AC buying guide
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Things you need to know before you buy your next AC

Rising temperatures, pollution, and more importantly, the need to have clean and uncontaminated air have made air-conditioners a necessity. Buying an AC is considered as a long-term purchase decision and one that needs to be carefully evaluated after assessing your cooling needs, budget, power consumption, and various features that could be beneficial in the long run. 

Here is a comprehensive AC buying guide that will make it easier to shortlist the right AC for your home, office, or storefront.

Choosing between a window AC and split AC

The first decision you need to make is a choice between two of the most popular AC variants: window and split AC. Your budget, cooling space, and fitment requirements heavily influence the choice between the two. Here is a quick comparison:


Window AC

Split AC

Cooling capacity

Window ACs work better for cooling small rooms

Split ACs can service larger areas


Most window ACs max out at 2-tonne units

Split ACs are commonly available up to 3 tonnes, and some manufactures offer models up to 5 tonnes

Space requirement

These need to be installed around a window and require a large space as the entire system is one big unit

The cooling unit can be mounted on any wall, while the compressor can be hidden from view


The attached compressor and vibrations from the window fitting can make these units louder

Separate mechanisms for the cooling unit and compressor make split ACs relatively quiet


On account of a single unit, maintenance cost is lower

Two separate units mean higher maintenance costs

Selecting the right capacity or tonnage

The size of the room is one of the most crucial factors when considering the capacity or tonnage of your AC. Here’s how to buy an AC based on this metric:

  • 1) Height of the room 
  • 2) Number of people usually in the room
  • 3) Number of windows and exposure to direct sunlight
  • 4) The floor on which the flat is situated- the top five floors usually require additional AC capacity
  • 5) Average temperature and humidity of the geographical region

AC Buying guide Illustration

Other key factors to consider with regards to the AC


Energy efficiency

All heavy appliances come with an energy efficiency rating (termed BEE or iSEER) indicated on a 5-star scale. The more stars your AC unit has, the more efficient it will be. A 5-star AC can be up to 35% more efficient than a 1-star AC. Units with greater energy efficiency tend to be more expensive to purchase up front; however, the savings on the utility bills can pay back for themselves in a few years.


100% copper vs aluminum ACs

The condenser and cooling tubes of an AC require a metal that can heat up or cool down easily. Copper and aluminum tend to be the two popular choices that meet this standard. However, copper is not only a better conductor of electricity but is also more energy-efficient and resistant to corrosion. Even though 100% copper ACs tend to be more expensive, they tend to last much longer and can be easily repaired even in the unlikely event of a breakdown.


Inverter vs non-inverter ACs

Inverter ACs have a variable frequency drive or VFD motor that switches to a lower speed after reaching the desired temperature, maintaining its level. The compressor in non-inverter ACs, on the other hand, shuts down completely once the cooling level is reached. This abrupt and frequent switching on and off consumes about 30% to 40% more power than inverter ACs and puts the AC unit at greater risk due to power surges.

Additional features that could make your new AC worthwhile

New-age ACs come with a host of features and benefits that you should consider.

Make the smart choice for your cooling needs

There are hundreds of different air-conditioners available across manufacturers and retailers, and selecting the right unit for your needs will take some research and time. This AC buying guide has hopefully made that process simpler for you. To learn more, you can watch our video on Purchase guide for the best AC.

However, while selecting the right Air Conditioner  can  take time and efforts, you can check the various ways of  choosing the best EMI option for you, available  in-store and online with Smart EMI from Kotak Mahindra Bank. With a completely digital application process and super-fast biometric and document verification process, you can get your loan approved in seconds.

Leverage on the attractive deals  at leading merchant outlets & shopping websites like Reliance Digital, Croma,, Flipkart, Vijay Sales and more. Get everything on EMI with flexible tenures at No Cost EMI  to purchase the AC you need.


Disclaimer: This Article is sent to you for information purpose only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. and its employees. We make no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article does not constitute legal advice. Kotak Mahindra Bank, its employees and the contributors are not responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from reliance on or use of any information contained herein