Inverter AC vs Non Inverter AC

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
source

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 inverter ton 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. It maintains a nearly constant temperature inside the room

2. Can cool the room faster in turbo mode where it increases its tonnage by increasing the compressor speed.

2. Can consume less power and less electricity if operated constantly for long hours

3. The compressor is less noisy as it does not goes ON & OFF making a noticeable noise

4. Can operate on variable voltage, making it work without a stabilizer to a certain range.

5. Can last longer from normal air conditioners.

Disadvantage of inverter AC

There is no such disadvantage of an inverter AC. Though it is a little more expensive than the normal AC 

inverter vs non-inverter AC (Comparison)

FactorsNon Inverter ACInverter AC
Compressor SpeedFixedVariable
Cooling CapacityFixedVariable
Power ConsumptionDepends on TonLess if runs for long hrs
PriceNormalCosts More
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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