What is an Inverter AC? What is non-inverter AC and what’s the difference between them?
This seems to be a common question from clients when deciding on what type of air conditioner they would like to buy. These days though, you will find most air conditioners are inverters. But why does it matter and why is an inverter a better system?
What is an inverter AC?
Inverter AC refers to air conditioners using inverter technology with the compressors (main cooling device). This technology allows air conditioners the ability to change the speed of the compressor motor depending upon the desired cooling or heating requirements. This flexibility to change the speed of the motor helps in balancing the power load of the AC and hence increases efficiency.
The compressors in traditional or non-inverter air conditioners always run at full speed or stops completely depending upon the temperature requirements.
How does the inverter AC work?
The inverter AC generally takes quicker time to reach the desired temperature, are more efficient and less noisy. Let’s see why this is the case.
Let’s take an example of 10 kW non-inverter AC vs 10kW inverter based AC.
- Generally, a 10 kW inverter air conditioner has maximum capacity of around 12 kW and the minimum capacity of around 3 kW. So on a hot day, the inverter air conditioner can boost start at 12 kw capacity hence cooling the room faster than a non-inverter air conditioner which always has a constant speed of 10 kw power.
- Once the desired temperature of the room is achieved, the inverter ac reduced the motor speed between ranges of 3 kW to 10 kW to maintain the temperature hence consuming less electricity. In case of the non-inverter ac, it stops the motor completely when the desired temperature is achieved. However, as the room temperature starts increasing again it the motor has to start at full 10 kW capacity thus consuming more electricity to meet the desired temperature again.
- Since the motor of the inverter AC always runs at variable speed, the temperature of the room is quite consistent and consumes less energy in the long run. On the other hand, you will experience more variance in the temperature of the room and energy consumption because of the all-or-none characteristics of the motor.
The advantages of inverter AC:
1. Lower energy and power bills.
As we can see from the above example, the main reason for their popularity is that they save you money in the long term on your energy and power bills. In most cases, an inverter air conditioning system will be more expensive, yet much more efficient. It tends to be a matter of initially spending slightly more money to save more money in long term. Eventually the efficiency of the unit will pay for itself in energy savings.
According the E3 or Australian energy-rating program, the inverter based AC tends to be very efficient when they run at part load operation i.e. not at the peak output level, which is common in most household situations. This is because the inverter air conditioning can operate at a variable speed, meaning the compressor does not have to run at full speed constantly.
2. Noise Level
Similarly, another important factor when choosing your air conditioner is noise. An inverter produces less noise as it is working at a lower power mode, and the inverter does not turn on and off all the time like a non-inverter. The non-inverter AC goes through cycle of starting and stopping the compressor hence you can hear a noise every time the compressors starts.
3. Faster Cooling or Heating
As we discussed in the example above, the 10kW inverter AC usually has the ability to run at 12 kW or more initially (depending upon the tech specs) to reach a desired temperature. Whereas the non-inverter AC can only run maximum at 10kW power. Hence, the inverter AC will take less time to reach a desired temperature faster.
4. Less Maintenance
Because of the consistent running of the compressor in an inverter AC it puts less pressure on the power load and on the AC components. Hence, the AC tends to last longer. Whereas in non-inverter based AC, the compressor always run at peak power load. Furthermore, the continuous start and stop characteristics of non-inverter AC also puts more demands on the AC components as compared to inverted based motor.
What about Non- inverter AC?
In most cases choosing an inverter based air conditioning is your best option. They are designed with newer technology and you will find most brands these days are inverter based technology, however in some cases non-inverter AC may will work.
Cost is usually a deciding factor as a non-inverter based air conditioner will cost less than an inverter to buy. However, as with anything it is important to consider how often you will use the system as a non-inverter can end up costing you more in the long run. At the end of the day, a non-inverter would be recommended as a solution that is only used here and there rather than an every day system.
At Anrac, we can show you the pros and cons of all factors that can affect your decision-making and help you with the most accurate and efficient solution to choosing a system.
Each commercial or residential property will be different and it is best to talk to an Air conditioning specialist when deciding on what system suits your needs.