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It’s just so cool

Air conditioners were once considered a luxury, but they have now become essential products in many households. The popularity of room air conditioners has gradually increased with the soaring temperatures. Radhika Raheja provides finer points…

india Updated: Apr 29, 2011 20:56 IST
Radhika Raheja

Air conditioners were once considered a luxury, but they have now become essential products in many households. The popularity of room air conditioners has gradually increased with the soaring temperatures. Radhika Raheja provides finer points…

Room air conditioner is an appliance used especially for lowering temperature and humidity of air in a room. Over the years, technology used in air conditioners has advanced and this has resulted in invention of ACs that boast of features which have never before been thought of. Here’s a glimpse of what the AC industry now has on offer:

‘Dust free cooling’ & ‘Auto Climate Technology’

Thanks to new technology, the market also has some air conditioners that offer improved filtration by removing even the smallest microscopic dust particles and transforming polluted air into clean energised air. Another advanced and intelligent feature is called ‘Auto Climate Technology’ in which the AC comes stored with temperature and humidity date of several cities. The AC recognises which city you are in, the time of day and your individual metabolic needs (to be chosen by you). Based on these factors, it continuously changes the settings of the AC to provide you the most comfortable environment, while functioning most efficiently, at the touch of a button. Hitachi’s newly launched i-Clean, a split AC model is equipped with automatic filter clean technology, which cleans filter automatically therefore no blockage, no dust, only clean, healthy and powerful cooling forever with high energy efficiency. Sharing some thoughts on this, Gurmeet Singh - Vice President, Head- Sales & Business Planning at Hitachi Home & Life Solutions India Ltd. said, “The reliable technologies that Hitachi creates to contribute to society are not born only from inventions on the front lines of research and development. They are also created by market-driven innovation activities. In fact, we contribute to our success by quickly understanding and responding to customers' needs, how societies are changing and by developing products and services that meet those needs in a timely fashion.”

LG Electronics has also taken a leap by introducing a new range of air conditioners, which offer features like new air purification filter, neo plasma, virus and allergy safe filter, triple filter, low noise level, selectable swing, jet cool, e-saver mode, quiet mode and wide voltage range compressor. We spoke to Ajay Bajaj, Business Head-AC, LGEIL who said that, “Indoor air pollutants level is five times higher than outdoors and people spend about 90 per cent of their time indoors. The unclean and unhygienic in-door air has become a major concern for people nowadays as it causes various health related diseases by inhaling air-borne viruses. Addressing the growing demand for healthy and energy efficient environment, our new range of air conditioners theme is ‘Revitalise your living environment’ which focuses on health and vitality of your family with the most advanced air filtration system and allergy care filters that gives 99.9 per cent pure air. With new range LG India is looking forward to experience 40 per cent growth in 2011.”

Energy efficient ACs

With regular use, home air conditioners can produce about a ton of greenhouse gases every year. Multiply this by the number of homes that are using them and you can see that conventional air conditioners are posing a problem for the environment. Even so, people have to cool their homes, so what are they to do? The answer may lie in energy efficient air conditioners. Many air conditioning systems sold today are energy saving air conditioners, compared to the models sold 10 or 20 years ago. Energy efficient AC units use anywhere from 10 to 50 per cent less power and dramatically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Over time, efficient air conditioning can reward home owners with lower energy bills.

Manish Sharma- Director Marketing, Panasonic India shares some insight with us. According to him, “Panasonic's widest product range of ACs comes with the most innovative technologies that offer an unrivaled opportunity to our valuable customers in order to enable them experience the most convenient lifestyle.” He reaffirmed that the ECONAVI technology in ACs is inspired by nature. The ECONAVI is a smart, intelligent and innovative technology with human sensor and control program that scans the whole area for occupancy thereby throwing air only at the area which is occupied. With this high precision sensing, it detects whenever an object moves within its detection zone ultimately helping customer save energy and costs.

BEE Star Rating and Labelling of Air Conditioners

In May 2006, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under Ministry of Power launched Standard and Labelling Program of electrical home appliances including air conditioners. Under this program, for the benefit of general public, the appliance manufactures could voluntarily affix a Star Label on their appliances showing the level of energy consumption by the appliance both in terms of absolute values as well as equivalent number of stars varying from one to five, in accordance with BEE stipulation.

The greater the number of stars on the label, higher the appliance energy efficiency and lower its electricity consumption. Affixing BEE star label has been made mandatory for room ACs from January 2010. While selecting an AV, it is suggested that you refer to the BEE Star Rated Label affixed on AC.