The first week of March is when the winter unofficially ends in India. As the days get longer, the heat starts creeping up to reach its maximum in April and May. It is also when people go around scouting the internet for air conditioners.
So, if you intend to purchase an AC soon, you should know the latest AC technologies to help make a better decision.
Manufacturers usually resort to sales gimmicks to entice customers. Therefore, it is better to understand how the latest technologies work.
Inverter Compressors – Highly efficient and save power
Everyone is aware that the compressor is the heart and soul of an air conditioner. The conventional compressor switches on and runs at full power until the temperature in the room reaches pre-set values. Then, it switches off and allows the AC fans to keep functioning to maintain the interior temperature at comfortable levels.
As the temperature inside your room rises, the AC compressor starts working again at full speed. Since the conventional compressor works at full speed every time it switches on, it consumes more power. Usually, the window ACs and some split air conditioners work on such conventional compressors. However, LG has introduced a window AC that runs on an inverter compressor.
Related: Inverter vs Non Inverter AC
The primary disadvantage of the conventional compressor is that it runs at a fixed speed throughout its functioning. As these compressors consume substantial power, manufacturers have introduced compressors that work on inverter technology. This technology envisages the compressor to work continuously at variable speeds determined by the temperature of the incoming air and the levels set in the thermostat.
The Inverter compressor does not switch off during the entire period when the appliance remains functional. However, the variable speeds ensure less power consumption than the conventional compressor.
This technology is found in selected split ACs. Almost all brands, including Samsung, Hitachi, BlueStar, etc., offer inverter compressors in their air conditioners. In addition, all LG split ACs work on inverter compressors.
Dual Inverter Compressors
LG takes the inverter compressor one step further because it uses Dual Cool technology, also known as dual inverter compressors. These ACs feature an advanced BLDC motor with dual rotary systems, maintaining the required temperature levels with minimum fluctuations. Hence, these compressors allow ACs to work at variable tonnage.
Therefore, an LG AC with Dual Cool technology can work in a range of 40% to 110% of the tonnage capacity, depending on the ambient conditions and user requirement.
The 2021 LG AC brands offer 5-in-1 cooling, where the user can adjust the AC to work at various tonnage capacities (40%, 60%, 80%, 100%, and 110%). In addition, the 2022 LG ACs offer an additional feature known as AI Mode that allows the AC to work automatically in a range of +/- 2 degrees Celsius to the set temperature levels, depending on the temperature inside the room.
Related: What is AI Mode in LG AC
As a result, these ACs offer better comfort because you need not adjust the temperature levels manually. These AC compressors are known as 6-in-1 compressors.
Besides LG, BlueStar and Hitachi offer dual inverter compressors in their latest AC models. Hitachi uses Seamless Cascade Vector DC Inverter System, an expandable tropical inverter technology, to improve the AC’s performance in full and part load conditions. In addition, Hitachi has introduced an innovative concept, Dual Flow Expansion Technology (DFET), enabling the tropical inverter compressor system to optimize its peak performance and cool the room even if the temperature outside exceeds 52 degrees Celsius.
BlueStar AC uses a powerful BLDC motor to power a dual-rotor inverter compressor to deliver high rotational speeds with minimum vibrations. Besides, it uses an acoustic jacket to reduce compressor noise levels considerably.
Related: Dual vs Triple Inverter AC
Triple Inverter Compressors
Samsung ACs also work on a digital inverter on similar lines. Recently, Samsung has introduced their latest range of ACs with triple inverter compressors. Many people confuse triple inverter ACs to have three rotary motors. Instead, this technology envisages using 8-pole inverter technology, unlike the conventional 4-pole technology used in dual inverter ACs.
Related: What is Triple Inverter AC
The advantage is that these inverter compressors empower the ACs to deliver up to 67% higher/faster cooling, save up to 69% more energy, and can cool the rooms even if the exterior temperatures touch 54 degrees Celsius. In addition, these triple inverter compressors vibrate less and thus, make the slightest noise. Besides Samsung, Haier, and Nokia ACs use triple inverter AC compressors. As of date, the triple inverter compressor is the best technology available in ACs in India.
Use of Sensors for Smart and Efficient Cooling
The advent of innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence has influenced AC manufacturers to introduce sensors that help in providing smart and efficient cooling. The latest 2022 LG ACs feature ADC Sensor (Ambient, Discharge, and Condenser Sensor) to ensure safe, efficient, and stable operations.
The Ambient Sensor helps the AC provide optimum comfort to the user by sensing outdoor conditions, deciding on the optimal cooling, and controlling the operational load to set the thermostat temperature accordingly. The Discharge Sensor senses the refrigerant’s discharge temperature to help manage the cooling cycle. The Condenser Sensor improves the compressor’s reliability by monitoring the discharge pressure to regulate refrigerant flow.
Hitachi (Kashikoi Range) offers a revolutionary image sensor technology, iSee, to detect the number of occupants in the room, their activity, and location to adjust the cooling temperature accordingly. Besides, this technology recognizes the room’s size and shape to regulate the swing angle and optimize cooling. In addition, this technology acknowledges the absence of humans in the room for a specific period and switches off the AC to save power.
Hitachi ACs also offer iSense technology to enhance comfort levels during the night. This sensor detects the absence of active user movements and increases the temperature by 1 degree Celsius per hour for two hours. In addition, Hitachi’s Penta Sensor technology with advanced microcontrollers offers perfect cooling in extreme summer conditions. It optimizes cooling according to the load and protects the AC’s critical components.
Daikin ACs also offer a similar sensor technology to detect human count and cool the space optimally. Furthermore, the latest Carrier ACs have a Follow Me feature with a sensor in the remote. On activation, the sensor inside the AC unit acts on the information received from the remote unit’s sensor to adjust the AC’s ambient temperature. In addition, blue Star ACs offer Precise Cooling Technology that adjusts the internal temperature with precision levels up to 0.1 degrees Celsius.
Rapid Cooling Technologies – Faster the cooling, better is the efficiency
When discussing inverter compressors, we have seen that the compressors work at variable speeds. However, the inverter compressor technology is such that the compressor initially works at its highest rate until the temperature reaches the level set in the thermostat. Subsequently, it slows down to maintain optimal cooling.
In addition, Rapid Cooling technologies increase the inverter compressor’s efficiency by expediting the time required to reach the maximum cooling level.
LG offers its proprietary Himalaya Cool technology that can be activated by pressing the HCOOL option on the remote. This technology envisages the AC throwing cool air for 30 minutes to cool the room faster without compromising energy savings. Similarly, Daikin offers a Power Chill mode with a dual flap flattening feature to cool the room quickly within 20 minutes.
Whirlpool ACs offer Turbo Cool technology that uses a dual-fan compressor and 3D Cool Extreme to cool the room faster. The 3D Cool Extreme feature uses three vents to pull the hot air quickly. Thus, Whirlpool ACs equipped with this technology can cool the interiors even if the outside temperature crosses 55 degrees Celsius.
Samsung uses Digital Inverter Boost technology to cool the air 43% faster than conventional ACs. The advanced design features a 15% larger fan, an 18% wider inlet, and a 31% wider blade. It allows the air to disperse up to 15 meters.
The latest Samsung 2022 AC brands use innovative technology, WindFree Cooling, that disperses cool air through 23K micro air holes. This advanced airflow technique ensures wider circulation and avoids the unpleasant feeling of cold air on the skin. This technology is more developed than Fast Cooling as it saves up to 77% of energy. In addition, the Sleep Mode provides better comfort by detecting sleeping patterns and adjusting the temperature accordingly.
Humidity Control Modes – Dehumidifying technology
Generally, ACs work overtime in the summer months. However, the monsoon follows immediately, whereby ACs fail to control the humidity levels resulting in water leakage. Besides, conventional air conditioners consume more energy and cause discomfort due to excessive cooling.
Hence, the major AC brands like LG, Blue Star, Carrier, and Voltas offer a dehumidification mode, also known as Dry Mode. LG names this feature as Monsoon Comfort to keep the humidity levels under check.
Hitachi ACs are the best in this lot because the high-end models feature Auto Humid Control technology. This technology enables the AC to store the temperature and humidity profiles of more than 100 cities. This feature allows the AC to detect high moisture levels and expedite the refrigerant cycle to expel the humidity from the room. As a result, it removes the stickiness caused by moisture. This technology is helpful in coastal cities, where the humidity levels in the air are consistently high.
Related: Samsung AC Review
Airflow Technology – Wider Air Delivery
We have discussed Rapid Cooling technology that allows ACs to expedite the cooling process to save energy. Generally, ACs come equipped with a 2-way swing option to circulate cool air inside the room. In addition, LG and other brands like Hitachi, Carrier, and Blue Star offer a 4-way swing option with a 4D swing function. This feature causes the swing blades to move up/down and right/left to blow cool air in multiple directions.
Daikin ACs offer Coanda Airflow to ensure that the cool air is not directed towards the persons sitting in the room. Therefore, this feature provides pleasant, draft-less air conditioning.
Samsung offers WindFree technology where the cool air dispersion takes through 23K micro holes instead of louvers. Thus, these ACs have a more extensive reach. The LG ACs with 4D air swing technology can spread the airflow to up to 30 meters. Therefore, this technology ensures uniform cooling throughout the room.
Smart ACs – WiFi and App Control
We live in an age where we use mobile apps to control almost anything in the world. Hence, AC manufacturers have introduced mobile apps to manage their compatible air conditioners. Users need to download these apps on their smartphones and control the AC’s mechanism using WiFi technology.
For example, Hitachi is the leader in this sphere with WiFi Connect technology that offers WiFi Direct functionality. All you do is download the Hitachi app and pair it with the WiFi router. Now, you can control the AC from anywhere in the house within the router range.
Similarly, Whirlpool ACs offers the app control feature. LG and Samsung also offer these features through their ThinQ and SmartThings app, respectively. These smartphone apps work on AI, whereby the system advises you on the appropriate settings to get the best out of your AC. The Whirlpool AC app provides information on the estimated energy consumption depending on your usage.
Smartphones having the IR Blaster feature can pair with the remote to control any AC without downloading the specific app.
Another latest feature present on the latest ACs is Smart Diagnosis. This feature helps you identify and detect abnormalities in the AC’s functioning/installation. In addition, you can communicate with the service teams using this feature and take appropriate action to rectify the faults without wasting time.
Air Purifying Technology – Improves air quality
Conventional ACs work by cooling the air and circulating it in the room without purifying it. The latest ACs available in the market feature air purifying technology in specialized filters to trap pollutants and ensure cool and pure air circulation in the room.
Air pollution can be of different types, such as smoke, dust, pollen, animal dander, etc. Inhaling such polluted air can be hazardous for everyone, especially children and older adults suffering from respiratory problems. Therefore, major brands like Samsung, Whirlpool, Carrier, etc., offer advanced air purification techniques like PM2.5 filters that can eliminate pollutants up to two and a half microns in width.
The latest LG ACs come equipped with PM1.0 filters to cater to contaminants as small as 1 micron. Some ACs also feature HEPA filters, whereas some use ionization technology to remove these impurities and purify the air circulating inside the room.
These purification technologies also take care of volatile organic compounds. For example, Midea AC offers a specific anti-VOC filter for eliminating VOCs. In addition, Blue Star ACs feature cold plasma technology to generate a natural bioclimate inside the AC. This bioclimate comprises positive hydrogen and negative oxygen ions that form bonds with bacteria, viruses, and other impurities to nullify their effect.
Corrosion Protection – Enhances the AC’s lifespan
ACs today generally use copper condenser and evaporator tubes to maximize heat exchange and ensure better cooling. However, copper is also vulnerable to corrosion. The air in coastal areas has high ozone levels, whereas industrial areas have a high concentration of chemical contamination. These chemicals can corrode the copper pipes and thus affect the AC’s cooling performance and lifespan.
AC manufacturers understand these issues well. Hence, you have technology like Blue Fin or Ocean Black to protect these AC components from corrosion.
For example, LG ACs come with Ocean Black Protection, a protective layer over the copper condenser and evaporator tubes to prevent corrosion and damage. Similarly, other brands such as Voltas, Hitachi, Daikin, Carrier, and Blue Star offer anti-corrosive hydrophilic Blue Fin protection from corrosion.
Related: LG AC Review
Samsung offers DuraFin technology to provide an anti-corrosive and hydrophilic layer over the tubes to prevent rust formation. In addition, DuraFin technology enhances heat transfer efficiency by delivering a five-times larger heat transfer area.
Protection from Voltage Spikes, etc. – Stabilizer-free operations and other external protection features
Just as climatic conditions damage AC components, voltage fluctuations affect the AC’s performance. Generally, people use external voltage stabilizers to take care of voltage fluctuations. These stabilizers ensure that the AC equipment receives voltage from 220 to 240V. In addition, each voltage stabilizer has a range within which it can handle input voltage.
Nowadays, ACs come equipped with Stabilizer-free functional ability that allows the AC to handle voltage fluctuations in a specific range. Usually, it can be between 145V and 290V, depending on the AC brand. LG is the pack leader in this aspect. On the other hand, Daikin ACs operate in a voltage range of 160V to 264V, whereas Whirlpool ACs equipped with Smart Voltage Compensation Logic works smoothly in the input voltage range of 155V to 264V.
Samsung offers better features with Triple Protector Plus technology in its 2022 models to protect the AC components from voltage fluctuations between 80V and 450V. In addition, this technology can handle extreme heat. Besides, they protect the controller mechanism from fluctuating electric currents and high voltage discharges. Finally, this technology offers an anti-corrosion coat to protect the external AC cabinet from unfavorable climatic conditions.
However, it is advisable to use a voltage stabilizer if you live in an area renowned for its voltage disruptions.
Refrigerant leakage is another crucial issue affecting ACs. LG ACs feature technology to detect refrigerant levels and notify the user by flashing an error code on the LED display. Carries models come equipped with an Early Warning System to detect leaks and turn off ACs to prevent further damage.
The outdoor units in split ACs are exposed to Nature’s elements and prone to damage. Blue Star uses galvanized steel in the AC outdoor unit construction to provide better security. Besides, they have additional protection in polyester powder paint to prevent corrosion and enhance their lifespan.
To prevent fire mishaps, Whirlpool ACs encase the control box in a metal shell with a fireproof case. In addition, Blue Star covers the PCB with a metal enclosure to prevent overheating of the electrical components.
Auto Clean – Helps maintain the AC filters
AC filters are prone to dust accumulation that affects cooling capacity and increases power consumption. Hence, one should clean the filters periodically. The modern-day AC brands such as Blue Star, Carrier, Hitachi, Samsung, and LG offer Auto Clean facilities using different methods.
Hitachi has an iClean function that uses an innovative brush to sweep the dust off the stainless steel plated filters. The dust collects in a special dust box explicitly provided for this purpose. The cleaning can take somewhere between five to seven minutes.
Blue Star offers the Blow Clean Mode that uses an indoor blower to run for a few minutes after switching off the AC. Carrier ACs offer iCleanser technology, a specialized auto-cleaning mechanism. First, the AC operates in a cooling mode at reduced fan speeds to help remove dust from the evaporator fins. Then, it uses the fan-only mode to disinfect the indoor unit by blowing away the wet air. The latest Samsung ACs also use a similar technology to blow away dust and remove bacteria and mold.
We have discussed the major technologies in use in the latest 2022 Air Conditioners.
Other features include Hot and Cold ACs that work as an air conditioner, and heater, depending on your requirements. Today, almost all ACs use R32 refrigerants that display low global warming and zero ozone depletion potential. In addition, LG has discontinued using conventional compressors in its ACs. Similarly, most ACs have switched to using copper condensers instead of aluminum to enhance heat exchange capabilities.
Related: R32 vs R22 vs R410A
The users should know about these technologies to help them better understand the benefits and drawbacks and make an informed decision.