If there is a machine that can give you some relief this summer, it is an air conditioner. AC has become a common household appliance as almost every city in India now faces extreme heat during the summer.
But buying an AC is never been so tough. With so many features and so many variants, it is really difficult to figure out which one is the best. One of the biggest confusion among AC buyers is the Difference between 3 Star Vs 5 Star AC.
Do you feel paying extra for a 5-star AC is a waste? Do 5-star ACs have any benefits over 3-star ACs or it is just a marketing gimmick? Let’s find out the answer to all these questions in this article.
Many of you may wonder why we are comparing 3 Star AC vs 5 Star AC and why not other ratings like 4 Star AC or 2 Star AC. The reason is that, if you go to the market you will mostly see either 3 stars ACs or 5 Star ACs (4-star and 2-star ACs are also available in the market but very rare).
What Is A Star Rating In AC?
The star rating gives an idea to consumers about how much electricity that particular AC is going to consume within a given period of time.
The star rating is available on a scale of 1 to 5. A 5-star rating is the best whereas a 1-star rating is the worst.
So an appliance with a 5-star rating will consume less electricity than similar appliances with a 3-star rating. In the United States, star ratings are termed energy ratings.
The Star rating system is not only used for air conditioners, but it is for almost all appliances nowadays. The governing body is BEE ( Bureau Of Energy Efficiency), which decides the appliances’ star rating after thorough testing.
The Star rating of air conditioners depends on the following factors.
- The cooling capacity of the air conditioner
- The Energy Efficiency Ratio ( EER) of the air conditioner
The cooling capacity of the AC tells the amount of cooling that the AC can provide. The cooling capacity of AC is expressed in BTU ( British Thermal Unit)
The energy efficiency ratio is the ratio between the amount of cooling it offers using a certain amount of power.
The ERR value is mentioned on the rating level of all ACs. It is printed as ISEER ( Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) which takes care of the seasonal energy consumption.
If you want to learn more about different technical terminologies used in ACs, I suggest you to read this article.
Importance Of Star Rating In AC
When you buy an AC, it is very important to look at the star rating. There will be many technical data printed on the rating label.
You do not need to go through each datasheet but at least you should look at the star rating.
Why so? It’s because buying an AC is not just a one-time investment. You need to pay electricity bills every month and trust me, AC contributes to your electricity bills like anything.
If you buy a 5-star AC, the initial investment will be more but the monthly electricity bill will be less. On the other hand, a 3-star AC will cost you less but every month you need to pay more electricity bills. Now the choice is yours.
One more point you need to take care of is that 5-star ACs generally come with more features like an inverter motor, air purification, vitamin C filters, etc. which you won’t get in 3-star ACs.
Why 5-Star ACs Cost More Than 3-star ACs?
In layman’s terms, it is just a matter of a two-star difference. But from the manufacturing perspective, it’s a lot more than what we think.
The manufacturer has to use different compressors with advanced technologies and needs to redesign the cooling system so that it consumes less power.
On top of that, 5-star ACs use different advanced technologies like inverter motors, and Bluefin condensers to keep the power consumption low.
Different sensors are used to control these devices and that also adds more cost. That is why as a whole unit we are paying a little bit more than a 3-star AC when we buy a 5-star AC.
Difference Between 3-star AC And 5 star AC
We will discuss the different advantages and disadvantages of both types of AC so that you can figure out which one is the best based on your requirement and budget.
Advantages Of 5-star AC
- The total cost of ownership ( TCO) is less in the case of 5-star ACs. The TCO is determined by including the cost of purchase, maintenance, installation, and other recurring fees. Those who feel that 5-star ACs are costly need to consider the TCO and decide.
- 5 Star ACs come with more features that justify the extra amount that you pay
- The electricity bill will be less
- 5-star ACs are more reliable as the manufacturer uses good-quality parts
Disadvantages Of 5-star AC
- The initial investment is more as 5-star ACs are costlier than 3-star ACs
- Need more space although the size difference is not that huge
Advantages Of 3 star AC
- The cost of 3-star ACs is less than 5-star ACs
- It consumes less space
- It would be the best choice if you plan to run the AC for occasional purpose
Disadvantages Of 3-star AC
- The running cost is more than 5-star ACs
- Often manufacturers use cheap materials for 3-star ACs compared to 5-star ACs. That is why these are less reliable.
- Does not comes with advanced features
Power consumption Difference Between 3 Star And 3 Star AC
That’s where the ball game starts. Power consumption is a key driver in deciding on a 5-star AC or a 3-star AC. So I will take some example to explain how both types of ACs stands in terms of power consumption. I have taken two ACs from Amazon for this comparison. Hope it can clear the cloud.
But before that, I want to remind you that power consumption also depends on the cooling capacity. For example, a 5-star 2-ton AC may consume the same amount of power if you compare it with a 3-star 1.5-ton AC. Here is the chart that shows the relation between star rating, cooling capacity, and power consumption.
|3 Star Rating
|5 Star Rating
So when you compare, make sure, you take models having the same cooling capacity but with different star ratings.
Model-1: LG 1.5 Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC (Copper, Convertible 4-in-1 Cooling, HD Filter, 2021 Model, LS-Q18PNXA1, White)
Star Rating: 3
Annual Power Consumption: 1050 Units
Model-2: LG 1.5 Ton 5 Star Inverter Split AC (Copper, Convertible 4-in-1 Cooling, HD Filter, 2021 Model, MS-Q18ENZA, White)
Star Rating: 5
Annual Power Consumption: 818 Units
In this above example, I have taken the exact same model but with a different star rating and noticed that the annual power consumption difference is only (1050-818)= 232 Units. If the unit rate for electricity is Rs 7, then the annual saving would be around Rs 1624.
You may feel that Rs 1624 is not too much but here is the thing, this calculation is based on some assumptions as shown below.
The above calculation is only true when you are running the AC 10 hours per pay for 8 months. What if you want to run the AC for more than 10 hours per pay? In that case, you will be saving more with a 5-star AC
If your AC has the Input Power data mentioned then here is the formula for calculating the power consumption of an AC
Estimated Electrical Consumption = Input (kW) X No. of hours used X No. of days per month X Current Utility Rate.
Conclusion: Which one to buy [ 3 Star Vs 5 Star AC]
Frankly speaking, it purely depends on you and your requirement. I would personally do some basic calculations before choosing one.
You need to decide how many hours per day you will run the AC and how hot your city is during the summer, how are the electricity unit rate in your area, and how many years you want to keep the AC.
If your usage is low, then buying a 3-Star AC makes more sense. But if you want to use an AC for more than 8 hours per day and want to keep the AC for at least 5-7 years then buying a 5-star is a good choice.
If you are low on budget but don’t mind spending more money on electricity bills, then 3-star AC is the only option. Otherwise any day 5-star AC is the way to go. Hope this solves your confusion.
Are you still confused? Please write in the comment section and I will try to solve your confusion.