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    Thursday, June 5, 2014

    Inverter AC buying guide and Daikin India Inverter AC review

    Summers in India are usually very tough and the only way we can work in the office or in some parts, sleep at nights, is under the cool air of an Air conditioning unit. There are so many companies that manufacture AC units and supply them in India, that the choice has become extremely difficult. Additionally as technology progresses, it is very tough to understand which is right for you. We will explain some things and then review the Daikin India FTKD50FVL inverter AC.

    How does an AC work?

    When a gas is compressed, it releases heat and when it is allowed to expand, it will cool down. This is the basic principle of an AC. A motor pump or Compressor is used to press a coolant gas outside the room and a fan is used to make the released heat to "blow away". Next this compressed gas is passed onto a pipe which is inside the room and allowed to expand. It will cool down as it expands and a fan is used to blow air over the chilled pipe which gives us the cool air we yearn. Now there are a number of factors that influence what AC you can select.

    • The primary one is the tonnage which equates to how large the compressor size is how much gas it can handle.

    • The next is the type such as window AC or split AC. This is more or less based on if you have a windows where you can fix the unit or if you need to cool a room with no windows. Technically a window ac will cool better since the pipes are less far away but will have the issue that the cooled air will be again sucked back in. The split unit has a bigger problem that if it is not installed right, it will malfunction, leak coolant or even get damaged permanently. The window unit has an advantage that it comes pre-assembled and hence the installation people can mess much up.

    Inverter or upside down?

    The new buzz word in AC is inverter technology and is becoming more popular everyday. So what is it? As discussed before, the compressor is the machine responsible for 'compressing' the gas. The larger the compressor, the more refrigerant it can compress. On the flip side, the larger the compressor, the more power it will consume and the larger your electricity bill. These machine usually have quite a low efficiency and they themselves will also waste energy i.e. the electricity consumed will be converted into waste heat.

    The inverter AC is supposed to have the capability to vary the speed of the compressor thereby varying the power consumed by the motor and hence your electricity bill. Now there is a bit of electronic kung fu that goes into making things happens so its kinda state of the art however it has some major drawbacks as discussed later.

    Daikin Inverter FTKD50FVL review:

    Daikin was the company that sold their units by the name of "Calm by Daikin" as their units are mostly noiseless. That was a decade ago. Since then the Japanese company has dropped quality standards and the units we received were quite "plasticky" in build. The unit is a 1.5 Tonne capacity split unit. We did our share of market survey and since Daikin claims that it is now improving its footing in India, we were curious how... we still are!

    The unit was installed by two guys from the Daikin service center which we later found out that was one of the few authorized service centers in our city. The unit was noiseless and cooled nicely but not like we expected and we would later find out why. When the Daikin support guys were asked on why the cooling was so sub standard, their trained response was "This is the way it cools". In short you bought it now bear it.

    The unit consumes a peak of 6 Amps at full capacity which was expected of the inverter unit and the outdoor unit made no noise whatsoever. The cooling was OK but not excellent. The current consumption dropped when the set temperature was reached at which point the room temperature stabilized. This is why you buy an inverter AC. instead of switching on and off the compressor, it dims it down so to speak.

    The unit worked for a month after which cooling began to fail and we registered the first of many complaints with Daikin India. A few weeks later, a guy from the service center came and said everything was OK and left. His claim was that the temperatures are already so high that what can an AC do?

    Our second complaint a week later was met by a different service guy that said that the refrigerant had leaked and he did the needful. Things were back to normal and a month later summers had ended. unfortunately our problems had not. It seems the guy had filled up the refrigerant but never plugged the leak. The refrigerant leaked as the months passed and our warranty faded away.

    Next season brought with it a slew of issues. The AC refused to start as there was no refrigerant. Our first complaint was again met by service guys that said they did not understand what was going wrong. They could not even track the missing refrigerant. Our next 3 complaints were met with deaf ears as we finally put out a tweet to daikin India. They did send someone new that found the leak due to faulty installation but plugged it up and then refilled the refregirant which we will have to pay for. It did not work!

    [caption id="attachment_848" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Service guy finally tracking the leak Service guy finally tracking the leak[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_849" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Pressure gauge attached for a day Pressure gauge attached for a day[/caption]

    The AC works for a few minutes and then shuts down due to some error L5 or H6. These indicate either a problem with the AC compressor or the electronics. Our unit still does not work and the summary is as follows.

    a. All this happened within 15 months of purchase.
    b. Around a dozen complaints registered and a months of time, money and mental torture.
    c. Daikin engineers have no Idea why this is happening.
    d. Out of warranty means that we pay for everything that gets replaced. AND No Warranty For Spare Parts.! If they put in the wrong part and a month later they fail- you are screwed.
    e. No one will listen to your complaints since Daikin India has little or No service staff that is trained to handle Inverter ACs

    At the time of this writing, we have already talked to more than 2 dozen people who have faced problems with daikin installations. Our lawyer is preparing an application on our behalf and we will be filing a petition in the Indian Consumer Court. We are also taking to local news papers to convey our message across.

    Buying Guide.

    1. When you are in the market for buying an AC the first thing you should ask around is about the customer support and service history. Buy the brand that people have already bought and they have had a complaint serviced.

    2. Buying an Inverter AC- Sure! but again ask your vendor about service and spare parts warranty. We have review an LG front Load machine where the Company was willing to extend your warranty at a cost.

    3. Split ACs require piping and installation. Ask your installation engineer to give you a receipt. Make sure he is from an authorized center. If there is an installation problem by the authorized guys then you are more or less covered.

    4. If your AC does not perform as expected, do no pay the installation charges. You are a paying customer and companies like Daikin India do not appreciate the business we are giving them.

    We hope our experience will help you in making a decision. We will be updating this article when there is any progress.



    1. ouch, I feel your pain. We have a new house here in South Carolina (USA). It was built just 5 years ago and suddenly the AC coil started leaking collecting moisture in the roof and leaking on the ceiling. We have a warrantee but it didnt cover the replacement parts or labor, so it cost us $800. It also took more than 2 weeks to get the replacement coil, which was extra difficult for wife who is 6 month pregnant :/

      Good luck on your issue Inderpreet! At least you are technical so that they wont be able to fool you with technical jargon.

    2. I am also facing the same problem with the daikin inverter AC & planning to go to consumer court.
      Please share your contact number for sharing / understanding the problem you have faced.



      Mobile : 9013504909

    3. Hi Rajesh,
      I contacted Daikin and was able to get the problem solved out of warranty without charge since I was able to prove that it was an installation problem. We replaced the compressor and all the electronics and it worked.

      I recommend you try contacting daikin via social media such as twitter. If need be, we can forward your request if need be.
      Hope this helps.