Air conditioning system is no longer a luxury.
Be it sweltering summers or shivering winters, Air Conditioners have become more or less a necessity for our homes to ensure comfort throughout the year.
However, when it comes to choosing the right AC system for your home, you may get spoilt by choices.
From centralised air conditioning systems to ductless units, there are various terminologies one should understand to find a fitting choice.
Also, there are various parameters such as the size of the space, the heat generated in the room, etc. to be considered while you choose the most suitable air conditioning system for a room.
Among the parameters, energy efficiency is becoming more prominent now.
The days of regular speed or the fixed speed ACs are almost gone . How many people opt for inverter ACs which come with automated power adjustment technology? The advent of inverter ACs have been widely supported by authorities, given its energy-saving benefits.
If you are confused about choosing between an inverter AC and a non-inverter one, here is your read. We have listed out the advantages and disadvantages of both, and the factors to be considered while you choose the right one.
How does a normal air conditioning system work?
Before you dive into the definition of an inverter AC, it is important to understand how the regular air conditioning system works. As we all know, the air conditioner lets in cool air at a temperature we set. It takes the indoor air and cools it through evaporation. The cooled air is then directed back to the room.
The system includes three basic components - compressor, condenser, and evaporator. The function of each unit is described below.
What is inverter AC?
As you know, an inverter is a device that allows the variable frequency of power supply for appliances. The same principle is used in inverter technology to control the speed of the motor revolution in order to reduce energy consumption. Basically, inverter technology is built on energy-saving principles.
It is widely used in home appliances now in order to control voltage and save energy. In the HVAC industry, inverter air conditioning systems have been a recent addition. Since its introduction, it has been well-received in the market due to its environmental-friendly approach.
Let us explore how inverter AC works in simple terms.
In an inverter AC, the compressor stays on during the full duration of the operation and runs at different speeds. Unlike the non-inverter types, there are no on-off cycles happening in an air conditioning system with an in-built inverter.
Instead, the compressor starts at an increased RPM (Revolutions per Minute) until it reaches the required temperature. Then it lowers RPM and continues to operate by using less power to maintain the temperature. When the room temperature becomes higher than the set temperature, the RPM is increased again automatically.
Thus the temperature is maintained as required while using less energy for its operation.
An inverter air conditioning system operates by using a variable-frequency drive to maintain the speed of the motor and thereby the compressor. The inverter by regulating the momentum of the compressor motor continuously maintains the temperature.
The compressor speed adapts itself to the heating or cooling requirements of the room.
For the ease of understanding how an inverter AC works, you can compare it with the accelerator in a car. When the compressor needs extra power, the inverter gives more power and vice versa.
What is a non-inverter AC?
Non-inverter ACs have been widely used in buildings before the advent of inverter technology in AC systems. It is also referred to as fixed speed air conditioning systems. It uses fixed power and fixed speed which is in contrast with the working mode of inverter AC systems.
In a conventional air conditioning system, when the compressor is switched on it starts working on its full potential, consuming more energy and stops automatically when the temperature level that has been set is reached by the thermostat. Instead of the compressor, the fan in the AC starts operating.
Thus the compressor can be in, on or off mode while the AC is switched on. If you change the temperature level, the compressor starts to work again from scratch. It stops and starts multiple times and this cycle continues till the air conditioning unit is turned off.
Thus the non-inverter AC works with a fixed heating/cooling capacity.
Video: Inverter vs Non-Inverter AC
How is inverter AC different from non-inverter AC?
Although the functions of inverter AC and non-inverter AC are the same, the major difference lies in the compressor technology. There are two types of compressors possible in an AC unit – fixed speed compressor and inverter compressor or variable speed compressor.
While a non-inverter AC uses a fixed speed compressor, an inverter AC uses a variable speed compressor in which the speed of the compressor can be adjusted to maintain a consistent temperature. Let us consider how inverter ACs and non-inverter ACs differ in various aspects.
On the technology used
The inverter AC system uses inverter technology while non-inverter AC uses conventional technology. The inverter controls the power supply frequency of the compressor motor and thus regulates the heating or cooling capacity of the unit.
Thus the variable speed compressor controls the temperature and can provide the right amount of cooling or heating that is needed in the room. While the non-inverter AC cycles between on and off states, the modern inverter ACs are always on.
On its mode of operation
When the AC switch is turned on, the compressor in the inverter air conditioner runs at its full capacity. It adjusts the compressor speed and thus regulates the temperature as required. Whereas, non-inverter air conditioners stop the compressor when the desired room temperature is reached.
It restarts again when the room temperature rises.
On energy consumption
Although the compressor is always on, the power utilized by it depends upon the temperature of the incoming air or the level that is marked in the thermostat. There is a sensor inside the unit that can adjust the power consumption depending on the room temperature.
Thus, it is more energy-efficient, unlike the non-inverter air conditioning units in which the compressor goes through repeated on-off processes leading to higher power consumption.
On efficiency and comfort
With inverter AC technology, you can be ensured of moderate temperature throughout the duration when the system is switched on. As it does not switch between on and off modes, the operation will be quieter compared to the non-inverter ones.
The compressor turns on and off multiple times in a non-inverter unit and subsequently creates a lot of noise. Moreover, the cooling is even in the inverter AC system leading to better comfort in the room. But in non-inverter units, the compressor is switched off until there is a temperature increase in the room.
It is less efficient when it comes to operations.
In terms of cost and durability
When you compare different AC systems, inverter-based units are an expensive option but a long-term investment. Less maintenance, low power usage, and better performance are added benefits of choosing inverter AC units. Moreover, the inverter AC unit works at a maintained speed and it does not have to work hard.
As a result, there is less wear and tear for the machine leading to an increased life span. However, the non-inverter units have less lifespan because of the on-off frequency.
Advantages of Choosing Inverter AC
The inverter AC technology comes in with a lot of advantages for the user as well as nature. There has been a sharp rise in the demand for inverter-based air conditioning systems over its non-inverter counterparts in recent years.
While low energy bills are the top reason for homeowners to opt for inverter AC, the government pushes it for the benefit of nature. Listed below are the various reasons behind the increasing demand for inverter-based air conditioning systems over non-inverter ones.
Disadvantages of Inverter AC
Although there are numerous advantages of using an inverter AC, it comes with a few cons as well. Here are a few reasons why people prefer non-inverter ACs to inverter ones.
Finally, inverter AC vs. non-inverter AC – Which is best for you?
In order to make an informed decision on air conditioning systems, you should consider various factors ranging from the manufacturer’s reputation to the maximum temperature of your locality.
Out of it, room size should be an important consideration as the capacity of the required AC unit should be based on the size of the room.
While you calculate the budget of owning the AC system, add the maintenance and repair charges as well.
If you are searching for an air conditioning system that ensures comfortable temperature, saves money and energy while being environmental-friendly, then inverter-based AC is the right choice for you. It is worth the money if you are planning for the long term.
With an in-built inverter AC unit, you can save significantly on your energy bills while ensuring a comfortable temperature inside the room. As it comes in compact sizes and stylish designs, it is aesthetically pleasing as well. In a nutshell, it is a cost-effective cooling solution for your home or office.
On the other side, if you are on a shoestring budget and your requirement is just to cool a small room, non-inverter AC is a reasonable choice. It helps you save money as the units are less costly. However, if you are aiming for cooling a room that is small in size (generally below 120 sq ft), inverter ACs is not the right choice.
Also, if you are using the AC for less than two hours a day, inverter AC could turn out to be a waste of money.