Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC: Which One Is Better

Air conditioners now come under essential appliances for many due to the extremely hot weather in India. With global warming on the rise, the worst is yet to come.

Inverter AC is something that is making a lot of noise now a days. Many of us don’t know what is a Inverter AC and does it really have any benefits?

So in this article we will explain what is an inverter AC and what are the key differences between Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC

How do Air Conditioners work?

To understand inverter AC, we need to understand first, How an AC works. An air conditioner or a refrigerator works on the principle that the refrigerant takes the heat from the hot zone ( your room or refrigerator compartment) and dissipates that to the atmosphere.

When the refrigerant is in the evaporator, it is under low pressure and temperature. Also, it is in a gaseous state in the evaporator. It takes the heat from the room and then flows to the compressor.

The compressor then increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas and turns it into a liquid. That liquid then passes through the condenser tubes. While going through the condenser tube, the refrigerant dissipates heat to the atmosphere using natural or forced air circulation.

After that, the gas again goes into the evaporator after passing through expansion valves. The cycle then continues like that.

refrigeration cycle
Refrigeration Cycle

A compressor is called the heart of a refrigerator. Most of the work in a refrigerator is done by a compressor. The compressor has a motor that does create the force to increase the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant. The compressor motor can be a fixed-speed motor or a variable speed motor.

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What Is Inverter AC?

An inverter AC uses a variable speed motor in the compressor. It can adjust the speed according to the heat load. When the load is more, it runs at the highest speed, and when the load is less, it can adjust the speed accordingly.

This type of compressor can also control the amount of refrigerant that should flow based on the load. So the work done by the compressor is optimum based on the load.

Think of a car accelerator. When you need more speed, you press the accelerator, and the car takes more fuel. Right?. The same logic is applicable here also.

Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC: Which One Is Better
Source : BijliBachao

The compressor in Inverter AC does not shut down when the desired temperature is reached. Many people have the misconception that if the compressor is shutting down frequently, they are saving more power. But it is wrong.

Frequent shut down and restart of compressors consume more energy than keeping it running.

An inverter AC, instead of the compressor getting shut down, optimizes the speed of the compressor motor so that it draws less power. So a compressor in an Inverter AC never shuts down but reduces the speed of the motor.

Overall, an inverter AC can save up to 30-50 % of energy than a non-inverter AC.

BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) has made it mandatory to show star ratings for all air conditioners, including inverter air conditioners. Here is the range of ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) for various star-rated air conditioners.

Positive
  • Variable speed compressor
  • Less power consumption
  • More efficient
  • Relatively silent
  • Good lifespan
  • Better cooling performance
Negatives
  • High price
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What Is Non Inverter AC?

Non inverter AC uses a fixed-speed motor. It can not adjust the speed of the motor based on the heat load.

For example, if you set the AC temperature at 25 degrees centigrade, then the compressor will shut down when the temperature reaches 25 degrees.

When the temperature goes beyond 25 degrees, the compressor will start operating again.

This frequent start and stop cause more energy loss. The fixed speed motor used in the compressor always runs either at the highest speed or at no speed. It can not run at optimum speed.

If you notice carefully, you may have heard a ” Tick-Tick” sound from your AC every couple of minutes. This is the sound of the compressor shutting down and starting again. Due to this frequent start and stop, this type of compressor makes a lot of noise.

Positive
  • Low Price
Negatives
  • Fixed speed compressor motor
  • Not energy efficient
  • Makes irritating sound
  • Uneven cooling performance
  • Less efficient
  • Low lifespan
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Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC

We will figure out the difference between Inverter AC vs Non Inverter AC based on following parameters.

Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC: Which One Is Better
Non Inverter AC
Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC: Which One Is Better
Inverter AC
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The Compressor Unit

The basic difference between inverter ac and non-inverter AC lies in the compressor unit. It is actually the motor that makes all the difference.

In an inverter AC, the speed of the compressor motor is variable. More heat load means more speed.

Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC: Which One Is Better
Compressor

In the case of a non-inverter AC, the compressor motor speed is fixed. It will either run at full speed or it will shut down.

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Efficiency

Inverter AC’s are more energy efficient as the compressor does not shut down and restarts frequently. This saves a lot of power.

Non-Inverter AC’s are power-hungry due to the frequent shutdown and restart of the compressor motor.

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Performance

Performance-wise, non-inverter AC’s makes a lot of sense. Inverter compressors control the motor’s speed based on the heat, but they can also control the amount of refrigerant that is getting into the compressor.

Inverter AC’s use the optimum amount of refrigerant, optimum amount of power without sacrificing the cooling performance.

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Noise

Inverter AC makes less noise as it does not shut down until you shut down the AC. Whereas a non-inverter AC always makes loud sounds due to frequent start and stop.

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Cooling

In an inverter AC, you will always get even cooling. This is due to the variable speed compressor motor. Whereas in non-inverter AC, sometimes you will feel too much cool, and sometimes you may feel that AC is not cooling down properly.

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Realiability

Inverter AC compressors last longer than non-inverter AC compressors. The life of a compressor depends on how much load you are putting on it and how many times it was started and stopped.

Non-inverter AC compressor always runs at peak load and has a widespread start and top cycle. So these compressors are about to die sooner than an inverter AC compressor.

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Cost

The initial cost of an inverter AC is indeed much higher than a non-inverter AC. The reason behind it is that the inverter AC has a different compressor unit, different motors, sensors, etc., whereas a non-inverter AC does not have that.

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Difference Between Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC

AspectsInverter ACNon Inverter AC
CompressorAlways OnFrequent start and stop
Power consumptionLowHigh
Cooling performanceStableUneven
Time to reach the desired temperatureQuickLate
Compressor Motor typeVariable speed motorFixed Speed motor
CostExtremely CostlyRelatively cheap
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Inverter AC Power Consumption

Power consumption is one of the most important factors that must be considered while buying an air conditioner. Let us take a look into the matter in detail.

pic energy consumption
Power Saving By Inverter AC

In an inverter AC, the power consumption is lower because the compressor speed is controllable. But how much lesser is it really? Studies have shown that inverter ac power consumption is at least 30-50% lower than a non-inverter AC.

If you are looking forward to buying an inverter AC and are worried about how it will affect your electricity bill, the above video will help you.

The difference between inverter ac and non-inverter ac becomes more prominent with its power consumption. Since the compressor speed cannot be controlled and works with the same intensity throughout, the power consumption is definitely much more.

BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) has made it mandatory for all refrigerators and air conditioners to have the BEE energy label rating card on the product. Here is a sample of how a BEE label looks like.

Inverter AC Vs Non Inverter AC
BEE Star Rating

Here is a chart showing the power consumption (KwHR or Number Of units) of Inverter AC and Non-Inverter AC

# Of Stars.75 Ton1 Ton1.5 Ton2 Ton
1 Star Non Inverter62784312461648
2 Star Non Inverter59680011841626
3 Star Inverter & Non Inverter542 74711041448
4 Star Inverter4646459451293
5 Star Inverter4505548401113
The list assumes that you will be running the AC for 1600 hours a year at full load
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Conclusion: Inverter AC vs Normal AC

I hope this comparison between Inverter AC Vs. Non-Inverter AC gave you enough insights in choosing the best air conditioner for your requirement. Personally, I always prefer an Inverter AC as it saves a lot of power over Non-Inverter AC’s

If you still have any doubts or questions, please write in the comment section, and I will be happy to help.

You may also like to read

1. Split AC vs Windows AC: Which One Is Better?
2. Best Inverter AC In India 2020

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) On Inverter AC vs Non Inverter AC

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Which is better, Inverter AC or Non Inverter AC?

Inverter AC is always better in terms of cooling, energy consumption, and reliability. But in terms of cost, inverter AC is costlier than non-inverter AC.

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Does inverter AC consume less electricity?

Yes, Inverter AC consumes less electricity

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Does Inverter AC means I can run the AC even during the powercut?

No, You can not. Inverter AC is meant for reducing power consumption only. There is no inbuilt battery.

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Is there any Window AC with inverter technology?

Yes, it does, But hardly you will find any except the LG brand. LG has a window AC with inverter technology.

Rajib is the Co-Founder and the Lead Product Analyst of RiansTech. A BTech in Mechanical Engineering and a veteran in the Home Appliance industry with over 17 years of experience in designing appliances for industry leaders like GE and Whirlpool. He also runs a successful niche blog (RiansClub) on Mechanical Engineering

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