Difference Between Inverter AC and Non Inverter AC

Difference Between Inverter AC and Non Inverter AC
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Last summer I was buying an AC and got confused about inverter & non inverter AC, now I know the difference hence I thought of sharing it with you’ll. In this article we will see the difference between inverter and non inverter AC.

An inverter AC has a variable speed compressor which runs at all times and adjusts its speed and tonnage according to the cooling demand. Whereas a non inverter AC has a single speed compressor which runs at the maximum speed whenever cooling is needed and can’t adjust it’s speed and tonnage as per the cooling demand.

Difference between inverter AC and non inverter AC:

The main difference between an inverter AC and a non inverter AC is the type of compressor used, rest all components are the same. Lets look at the working of an inverter AC and non inverter AC to understand the difference between them.

How Non Inverter AC works:

A non-inverter standard air conditioner is designed for peak load performance (summer heat). It has a single speed compressor which runs at maximum speed whenever cooling is needed and shuts down when the room is cooled. The single stage compressor cannot adjust it’s speed and tonnage as per the cooling demand.

To illustrate this lets see an example, It’s summer time, outside temperature is 35 degree Celsius hence you turn ON your 1 Ton non inverter air conditioner and set it at 24 degree Celsius.

  1. The thermostat on your AC senses the room temperature is high and starts the compressor.
  2. The compressor will keep on running at the same speed (maximum speed) till the time your room temperature reaches the desired set temperature (in our case 24 degree Celsius).
  3. Once set temperature is achieved, the compressor will stop.
  4. Compressor will start again when the room temperature goes couple of degrees above the set temperature, an the above steps are followed again.

So in a conventional non-inverter refrigerator the compressor starts and stops frequently and runs at the maximum speed at all times. This frequent start and stop increases the power consumption of your AC as more current is needed to start a compressor than to run it.

Lets see how an inverter AC works around this problem.

How Inverter AC works:

An inverter air conditioner has variable speed compressor which adjusts its speed and tonnage according to the load on the air conditioner.

To illustrate this lets look at the above example from inverter AC standpoint.

It’s summer time, outside temperature is 35 degree Celsius hence you turn ON your 1 Ton inverter AC and set it at 24 degree Celsius.

  1. The thermostat on your inverter AC will sense the room temperature and start the compressor.
  2. The compressor will adjust it speed and tonnage till the desired set temperature is achieved (in our case 24 degree Celsius).
  3. Once set temperature is achieved, the compressor will keep on running at just the enough speed to maintain this temperature.(At no point compressor stops)
  4. If the room temperature starts to increase the compressor will adjust it’s speed to maintain the set temperature.

As you can see that in an inverter air conditioner the compressor adjusts its speed based on the outside temperature, number of people in the room, heat in the room and other factors. This leads to less power consumption and better cooling in comparison to a conventional non inverter air conditioner in which the compressor runs at maximum speed at all times irrespective of the cooling demand.

As the compressor of an inverter air conditioner is always ON the temperature of the room is constant which make the room more comfortable to the body.

inverter-ac-and-non-inverter-ac
Steady Speed Compressor Power Consumption Vs Variable Speed Compressor

Now that you know the difference between inverter and non inverter AC, let’s look at their pros and cons.

Advantages of Inverter Air Conditioner:

Inverter AC is definitely the future of air conditioning because of all the benefits it has to offer over the conventional air conditioner.

  1. The main advantage of inverter AC is that it saves your electricity bill by almost 30% when compared to an AC of same size without inverter technology.
  2. It is more comfortable to sleep in a room with inverter AC because of the constant room temperature in the room. Once you set the temperature, it will remain constant.(you will not feel sudden cold and sudden hot very half an hour)
  3. An inverter AC does not make any sound while running due to its lower speed continuously running compressor.
  4. Inverter AC has a lower operational cost than conventional ACs.

Disadvantages of Inverter Air Conditioner:

The only disadvantage I found in inverter AC is slightly high upfront cost which according to me is a wise investment considering the savings in electricity bill it has to offer.

Advantages of Non Inverter Air Conditioner:

  1. Low upfront cost in comparison to an inverter AC of same size.
  2. Easy maintenance of compressor in case of malfunction.

Disadvantages of Non Inverter Air Conditioner:

  1. High power consumption when compared to inverter AC of same size.
  2. Cooling of the room is not uniform, meaning the room temperature suddenly becomes to cold for the body or too hot for the body.
  3. The compressor is loud and audible and can be problem for some people.

One of the biggest difference between inverter AC and non inverter AC that you would have noticed I have pointed again and again is the power consumption, So how much power does an inverter AC in comparison to a conventional AC, let’s look into it.

Inverter vs non inverter air conditioner power consumption:

Power consumption of an inverter AC is 5% to 10% lower than the conventional non inverter AC. Here is a small table that compares the annual power consumption of inverter AC and non inverter AC. The below table is generated by using data from BEE website and amazon. (annual operation hours assumed be BEE is 1600 hours)

AC Type Inverter AC Non Inverter AC
Whirlpool 1 Ton Split AC712 kWh758 kWh
Whirlpool 1.5 Ton Split AC1,071 kWh 1,106 kWh

You can see that a 1.5 ton 3 star non inverter air conditioner consumes 1,106 kWh in a year whereas a 1.5 ton 5 star inverter air conditioner consumes 1,071 kWh in a year, there is a 4% difference in power consumption of both the AC’s.

If you compare power consumption of a 5 star inverter AC with 1 star non inverter AC then, the difference in their power consumption will be almost 40%.

Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC Cost & Warranty Comparison:

Nowadays all the AC selling companies are pushing inverter AC’s in the maket because of the obvious benefits it offers to the customer. Hence, in the last couple of years the cost of inverter air conditioner has come down drastically and is now almost similar to non inverter air conditioner of same wattage and stars.

Another benefit of buying inverter AC is the 10 year compressor warranty which most manufacturer offers.

AC Type Inverter AC Non Inverter AC
Whirlpool 1 Ton Split ACRs 25,999 Rs 25,499
Whirlpool 1.5 Ton Split ACRs 28,999 Rs 28,490
Compressor Warranty10 Years5 Years

If you are looking to buy an inverter AC for your house or office, then feel free to check out these articles.

Conclusion on inverter Vs non inveter air conditioner:

Inverter AC has a variable speed compressor hence it can adjust it’s speed and tonnage as per cooling needed in the room. If more people are in the room then compressor will run fast, if the room in which AC is installed is small then it will adjust it’s tonnage to reduce power consumption.

Non inverter air conditioner has single speed compressor hence it runs at maximum speed whenever cooling is needed an shuts down once the room is cooled. No matter how many people are there in the room or how small the room is it’s compressor will only run at maximum speed.

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