Today’s Air conditioners have become so much more than just cooling on a hot humid day. Air conditioners of today have been designed to suit different kinds of homes, climatic conditions, and even schedules.

This buying guide will take you through the whole process of what and how you should buy an air conditioner. It will not only tell you about the different parts and features but also expound on the latest ACs available in the market. Whether you are a first time buyer or want to upgrade your existing cooling system, this buying guide will surely help you in choosing the right air conditioner.

Who is this buying guide written for?

  • Any individual needing a perfect home cooling solution
  • Any individual who wants to upgrade his/her AC to better match the cooling requirement
  • Individuals who have small-office-home-office (SOHO) where they meet clients frequently
  • Those who want to know more than just basics of an AC
Why do you need an air conditioner?

As the name suggests, an AC conditions your room’s temperature irrespective of the weather outdoors. Air conditioners also act as dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from your room. Thus, an AC helps create a soothing atmosphere right in your room to ensure you can so that you feel relaxed and at your maximum vitality level.

Diffrent Types

Windows AC

Windows AC

These types of AC are designed to be fitted in window sills. A single unit of Window Air Conditioner houses all the necessary components, namely the compressor, condenser, expansion valve or coil, evaporator and cooling coil enclosed in a single box. Since a window AC is a single unit, it takes less effort to install as well as for maintenance.


  • Single unit air conditioner
  • Less effort needed for installation
  • Costs lesser in comparison to other varieties

Split AC

Split AC

These are kits of 2 units, one internal and another external. The indoor unit installed inside a room intakes warm air and throws in cold air. The outdoor unit on the other hand is installed out of the house. It contains the compressor and is linked to the internal unit via drain pipes and electric cables. This external unit throws out the warm air.


  • Internal unit takes up less space for installation
  • Usually more silent than window ACs
  • Minimally affect your home decor
  • Can be installed in room with no windows

Tower AC

Tower AC

These are also known as floor-standing air conditioners. Like split ACs, a tower AC set consists of 2 units- one internal and an external. However, the indoor unit doesn’t need wall installation. It rather occupies some space on the floor. Tower air conditioners usually have high cooling capacity and suitable for very large rooms.


  • Suitable for high capacity cooling
  • Ideal for large rooms at home and in offices
  • Doesn't need windows or wall installation

Cassette AC

Cassette AC

These space-saving ACs are shaped like cassettes and are designed to be installed on ceilings. The panel of these air conditioners is designed to blend with all kinds of home décor. They are stylish, and are known to deliver fantastic performances. Most cassette type air conditioners require no ducting. They are perfect for large spaces where windows or split AC may not reach out.


  • Best at saving space
  • Able to cool large areas where other ACs don’t reach out
  • Blends with decor

Cube air conditioner

Cube Air Conditioner

This fairly new design introduced by Panasonic can be mounted close to a ceiling or at the window level. Basically, this is a smaller version of the split type air conditioner and costs less than the former. The indoor unit features a newly designed diagonal propeller fan for efficient and fast cooling. Improved blade shape curvature and larger intake grill further aid for efficient performance.


  • Can be mounted close to the ceiling or at window level
  • Newly designed diagonal propeller fan for fast cooling
  • Improved blade shape curvature for efficient performance

Key differences between "Window", "Split" and a "cassette" air conditioners

AC ParametersWindow ACSplit ACCassette AC
Suitable ForSmall rooms with a window sillAny room with or without a windowLarge indoor spaces
NoiseRelatively on the higher sideMinimal noiseSilent operation
Capacity range0.75 ton to 2 ton0.8 to 2 ton1 ton to 4 ton
Advanced featuresHumidity control, dust filterHumidity control, dust filter, bacteria filterHumidity control, dust filter, bacteria filter
Interference with home decorSlight possibility to interfere with window curtains and drapesDesigner indoor units blend well with wall decorBarely interferes with interior decor
Ease of installationMinimal effort requiredIndoor and outdoor units need some amount of effort for installationNeeds specialised false ceiling

Categorization By Capacity

Air conditioners can be categorised as per their cooling capacity. The common unit used to categorise is the ton. A ton of cooling power means the unit can cool equal to the cooling power of 907 kilograms (2000 pounds) of ice melting in a 24-hour period. A more specific way to measure cooling capacity is with the unit of BTU (British Thermal Unit). A ton of cooling power is about 12,000 BTU or 3,517 watts.

Sub-1 ton AC
Sub-1 Ton AC

Air conditioners with 0.75 or 0.8 tons are suitable for small, constrained spaces. If you have a really small room to condition air within, you should go for a sub-1 ton air conditioner. This will help you save money on unnecessarily high electricity bills too.

  • Made for small rooms and small office chambers
  • Consumes less power and saves on electricity bills
  • Suitable for approximately 6’ x 8’ rooms
1 Ton AC
1 Ton AC

Air conditioners with 1 Ton capacity are suitable for small rooms at home or commercial places. They are best fit for rooms that are not really tiny, but are smaller in comparison to average size rooms. One tonner air conditioners are available in windows, cassette as well as split models. The latter are more suitable if your room doesn’t have a window or if you prefer not to clog the window for receiving daylight.

  • Made for small rooms at home or office
  • Suitable for approximately 8’ x 10’ rooms
1.5 Ton AC
1.5 Ton AC

Air conditioners with 1.5 Ton capacity are suitable for medium size rooms with an average size of 12’ x 15’ floor space. These are among the highest selling air conditioners. ACs with 1.5 ton capacity are available in window, cassette as well as split models. Split air conditioners are more preferable for bedrooms where you would want lesser noise for sound sleep throughout the night.

  • Made for medium sized rooms
  • Suitable for approximately 12’ x 15’ rooms
2 Ton AC
2 Ton AC

Air conditioners with 2 Ton capacity are suitable for large rooms whether at home or in offices. These are the highest capacity air conditioners available for consumers. You will find 2 Ton air conditioners in windows, split, cassette and tower models. Split and cassette air conditioners barely take up space in your room and do not interfere with the interior decor.

  • Made for large size rooms or halls
  • Suitable for larger than 15' x 18' rooms
Star rating for air conditioners

Bureau of Energy Efficiency evaluates and categorises electrical home appliances in terms of their electric consumption and rates with 1 to 5 stars. A 1 star rated appliance consumes more power whereas a 5 star rated appliance is highly efficient with least power consumption. An AC with more number of stars means it is highly energy-efficient.


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