Points to remember while purchasing an Air-conditioners this summer

The months of March through May are the months of grueling summer in India. It is also the time of year that sees a bump of 7% in sale of AC units every year. International Copper Association of India (ICA India) would like to arm the consumers with key points to bear in mind to make a wise and informed decision. It is essential to understand that the purchase of an AC Unit should be made considering the overall life time cost rather than merely the initial cost of the AC Unit. This includes cost of operations, maintenance, repair and cost of replacement. ICA India would encourage customers to consider 100% Copper ACs to ensure that they have an advantage on total life time costs.
Energy efficiency – The star rating of an AC Unit that is displayed on the unit itself signifies the electrical efficiency at the time of purchase. It is important to note that the efficiency of the AC Unit tends to drop over time and can reduce from a five-star rating to a two-star through wear and tear and degradation of its parts. With a lower energy efficiency, the cost of operating the AC Unit spikes up since it requires more energy to reach the same cooling temperature. 100% Copper AC Units with copper condensers and tubes remain at a higher efficiency for longer because of Copper’s unique specific heat which is lower than other metals, thus allowing it to heat up or cool down more easily when switched on and off. Lower rated AC Units are a burden not just to the individual family but to the society at large since it is using valuable energy.
Durability – AC Units are used for long periods in warm climactic conditions. In India these conditions are exacerbated in the summer. With consistent long use of AC Units they are prone to breakdowns. Non-copper Micro-Channel Heat exchanger (MCHA) AC Units tend to see more breakdowns in the form of coil replacement, gas leakage. Also MCHA units parts are not easily available and hence getting the unit up and running again takes longer.  A 100% Copper AC Units failure rate is 1% where as an MCHA Unit has a failure rate of as high as 25%.
Corrosion – The long contiguous coastline of India is home to a large number of Indians residing in cities and townships. MCHA AC Units are prone to corrosion and thus break down and also become less energy efficient over time. A 100% Copper AC anti-corrosive and hence is not affected by these coastal conditions.
Maintenance – A 100% Copper AC Unit is very simple to maintain due to its design. The dust particles are not caught in it and can be easily cleaned. On the other hand, MCHA AC Units are cumbersome to clean and the accumulation of dust results in the need for regular maintenance. Annual Maintenance Contracts for MCHA AC Units are also higher than those for 100% Copper Units because of the number of visits and the high cost of replacement parts. Assuming a 5 years life-cycle, an average consumer saves about Rs. 20,000 on 100% copper-based AC.
Mr. Sanjeev Ranjan, Managing Director, International Copper Association of India, commented saying, “At ICA India, we are committed to educate people on purchasing and utilizing quality products. These range from building wires, cables and even AC Units. The summer season is upon us and people will look at purchasing new AC Units to alleviate the heat. We want to equip them with the right facts to help make an informed decision. We want the consumers to be mindful of total lifetime costs of owning an AC unit rather than only the cost of the AC Unit. We believe that using 100% Copper AC Units would benefit the consumer, our energy starved Country and our environment as a whole.”
Other things to consider while operating an AC unit to reduce costs include:
A change of 1 degree Celsius in the thermostat setting can affect your energy bill by 3% to 5%
It is important to regularly clean and filter the ACs as this will improve cooling, reduce compressor-running time and consume less energy
Ensuring insulation to not allow cold air escape the room by keeping all windows and doors closed will help in minimizing energy consumption of room air conditioners
Placing lights, computers, televisions and other light-producing devices near the air conditioner thermostat affects the proper functioning of the thermostat and thereby makes the air conditioner condenser work longer and consume more electricity
ACs are not only used for cooling, but as a multi-seasonal product, these hot and cold air conditioners also save up to 35% more energy than heaters.