Energy Rating of Air Conditioners and What They Mean
Community Manager


Summer has already begun and mercury levels will continue its upward trend. To seek respite from the relentless sun, we often rely on the draught of cool air coming from an Air Conditioner. The feeling of stepping into an air-conditioned room after a hot day is indescribable.

Increasing temperatures also come with rising cooling costs. If you are planning to buy an AC, the electricity bill will be a haunting figure. You would want to buy a higher star rated AC. But how do you choose between a 3-star and 5-star AC?


The star rating system


The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) created the Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) to develop a rating methodology for appliances. ISEER measures the energy efficiency of ACs based on performance in the temperature range of 24-43 degrees Celsius.

Based on test results, a star rating is allotted to the manufacturers. BEE continues to revise the standards to meet current global emission policies in a bit to reduce carbon emissions. For instance, a 5-star AC manufactured in 2010 will have the same efficiency as that of a 1-star AC in 2018.


How is it calculated?


Star Rating is a measure of energy efficiency in the form of Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). EER is the ratio of an AC's cooling capacity, measured in British Thermal Units per hour (BTUs), to the electrical input, measured in watts. For example, if an AC’s cooling capacity is 4500 and consumes 1500 watts of power, the EER would be,

EER =4500/1500= 3 stars

EER is denoted as ‘stars’ and the scale ranges from 1 to 5, with 1 being the minimum and 5 topping the chart.


3-Star vs 5-Star


A 3-star Ac’s EER is in the range of 2.9-3.09 as compared to an EER of 3.3 for a 5-star AC.

If a 3-star AC generates a bill of INR 580 per month, a 5-star AC’s electricity consumption would amount to INR 500.

This means that a 5-star AC is 15-20% more efficient than a 3-star cooling unit.


Why should you buy a higher star rating AC?


Star rating helps buyers compare the energy efficiency of different models performing the same task. The higher the star rating, the more efficient your AC is in using electricity to provide cooling. Higher star rating simply translates into greater savings.

Higher Star rating also lowers the total cost of ownership (TCO). TCO is the total cost of a device calculated as the sum of initial cost and the maintenance cost.

The TCO of a 5-star AC is lower than a 3-star AC, as the former consumes less electricity to function. Although the price of a 5-star AC may seem higher, it’s efficiency will save a lot of money in the long run.


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