Inverter AC Vs Non-Inverter AC, Which One is Right For You?

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“Did you know that you can save about 30%-50% of electricity bills on your air conditioner using the inverter technology?”

Air conditioners are available in two variants – inverter AC and non-inverter AC.

When purchasing a unit, it must be very confusing for an individual to decide which one to buy.

For making an informed choice, it is important to understand what an inverter technology is, and how it impacts the functioning of your air conditioner.

In this blog post, we have provided differences between inverter AC and non-inverter AC. Continue reading to get the best information possible.

Main Differences Between an Inverter and Non-Inverter AC

Do you want to know what is the key difference between an inverter AC and non-inverter AC? It is the ‘compressor’.

An inverter air conditioner has a multiple speed compressor, whereas a non-inverter AC has a single-speed compressor.

The inverter AC compressor runs all the time with variable speed. It adjusts or regulates the speed according to the cooling requirement of the room. Once the room reaches the optimum temperatures, the compressor motor lowers its speed, controls the flow rate of the refrigerant, and saves energy. 

Contrary to the above, the non-inverter motors run at high speed all the time or do not run. When the room temperature is hot, the compressor motor turns on and runs at high speed. Once the room becomes cool the motor turns off automatically. It is a continuous on/off that repeats, consuming more energy and making more noise. 

Now that you understood the basic difference, let us try to learn the other differences and parameters that distinguish the duo. 

Inverter AC Vs. Normal AC: The Real Difference

Let me walk you through the key differences between a non-inverter AC and an inverter AC, as mentioned below:

Non-Inverter ACInverter AC
The compressor switches on runs at full speed and switches off once the room reaches the set temperature.The compressor runs at variable speed all the time. It consistently adjusts its speed according to the room temperature and set temperature.
It turns on and off abruptly and creates lot of noise when running.It does not turn on and off but regulated its fan speed accordingly. It is very quiet and does not make any noise.
The compressor switches off after the room attains the set temperature.Runs constantly to maintain a steady temperature throughout in the room. 
Since the compressor keeps switching on and off frequently, your AC unit consumes lot of energy.You can save up to 50% electricity when compared to regular ACs.
Has temperature variationsEliminates temperature fluctuations.
Less expensive in comparison to inverter ACs.Inverter AC units are expensive when compared to the non-inverter air conditioners.
A non-inverter AC has normal air filtersInverter ACs have multiple air filters like carbon filters, HEPA filters, blue, etc.,
It needs less maintenance when compared to inverter ACs. The cost of spare parts is also less.It has higher maintenance, and the cost of spare parts cost is also higher.
Ideal for homes or places that use ACs occasionally or for 10-12 hours.Ideal for office spaces or homes that use AC for more than 15 hours per day.

Now, let us discuss in detail about these differences.

1. Energy-efficiency 

An inverter AC is energy-efficient in comparison to a conventional AC. The inverter technology enables the compressor to work consistently at variable speeds, thereby consuming less power.

On the other hand, a non-inverter AC operates at full speed and hence utilizes maximum power. As said earlier, you can save about 30%-50% of electricity bills on your air conditioner using the inverter technology.

The other advantage of using an air conditioner with inverter technology is the start-up time for the compressor, which is about 30% lesser than a conventional AC. You can save electricity power here on the start-up power, as well, because the AC requires it only once. Since the non-inverter AC compressor keeps switching on and off at irregular times, it requires start-up power frequently.

2. Noise level

We all know that every air conditioner makes noise, especially when the compressor motor switches on. In an inverter AC, the compressor motor turns on only once and keeps working unceasingly at a lower speed. Hence, it works quieter than regular ACs.

The compressor of a non-inverter AC turns on and off too often, making much noise. The noisy operation (loud start and stop sounds) can annoy occupants.

3. Cooling Speed

The inverter technology of air conditioners enables faster and efficient cooling than a regular one. We already know how inverter technology works in an AC.

The inverter AC uses more power initially to cool the room and then continues to operate at multiple speeds to maintain the temperature stability. This offers precision temperature control, thereby increasing energy efficiency, unlike its counterpart.

4. Cooling Experience 

When it comes to the cooling experience, an inverter AC is much efficient than a non-inverter one. The inverter AC unit keeps operating at different speeds to regulate the temperature set on the thermostat. This way, it stabilizes the cooling in the room and cancels the temperature fluctuations.

In a non-inverter system, the compressor shuts down immediately after the room reaches the thermostat temperature. It would start again only when there is a change in the room temperature than the one set on the thermostat. Hence, you experience temperature variations when occupying a room with non-inverter AC.

5. Ability to Handle Voltage Fluctuation

Many electrical appliances like a television, refrigerator, etc., require a stabilizer to handle the voltage fluctuations and protect them from power outages. When using an air conditioner with inverter technology, you do not need a stabilizer to safeguard your system. The in-built technology empowers and equips the system to handle the voltage fluctuations, and further helps it to perform effectively all the time.

Contrary to this, a non-inverter AC encounters start-up trouble, consumes more power during low voltage, and may even get damaged.

6. Eco-Friendliness 

All of us are aware of refrigerants or a cooling agent in the air conditioner responsible for the cooling process. Most inverter ACs use eco-friendly refrigerants like Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These have zero potential for ozone depletion and a little potential for global warming.

Unlike the inverter ACs, most non-inverter air conditioners use Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) as refrigerants. R-22 is the commonly used refrigerant that has less potential for ozone depletion but can cause global warming. Hence, an inverter AC is an environmental-friendly option, which is gaining wider acceptance.

7. Air-filters 

Most non-inverter air conditioners available today come with a standard quality air filter that needs regular cleaning. When these filters get clogged with dust or allergens, they fail to purify the air. This hampers the cooling capacity of the unit.

On the other hand, most ACs with inverter technology have multiple filters like HEPA filters, carbon filters, blue filters, etc. They are specially designed to obstruct the entry of any impurities or allergens into the air. These filters purify the air and guarantee healthy, pure, and cool air within the room.

8. Durability

An inverter AC is durable than its counterpart because of the smooth running of the compressor. We all learned earlier that there are no fluctuations, as well. Hence, the lifespan of an inverter AC is much longer than a non-inverter system, which experiences frequent fluctuations.

9. Cost

Cost is the most important aspect to consider when choosing an air conditioner. An inverter AC is comparatively expensive than a regular one. However, when considering the performance, functionality, and longevity of the appliance. Moreover, you could save a lot on the electricity bills in the long run.

A non-inverter AC is cheaper, but one has to incur huge electricity bills. Moreover, improper and irregular maintenance of the system may lead to unexpected repair that can prove to be expensive.

How does an Air Conditioner Work?

Air conditioners work on the principle of refrigeration. They use a coolant liquid called a refrigerant for cooling the air in the room by converting the liquid to gas and then back to liquid again.

How does AC Works

Firstly, the warm air inside the room is collected by the internal unit of the AC. The compressor converts the refrigerant coolant liquid into a gas and pumps it onto the coils inside the inside unit. 

Apart from the refrigerants, ACs also introduce various special chemicals which all condense on these coils. These refrigerants and the chemicals have special properties which, when subjected to compression, enter a low-temperature state.

The warm air that has been collected inside will be passed onto these very cool coils which will absorb all the heat in the air and displace it with their own coolness. This cooling process is called as phase conversion.

While the inside unit tends to the cooling of the room, the outside unit has the compressor and it has a secondary yet very important function. The compressor can be either rotary or reciprocating. To convert the gas back to liquid again. This is so that the cooling efficiency of the air conditioner is maintained. 

The compressor will subject the produced gas to high pressures at which it converts back to the refrigerant liquid. During this process, it generates a lot of heat which is disposed off the unit with the large fans that you see in ACs as hot air.

How does an Home AC Works

The entire process goes on and on in a cyclical loop which ensures that the room is cool, at all times. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Inverter ACs cool down the room slowly than a regular air conditioner?

No. It is actually the opposite. Both of these air conditioners cool down the room in a similar pace but the inverter AC cools down the room faster. Sure, the non-inverter blows in the cool air but you are forgetting the very essential thing that constitutes of the inverter AC. 
An inverter AC is more on to control the temperature of the room rather than cool it or heat it up in a jiffy. So technically speaking, an inverter AC actually cools down the room faster than a non-inverter AC

2. Which saves more energy? Inverter AC or a Non-Inverter regular air conditioner?

Did you know that the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (the BEE) which gives out the star rating for electrical appliances has concluded this argument. It says that a simple BEE 3-star inverter AC can save as high as 7% of energy when compared to a BEE 5 star normal split AC. 

3. Are inverter ACs available in the window models?

No. Inverter Air conditioners are only available in split AC unit models. They are not available in window models. Also, given the bare existence and low preference for the window models, it is highly unlikely that there would be any possible line of window inverter ACs anytime soon.

Wrapping it up:

Wrapping up, whether you want to choose an inverter AC or a standard non-inverter unit, it is all dependent on the user, his usage, and the budget. If you want us to recommend it, we will cast our vote for an AC with inverter technology.

Let us say you use the AC for a minimum of four hours per day. It is suggestible to go for an inverter AC. If you are an occasional user who limits the usage or operation of the machine to less than four hours, a non-inverter AC would be the suitable choice.

Although an inverter AC is expensive than a non-inverter appliance, it is an affordable option upfront.

I hope this blog cleared the air for you. If you still have any queries and want to know more about inverter and non-inverter ACs, write to us in the comments section below.

Do check out our buying guide on the list of the best inverter air conditioners in India (1 Ton, 1.5 Ton, 2 Ton). We also came up with a list of the best non-inverter ACs to buy in India here.

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