After over 4 weeks of research we have shortlisted the best Split AC’s in India. Our top pick is the Godrej NXW inverter AC. It’s the only air conditioner in India to use the most environment friendly refrigerant R290. Furthermore, it cools well, is the most energy efficient, and comes with a 10 Year compressor warranty & 5 Year condenser warranty.
In this article, we also tell you if you should pick a window AC or a Split AC and what capacity air-conditioner to buy. If you are looking to get a window AC read The Best Window AC’s guide.
The Best Split AC’s in India
1. Godrej NXW inverter AC
The Godrej NXW inverter AC (GSC12GIG5DGOG) is a 1 Ton air conditioner with a 5 Star energy rating and inverter technology. It’s powerful, energy efficient, cools well and is perfect for use in a medium sized bedroom of around 120 sq.ft. The AC apart from its high energy efficiency output and a 5-star rating, has the lowest global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential since it uses the most environment friendly refrigerant R290. Godrej backs it up with a 10 Year compressor warranty & 5 Year condenser warranty.
2. Samsung Inverter 5 Star AC
The Samsung Inverter 5 Star AC (AR12MV5HEWK) is a 1 Ton air conditioner with a 5 Star energy rating. Its powerful, cools well and comes with a new energy-efficient 8-Pole Digital Inverter that maintains the desired temperature without frequently turning off and on. It comes with nice add-on features like fast-cooling, sleep mode and auto clean functionality. However, Samsung uses the R401A refrigerant type which, while better than older R22, still contributes to global warming. We have shortlisted this since it’s a good AC and Samsung also provides a 10 Year compressor warranty & 5 Year condenser warranty.
Split or Window AC, which one should you get?
Split air conditioners are made up of two parts, an indoor unit and an outdoor unit that work together to cool the room. Usually, Split AC’s are faster at cooling, more energy efficient and quieter. If you own your place and do not plan to move for a long time you should look at getting a split A/C.
- Expensive to install.
- Need to make a hole in the wall.
- Need an outside area to keep the compressor and tubing
A Window AC is a single compact unit that has all its components contained in one box. Window models are the most affordable and the easiest to install. Window AC’s are great for smaller rooms like bedrooms. Window air conditioners are ideal for controlling the temperature in a single room or a confined space. However they are noisier and not so energy efficient.
They are noisy since the compressor is attached to the unit.
Not as effective as Split AC in cooling and uses older more polluting refrigerants like R22.
What capacity AC is right for you?
This is an important question to answer since, for an AC to be efficient, it has to match the requirements of the room. Simply buying a larger capacity AC is not the solution as you will end-up with unsatisfactory results or wasted energy. This is because a less powerful AC will run constantly, trying to get the room to cool down. If you get a unit that’s too big, it reduces temperature faster and it removes moisture from the air making the room uncomfortable to be in.
Usually, a 100 – 120 sq. ft. room (or 12 x 10) will require an AC with a capacity of 1.0 T. If you have larger room, you may need to go up to 1.5 T. If you live in a city that gets very warm or, if you live on the top floor and have many large windows with direct sunlight, you may need a higher capacity AC. We recommend you use the calculators provided here.
Why buy an Inverter AC?
Inverter air conditioners are more powerful and more energy efficient. They offer around 50% more energy savings and are more efficient at maintaining temperature as compared to a non-inverter model.
The Inverter is a device in the air conditioner that controls frequency of power supplied to the compressor motor. In Inverter air conditioners, on achieving the desired temperature the compressor speed slows and the refrigerant rate drops, and the air conditioner works at a lower capacity. As a result, lower average power is consumed offering energy and electricity savings. In contrast, non-inverter air conditioners have a fixed speed compressor that cannot increase or decrease their speed and refrigerant flow rate as per the cooling requirements of the room. The compressor stops on reaching the desired temperature and when the temperature rises again the compressor & refrigerant flow restart. This stop/start cycle continues in a non-inverter air conditioner and results in higher power consumption. For example,
- A 1.5 Ton inverter air conditioner starts off at 1.7 Ton and as the desired temperature is achieved it reduces its capacity to 1.5, 1 or .3 Ton based on room conditions.
- A 1.5 Ton non-inverter air conditioner on the other hand works at 1.5 Ton all the times.
An air conditioner’s efficiency is denoted by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity to the power input. Thus the higher the EER rating the more energy efficient the unit will be. When buying a new room air conditioner, look for the EER levels in the Energy ratings. Buying a 5-star AC ensures that you save on electricity costs in the longer run. You are typically buying an AC for a minimum usage of 5 years and the savings will be more than the additional costs from a 3-star AC.
Refrigerants and Pollution
Air conditioners employ the same operating principles as the refrigerator. Refrigerants are the working fluids in refrigerators and air conditioners. In a nutshell, they absorb heat from one area, transfer it through coils and eject it outdoors usually through evaporation and condensation processes.
Earlier generation of refrigerants – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) contributed to the depletion of stratospheric ozone and are being phased out by most countries, including India under international treaties. Most window AC’s use R22 refrigerant which is a HCFC and is scheduled to be phased out in a few years. As R-22 is gradually phased out, alternative refrigerants are being introduced. Some of the substitutes are R-410A, R32 and R290 which do not contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Many modern inverter AC’s these refrigerants which are environment friendly. You will continue to get R22 refrigerants for refilling but just note that it is not really environment friendly.
|Refrigerant||Ozone Depletion Potential||Global Warming Potential|
As you can see, R401A which is the most popular refrigerant used, contributes more to global warming than even R22 which is being phased out. In India, Daikin and some Bluestar models use R32 and Godrej is currently the only company to use R290.
The Best Split AC’s in India
How we decided
For this guide, we focused on 1 Ton split air conditioners because it’s the most popular size at retail, which implies that it’s what most people need. These ACs are suited for spaces between 100 to 120 square feet, roughly the size of a bedroom in most cities. If you have larger room, you may need to go up to 1.5 T. If you live in a city that gets very warm 0r if you live on the top floor and have many large windows with direct sunlight, you may need a higher capacity AC. You can look for the same models in a higher capacity and it should be fine.
Our testing began by shortlisting around 15 of the top rated split air conditioners in India, with a 1 Ton cooling capacity. Based on specs, features, price, and our experience we began our research. We checked Bluestar, LG, Carrier, Voltas and other top makes. Our basis of finalizing was the cooling capacity, the warranty offered, the energy efficiency, the materials used and the overall reviews and feedback on the models.
In our view, a split air conditioner is a long term investment. The installation is complicated and expensive as compared to window AC and you will me making structural changes to accommodate the piping going out of the room. Therefore, we shortlisted models which are offering 10 year warranties on the compressor. Currently, only Samsung, LG and Godrej are offering this. We also looked at inverter models with 5-star rating since the savings in energy and electricity bills across 10 years, will more than pay for the additional upfront costs. We recommend that you bear the slightly higher initial costs for overall long-term savings and peace of mind. If you need a larger AC, we have linked to the higher capacity alternatives at the end of each review.
1. Godrej NXW inverter AC
The Godrej NXW inverter AC (GSC12GIG5DGOG) is a 1 Ton, air conditioner with a 5 Star energy rating and inverter technology. It’s powerful, energy efficient, cools well and is perfect for use in a medium sized bedroom of around 120 sq.ft. The AC apart from its high energy efficiency output and a 5-star rating, is also more environment-friendly than any other AC and has the lowest global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential since it uses the most environment friendly refrigerant R290.
It’s a well-designed AC that looks good in our opinion. It comes with a lot of bells and whistles like a Silver Ion Filter, Eco mode, Memory Function, Auto clean, Auto Restart and Sleep mode. In the Eco mode, the compressor will run in a power saving mode and result in 25% lesser power consumption. The sleep mode lets the AC automatically adjust room temperature (by increasing temperature periodically and then returning to set temperature) to ensure comfortable sleep. It also has an Intelligent Air Throw Mode wherein, the AC senses the room temperature and automatically adjusts the air throw. This helps avoid continuous high air throws which often lead to concerns like dryness of skin and fatigue.
It comes with a copper condenser that is longer lasting than aluminium and Godrej backs it up with a 10 Year compressor warranty & 5 Year condenser warranty. All in all, this is a premium AC, one that is environment friendly and also powerful and efficient.
If you are looking for a larger AC, then the same model is available in a 1.5 Ton too – GSC 18 GIG 5 DGOG.
2. Samsung Inverter 5 Star AC
The Samsung Inverter 5 Star AC (AR12MV5HEWK) is a 1 Ton air conditioner with a 5 Star energy rating. Its powerful, cools well and comes with a new energy-efficient 8-Pole Digital Inverter that maintains the desired temperature without frequently turning off and on. It comes with nice add-on features like fast-cooling, sleep mode and auto clean functionality. It also has nice features like Anti Bacteria Filter, Auto Restart, Dust Filter and Dehumidification.
The Samsung is well designed and comes in a more traditional plain-white design. The out-door unit is well-built, has an anti-corrosive coating and can endure extreme heat. As with most inverter AC’s, the Samsung makes use of its Fast Cooling mode which runs the compressor at the maximum level with the fastest fan speed for up to 30 minutes. By doing so, it quickly brings the temperature down in your living space. After reaching the desired temperature, the AC automatically switches to the Comfort Cool mode to maintain the temperature. As a result, you don’t have to keep changing the settings and concentrate fully on your work.
We would have wholeheartedly recommended this product. However, Samsung, like most other manufacturers’ uses the R401A refrigerant type which, while better than older R22, still contributes to global warming. That apart, like Godrej, Samsung also provides a 10 Year compressor warranty & 5 Year condenser warranty which is great.
Samsung has very good service network across India and if the Godrej is not available for some reason, you can opt for the Samsung. However, Samsung’s availability online varies across cities. There are a few other Samsung models which are similar but not available online in all areas. We are providing the model numbers in case the models are available in your city.
If you are looking for a larger AC, then the same model is available in a 1.5 Ton too – AR18MV5HEWK.
1. Hitachi Kashikoi 5200i , 5 star – The Hitachi Kashikoi series is a 5-star inverter air conditioner series by Hitachi. Hitachi makes good air-conditioners, however this unit comes with a 5-year warranty only and uses the R-401A refrigerant.
2. Daikin JTKM35, 5 Star – This Daikin is a 5-star inverter air conditioner which uses the environment friendly R32 refrigerant. The unit is available online only on the Daikin store. It comes with a 5-year warranty on the compressor.
3. Blue Star BI-5CNHW12PAFU – This Bluestar is part of the precision series inverter air conditioners which offers you the functionality of temperature setting in increments of 0.5 degrees. That apart the model uses the R-401A refrigerant and comes with a 4-year warranty.
Some AC Installation and usage tips
- The biggest factor for the efficiency of an AC is the proper insulation of the room. Also, in case you are installing your air conditioner in a corner, look for a unit that can point the direction of the airflow to your desired place, so you don’t have to wait for the entire room to cool.
- Set your air conditioner’s thermostat as high as is comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. ACs temperature should be set at 25 to 28 degree C. Every degree below 25 will increase power consumption by about 5% and thus cost.
- Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing electricity use. Also to save power, you can use the AC for an hour before sleeping and then let the ceiling fan circulate the cool air inside the room.
- The ODU/ Condensing unit should be placed at shaded place and not exposed to sun. This will save up to 10% energy.
- Clean filters of your ACs regularly and this can save up to 10% cost.
- The optimum efficiency and EER will be around 27 degree C set temperature.