Rs7,000 and the only way you can recover this money is by spending less on power bills (environmental concerns aside, of course). But how much money can you save by using a five star AC?

It all depends on usage
No doubt, the electricity bill generated by a 5-star AC will be cheaper than a 2-star one. For example, a 2-star from LG normally costs around Rs25,490, whereas a 5-star one would cost you anywhere around Rs32,490. However, the difference between the electricity costs per year depends on the amount you use it, of course. If you are not using it enough, you may never recover the cost. Here’s how your AC’s power bill would look like after a year in the following scenarios and how long would it take for you to recover the extra money shelled out in purchasing a higher rated one:

High usage

Split AC 2 star 3 star 5 star
Annual running cost Rs18,259 Rs17,039 Rs15,031
Cost difference Rs0 Rs1,220 Rs3,228
MRP of AC Rs25,490 Rs28,990 Rs32,490
Time to recover NA 34 months 26 months

Medium usage

Split AC 2 star 3 star 5 star
Annual running cost Rs13,218 Rs12,335 Rs10,882
Cost difference Rs0 Rs883 Rs2,336
MRP of AC Rs25,490 Rs28,990 Rs32,490
Time to recover NA 47 months 36 months

Low usage

Split AC 2 star 3 star 5 star
Annual running cost Rs8,177 Rs7,631 Rs6,732
Cost difference Rs0 Rs546 Rs1,445
MRP of AC Rs25,490 Rs28,990 Rs32,490
Time to recover NA 77 months 58 months

(Sourced from SaveEnergy.co.in)

Go for a five star AC if you will be using it extensively in a year. However, remember that every appliance loses its efficiency after periodic use. Whether it would still have the same power efficiency after a year largely depends on how you maintain it. Often, we end up buying a higher priced product in belief that we would save on its running costs. But as mentioned in the tables above, even after using a 5-star AC heavily, it would still take over a year to recover on its running costs.

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