Difference Between Inverter AC and Non Inverter AC

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A few years earlier, new air conditioners were coming with inverter technology in it.

These were the time when you argued with the salesmen about inverter AC being a better AC or not

And the salesman sold you the AC with the advantages it holds, the electricity bills it can reduce on and the money it can save.

By any chance are the salesman claims true?

Let’s find in this post about the difference between inverter and non inverter AC

To find the difference between them you need to know the basics of how AC works.

How traditional ACs work

Here we will take a split air conditioner for example

A split AC has two units – an outdoor unit & an indoor unit. And a coiling wire between them to circulate the refrigerant gas

The indoor unit has an evaporator and expansion valve

The outdoor unit has a condenser and compressor

There is coiling inside both units which is connected to each other making a big circuit.

This circuit of coiling contains refrigerant gas. This refrigerant gas keeps circulating throughout the circuit

Until now we discussed about components of AC

  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Evaporator
  • Expansion Valve

Now let’s look at the mechanism of refrigeration

how refrigeration in AC works

It all starts from the compressor – the compressor compresses the refrigerant, this leads to heating up of the refrigerant.

The compressor also circulates the refrigerant throughout the coiling

The hot refrigerant passes by the condenser coiling in the outdoor unit where the heat from the refrigerant passes to the surrounding.

Then refrigerant goes in the expansion valve which expands it – making it cooler.

This cooler refrigerant passes through the evaporator inside of the indoor unit – being cooler it absorbs heat from the room making it cool.

Again this refrigerant goes back in the compressor and the cycle goes on until the room inside attains the set temperature.

In the case of normal non inverter AC, when the set temperature is achieved the cycle shuts down by the compressor which itself shuts down

So AC produces no cooling at this point. Then the room temperature rises slowly

The AC detects that and the compressor starts again making the refrigeration cycle on

It again cools the room to the set temperature, then again shuts down and this cycle goes on and on. 

With time the compressor goes ON & OFF.

After understanding how the normal AC works. Now let’s understand how an inverter AC works.

What is inverter AC? How does it work?

Everything is the same, every component used in the normal one is also used in an inverter AC.

Only the type of compressor used is different. The compressor used in the normal AC is a constant speed compressor – it operates on a certain frequency with a fixed speed.

While the compressor in an inverter AC can run on a variable frequency and variable speed making the refrigerant flow variable and cooling capacity also variable.

So a 1 ton inverter AC can cool the room by changing its compressor speed eventually changing the cooling capacity to work as 1.2 ton AC at peak performance or as 0.8 ton AC at the lowest performance

Also, the compressor does not shut off, it runs continuously. 

When temperature is set in this type of AC, the compressor runs at its normal speed until the set temperature is achieved.

Then the compressor slows down in speed instead of shutting down, it still cools the room but with low power eventually maintaining the optimum temperature without variance and also consuming less electricity.

The compressor speed can change according to the room temperature

Advantage of inverter AC

1. Maintains constant temperature after the thermostat temperature is achieved

Unlike a non-inverter AC where the compressor shuts down after the desired room temperature set via the AC remote is achieved, for inverter AC keeps on running but with lower power.

This maintains the temperature of your room.

Suppose you set the temperature to 24, then in case of normal non-inverter AC the temperature will fluctuate between 24-26 but with inverter AC the temperature will remain 24.

2. No uneasiness due to fluctuating room temperature

With non-inverter AC room temperature fluctuates. This is directly linked to our feeling of comort and uneasiness.

Temperature fluctuations leads to uneasiness.

Inverter AC maintains the ambience of your room, this leads to prolonged comfort.

3. Can cool the room faster in turbo mode

Turbo mode is only possible with inverter AC where the appliance can increase its cooling with the help of variable compressor.

Very beneficial when we want quick cooling after returning home from some work.

4. Consumes Less power and electricity

Inverter AC’s are highly efficient in terms of power consumption and electricity saving when compared to nomal ACs.

EER or ISEER rating is the key factor to judge the efficiency of any aircon.

One can compare this rating between a normal and inverter AC and he will find the efficiency rating to be higher in inverter AC.

That is why variable compressor inverter AC saves power.

Also with pronloged usage inverter AC goes way further in saving electricty.

The longer is one’s daily usage the more he will save electricity when comparing with non-inverter AC. You can save 20-30% electricty with inverter AC when used for longer hours like say 14-18 hours.

5. The compressor is less noisy

We know that for constant speed compressor it goes in ON & OFF cycle, this makes noticeable noise, this can also hamper one’s sleep and comfort.

However this is only true for window AC as the compressor it also attached inside the same box.

6. Can operate without stabilizer

The inverter AC’s can run on varying voltage, thus making such AC free from stabilizer use.

However it still have an extent upto where it can operate wtihout getting damaged. For example an AC may have 146-290 volt operating range and after this range it may get damaged.

Read More: Do I need voltage stabilizer for inverter AC

7. Can last longer from normal air conditioners

Theoritically seen such AC’s can last longer from non-inverter AC. However this is opposite today as manufactures are cutting cost on build quality and we are seeing that AC’s from major brands get leaks, damage within 2-4 years.

Disadvantage of inverter AC

There is no such disadvantage of an inverter AC. It only cost more by 10-20% from traditional ACs.

This gap will also vanish in the coming days.

Inverter vs Non Inverter AC (Comparison)

FactorsNon Inverter ACInverter AC
Compressor SpeedFixedVariable
Cooling CapacityFixedVariable
Power ConsumptionDepends on TonLess if run for long hrs
Price10-20% costlier
Compressor NoiseNormalLow
Fast CoolingNot possiblePossible
Motor usedInductionBLDC

Which one to buy

There are two types of air conditioner – window & split

In the case of window AC – there are no inverter window ACs available in the market as no company makes it. Only LG is making inverter window AC as of now.

So you have no choice but to go with normal window AC

While in the case of split AC, companies have stopped manufacturing non inverter ACs.

So you are left only with split inverter ACs.

Inverter technology in air conditioning is the biggest innovation in a decade. 

Now dual inverter and triple inverter air conditioners by LG & Samsung are available in the market which are more efficient in cooling and electricity consumption

Wrapping Up

In this post, I explained about inverter vs non inverter AC.

Technology is changing rapidly. And products become obsolete with time.

So when purchasing a product it’s best to grab the latest one. 

Whether it be in any AC, the most important factor to choose in it is the tonnage which decides the cooling power, and the BEE rating that decides how electricity efficient it will be reducing bills.

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