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3 Star And 5-Star AC: Which One To Buy?

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While purchasing a new AC, it is obvious to get stuck between the 3-star and 5-star AC models.

What is the difference between 3-star and 5-star AC? How does the star rating affect power consumption? If these are your questions, we have answers for all of them.

In this write-up, we shall discuss the significance of star rating in ACs. We shall also compare the 3-star and 5-star ACs, and learn their pros and cons.

The information in this article will clear your confusion on whether 3-star or 5-star AC to choose.

Without any delay, let us get into our discussion.

What Is A Star Rating In Air Conditioners?

Most electrical appliances like washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc., come with a BEE rating. BEE is nothing but the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, an organization, that provides star rating to all medium to large electronic appliances is in terms of the energy efficiency of the device. The BEE rating is a crucial parameter to consider, especially for the air conditioners.

The star rating that represents the energy efficiency of the appliance, ranges from 1 star to 5 stars. Higher the number of stars means greater energy efficiency. The lower the star rating, the less energy-efficient the device will be.

When we talk about a 3-star AC and a 5-star AC, there is a difference between the energy efficiency of both the appliances. In other words, a 5-star AC is more energy-efficient than a 3-star air conditioner.

Yes, it is the star rating system that illustrates the energy efficiency of an AC unit. However, there are several other factors for consideration that contribute to determining the total number of stars a product can have.

This is how you evaluate the star rating of any electrical appliance that is used for heating or cooling. You determine it by the Energy Efficiency Ratio. For an air conditioner, it is the ratio of the cooling capacity of the device in BTU (British Thermal Units) per every hour, in watts.

The significance of star rating is that the more the number of stars increases for an appliance, the higher will be the power savings. For each rating, you can save up to 14% energy. That means, as the number of stars increases, you will be saving about 14% power on every single star rating. The higher rating, the better savings.

If we compare the 3-star AC and 5-star AC, the difference between the duo is two-star ratings. It means that your 5-star AC saves up to 28% more energy than your 3-star AC.

How To Find Out The Star Ratings Of An Air Conditioner?

Finding out the star rating of an air conditioning unit is not a big task. All the devices come with a star rating sticker provided by BEE India. Upon the sticker, you can observe the rating given to each appliance indicated by red stars in a red background. If you notice that all the stars, come covered in the red background, it is a 5-star rating. If only three stars are coloured with the red background, then it is a 3-star AC. This is how you can find out the star rating on your appliances.

There is another thing you will notice on the sticker. It says, “More stars, More savings.” This statement is a clear indication of what the stars mean.

In the lower part of the sticker, you will observe a box highlighted in orange colour. This section contains the ISEER measure that gives more specifications about the energy efficiency of the appliance. This is additional information to the BEE rating.

What Is The Difference Between A 3-Star And 5-Star AC?

3 star ac vs star acThe significant difference between a 3-star and 5-star air conditioner is the price. A 3-star AC costs less in comparison to the 5-star air conditioning unit. Also, the maintenance and energy usage of the former is comparatively high than the latter.

A 3-star AC is suitable for those who prefer using the appliance only during the summer season. They will have the maintenance and power utility bills limited to those three months of summer.

Let us talk about the air conditioner with a 5-star rating. Although it is a little expensive than the 3-star unit, the running and maintenance costs are negligible when compared to its benefits. A 5-star air conditioning device has low maintenance costs and low electricity bills. If quality performance and utility are what you are looking for in an AC, then a 5-star rating is the ideal and recommended option.

I hope the above explanation gave you an understanding of the differences between a 3-star and 5-star AC. Let us now look at the power consumption of both devices.

What Is The Power Consumption Difference Between A 3-star and 5-star AC?

To help you analyse the power consumed by both 3-star and 5-star ACs, we have come up with a table below. This table distinguishes the power consumption of the ACs based on their various capacities:

Star Rating of AC Power Consumption of 0.75 Ton AC Power Consumption of 1.0 Ton AC Power Consumption of 1.5 Ton AC Power Consumption of 2.0 Ton AC
AC with 3-Star rating 542 Watts 747 Watts 1104 Watts 1448 Watts
AC with 5-Star rating 450 Watts 554 Watts 840 Watts 1113 Watts

I hope the table above gave you a clear understanding of the differences between the power usage of a 3-star and 5-star AC. The figures mentioned in the table are the annual electricity consumption units per 1600 hours of usage. These are taken as per the data of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).

The watts mentioned in the above table indicate the running costs of your air conditioning unit. As you can see, the 5-star air conditioners utilize fewer watts. Consequently, you can save on energy consumption, and finally on your electricity bills.

Let us learn how to calculate the energy efficiency ratio ratings.

How To Calculate the Ratings For Energy Efficiency Ratio?

From 1st Jan 2018 to 31st Dec 2020 From 1st Jan 2021 to 31st Dec 2023
Star Rating Minimum ISEER (kWh/kWh) Maximum ISEER (kWh/kWh) Star Rating Minimum ISEER (kWh/kWh) Maximum ISEER


1 Star 3.1 3.29 1 Star 3.3 3.49
2 Star 3.3 3.49 2 Star 3.5 3.79
3 Star 3.5 3.99 3 Star 3.8 4.39
4 Star 4.0 4.49 4 Star 4.4 4.99
5 Star 4.5 5 Star 5.0

For calculating the energy efficiency ratio, you need to divide the British Thermal Units rating (BTU) by the wattage. Let us assume you have an AC with 12,000 BTU, and it utilizes 1200 W.

The EER rating is nothing but 12000 divided by 1200, which is 10.

Let us move to the pros and cons of both 3-star and 5-star ACs.

What Are Advantages and Disadvantages Of A 5-star AC?

5-Star.jpgListed below are the merits and demerits of an air conditioning unit with a five-star rating:

Advantages of 5-Star AC

  • An AC with a five-star rating has lower Total Cost Ownership (TCO) in comparison to the initial price when buying a 3-star AC. TCO is nothing but the total amount of the cost incurred by the customer for purchasing the equipment, its installation, and even the repair costs.
  • A 5-star air conditioner will have a good ISEER ratio in the future years. Let us assume you bought a 5-star rating AC in the year 2021. The ISEER ratio of the unit will be 4.5 or higher. You will have energy rating updates in the coming years. In such a case, the ISEER ratio will be in the range of a 3-star unit at least for the next 3 to 5 years.
  • The 5-star AC units come with more advanced features and useful functionalities in comparison to the 3-star ACs.
  • The 5-star AC units take comparatively less time to cool a room or space than the 3-star AC. It consumes less power to cool when compared to a 3-star AC having the same tonnage or capacity.
  • A 5-star AC unit assures fewer electricity bills per month when compared to a 3-star air conditioning unit.
  • An air conditioner with a five-star rating produces less heat than other ACs with low ratings.
  • You can use a 5-star rating air conditioner 24/7 all through the year.
  • A 5-star AC can effectively balance the dissipated heat produced by other electronic devices and electrical appliances in your home.

Disadvantages of 5-Star AC

  • A 5-star AC is not a suitable option if you reside in a locality where you notice hardly any variation in the temperature of the outside and your room temperature.
  • A 5-star rating air conditioner is insignificant for those who do not use the device for longer hours. The difference in the electricity bill is just a few hundred when you keep running it for a long time.

What Are Advantages and Disadvantages Of A 3-star AC?

Listed below are the merits and demerits of an air conditioning unit with a three-star rating:

Advantages of 3-Star AC

  • A 3-star rating air conditioner usually has less upfront cost than a 5-star unit.
  • If you do not prefer using the AC for more than eight hours a day, this is the best option. It will help you save a few bucks.
  • A 3-star AC involves low maintenance costs.
  • If you are looking for a low-budget air conditioner for your home, a 3-star AC is a perfect choice.
  • If you are looking for period cooling and want to save money, a 3-star air conditioner is all you need.

Disadvantages Of 3-Star AC

  • With the regular energy rating updates, your 3-star AC unit may work as a one-star rating appliance after about 4 to 5 years.
  • An air conditioner with a three-star rating involves more operational costs in the long run.
  • A 3-star AC consumes more power when compared to a 5-star AC.

How To Choose Which AC to Buy – A 3-Star Or 5-Star AC?

Are you confused about which AC to purchase – whether a 3-star or 5-star? Well, here are some factors you need to consider before you buy. You need to answer the questions below, and it will help you easily determine what to choose:

Do you stay in a hot and tropical climate? 

Do you use an air conditioner more often or for long hours?

If yes is the answer to the above questions, a 5-star AC would be the best bet. It helps the room cool down faster and minimizes your electricity bills.

Do you stay in a cooler place? 

Do you use an air conditioner less often or only during the summer season?

If yes is the answer to the above questions, a 3-star AC would be the most suitable choice. It is a budget-friendly option and an ideal device that works best in a less humid climate.

However, if the location is not your primary concern, we suggest you opt for an air conditioner with a 5-star rating. It outruns a 3-star unit in all aspects.

Why Do People Use Their ACs In Other Seasons Apart From Summer?

Well, there are several reasons why people use ACs almost all through the year. One reason is that some of them could be having electronic appliances at home. Electrical devices like computers and laptops are bound to dissipate heat when operating. You need cooling systems to cool the motherboard. Hence, they should keep the air conditioner running for long hours every day.

Another contributing factors could be having a refrigerator in the kitchen that generates heat. When living in a country like India that has many tropical conditions, people may have to run their AC units all through the year for multiple reasons.

Do The Star Ratings Have An Impact On The Price Of Air Conditioner?

It is a known fact that air conditioners with a higher star rating are expensive than the ones with a lower star rating. Well, people may have a few questions in their minds concerning the same. Why is the cost difference, and is it the right option to buy an AC with a rating of five stars? These may leave people in a confusion.

Most manufactures make some changes or bring in advancements to their AC design parameters to increase energy efficiency. This can include using a highly powerful compressor and making adjustments to the surface area of the copper pipes. While these tweaks may sound negligible to us, they are sure to increase the AC price. However, if you consider the long-term savings from your 5-star AC, the upfront cost would not be a matter of worrying.

A Few Words To Conclude:

An air conditioner with a five-star rating is more energy-efficient than a three-star one. Although it has a higher upfront cost, the long-term benefits, and your electricity bill savings are more when compared to a 3-star AC. I hope the information provided in this article should help you discern which appliance to choose. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option and use the unit less often, a 3-star AC unit is all you need. Similarly, if you like to keep your AC running all around the year, a 5-star rating device would be the perfect option. Let us know your choice by posting it in the comments below. Also, do share this article with your friends and help them gain a better understanding of the 3-star and 5-star ACs.

Write to us in the comments section below if you have any questions or need more information on the star rating of ACs. We will try to answer all your queries with relevant info.

Please feel free to share your feedback in the comment below by letting us know if we missed out on any points. Do not hesitate to add your inputs to this article.

Stay healthy and stay safe!!!

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