Very recently, while interacting with some of the readers of Bijli Bachao, we came across a few people who were getting very high electricity bills and were concerned about it. On investigating more, we found out that they were using Air Conditioners that were more than 10-12 years old and hence were quite inefficient. We realized that a lot of people hold on to the old inefficient appliances worrying about the cost of buying new efficient appliances, but what they forget is that over the time the amount they pay in form of electricity bills exceeds the cost of buying a new one. People discount the regular operational cost of the appliance over the capital cost of buying a new one.
Life of an Air Conditioner
It is observed that average life of an air conditioner is about 10 years (source). It can increase a bit only if it is maintained properly throughout its lifetime. A lot also depends on the quality of the appliance when it was purchased. If the air conditioner purchased was of good brand it may go on well for 10-12 years (or more) but if the quality was not good, then it will start hogging a lot of electricity much before the 10-year mark.
Improvement in Air Conditioner efficiencies over the years
With improving technology, the efficiencies of air conditioners have improved with time. The best air conditioners available in the market today consume 30% to 50% less electricity than those that were available in mid 1970s. In fact the efficient models available today are about 20-40% efficient than the models that were available 10 years ago (source). And because there is a lot of push for efficiency because of energy shortage/climate change, the efficiencies will improve much more in the coming years. As energy shortage will force increase in prices of electricity, it will make much more sense to buy efficient air conditioner, as savings in the electricity bills will recover the additional cost of buying efficient air conditioner.
Why buying a BEE star rated Air Conditioner makes sense
The cost of electricity is increasing by every passing year and looking at the current scenario of the power sector in India, it will increase significantly in coming few years. In case your electricity bills are high due to an old air conditioner, then it means that along with inefficient air conditioner, your use of air conditioner is also high. In that case the cost of buying a new BEE star rated air conditioner will be paid back in a few years by the savings that will be achieved due to efficient air conditioning. And a new efficient air conditioner will work for you for another 10-12 years thereby providing you comfort with savings for many more years to come. In case your current electricity bills are extremely high (because of high usage), then buying a BEE 5 star rated air conditioner will be the best solution for you. We at Bijli Bachao are in process of creating a calculator that can help you evaluate savings by switching to various BEE star rated air conditioners. So keep watching for this space.
Here is a short video for tips to buy the best air conditioner in India
About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. More from this author.