3 Star AC Vs 5 Star AC: Which One To Choose?

If you are shopping around for an AC, you are probably confused between 3 star AC vs 5 star AC and not sure which one to choose.

Of course, if there is no budget constraint you may not even think to buy anything that is less than 5 stars as from our school days we heard that more stars mean better product.

The same goes true with ACs too. But in a different way. 5 Star ACs may not be necessarily good, but those ACs will save more power than 3-star ACs

To solve this confusion between 3-star AC and 5-star AC we came up with this comprehensive article so that you can decide which one is better for you as per your requirements.

But before we talk about it, we should know what actually is star rating. Let’s get into it.

What Is A Star Rating In AC?

First of all, the star rating does not apply only to ACs but to all similar appliances where power consumption is a deciding factor for consumers. For example, AC, Refrigerator, Washing machine, etc.

Star Rating is a parameter that gives an idea about how energy efficient the appliance is. It is derived from the AC’s cooling capacity and Energy Efficiency Ratio(EER). The better the value of EER, the more will be the star rating.

Displaying star ratings on eligible appliances is a regulatory requirement and every company should paste a sticker showing the value.

The scale is between 0 to 5. 0 stars mean the least energy-efficient product and 5 stars mean the best energy-efficient product.

This whole regulatory process is controlled by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). They update their eligibility criteria regularly considering the latest developments in the appliance industry.

3 Star AC Vs 5 Star AC: What’s The Difference?

You might be wondering why did not we consider 4-star AC here. First of all, you will hardly see 4-star ACs in the market. This is due to the polarising effect on 5-star ACs by the 4-star ACs as the power saving difference is very marginal.

On the other hand, if you consider the 3 star AC vs 5 Star AC, there are about 25-30% more power saving in 5-star AC compared to a 3-star AC. Let’s understand this with a real-life example.

For this below example, We have considered two products from the same brand, with the same technologies, but with a different star rating so that it is easy for you to understand the difference.

3 star vs 5 star ac
ProductStar RatingEERCooling CapacityPower ConsumptionPrice
Voltas 1.5 ton 5 star Vectra Prism AC5 Star5.004850 W751 UnitsRs 33390
Voltas 1.5 ton 3 star Vectra Prism AC3 Star3.814800 W975 UnitsRs 38990

  • Estimated Power Saving ( If you buy a 5-star AC)= 975-751= 224 Units
  • Electricity rate per unit: Rs 5 ( Assumption)
  • Per year saving on electricity = 224X5= Rs 1120
  • Payback Period= 5000/1120= 4.56 years

This above calculation is derived assuming that you will run the AC for 8 hours per day for 8 months in a year.

So now you can see that if you buy a 5-star AC over a 3-star AC, you will need around 5 years to offset the additional cost you pay for the 5-star AC. This means, after 5 years only you will start getting savings.

You also need to consider the fact that the 5 year payback period is only for the ideal case scenario. In actuality, it may take 7-8 years to offset the additional cost that you pay for a 5-star AC.

Benefits Of 5 Star AC

The electricity saving. That is the most salient benefit of a 5-star AC. But is that the only benefit that 5-star ACs offer?

Not really. Most 5-star ACs come with more advanced features like an Inverter Motor, a Convertible option, multiple filters, and other advanced technologies so that consumers can get tempted to buy 5-star ACs.

5-star ACs are costly, so companies earn more profit. That is why they give all the bells and whistles in their 5-star ACs rather than 3-star ACs.

Conclusion: Should You Buy A 5 Star AC Over A 3 Star AC?

Yes, only if your AC usage is more than 8 hours per day and you want to keep the AC for more than 5 years. Because then only you can offset the additional cost that you would pay for a 5-star AC.

Otherwise for causal usage, a 3-star AC is more cost effective. But you may not get many advanced features. So you need to choose between money and features. You need to choose as per your budget and requirements.

Rajib Is The Founder And The Key Brain Behind RiansDeal. A NIT 2004 Graduate In Mechanical Engineering With Close To Two Decades Of Experience In Designing Large Appliances And Consumer Electronics Products.


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