To better explain the advantages of air conditioning units that use inverter technology, first, we need to understand what familiar non-inverter air conditioners actually do.
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All air conditioners, regardless of the technology, use a chemical called a refrigerant. These chemicals are easily able to convert from gas to a liquid and are used within an air conditioner to transfer heat from the air inside your property to the outside.
All air conditioners use three basic components to effectively use the refrigerant for transferring heat: a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator. The compressor is the most power-hungry component of most air conditioning units. It squeezes the refrigerant, increasing the pressure and temperature of the chemical. The refrigerant is then pumped into the condenser coils on the outside, where they are allowed to radiate heat. The cooled refrigerant then flows into the evaporator coils where a fan blows air from your space over it. This releases water vapor and also cools down the air, providing us with the comfort that we’ve come to associate with air conditioners.
In a traditional non-inverter-type air conditioner, the compressor will typically consume an enormous amount of energy, regardless of the thermostat settings. This is because older compressor motors are restricted to just one static speed. Temperature is adjusted by sending timed electrical pulses to the motor, stopping the motor, and restarting it. While this serves to effectively control the temperature in a room, this consumes a lot of power and generates a significant amount of noise.
A modern air conditioner with a DC-AC power inverter, however, is able to change the compressor motor’s speed, without relying on crude ON-OFF cycles. Inverters, unlike traditional motors, offer a variable speed, allowing an appliance such as an air conditioner to use only as much energy as it needs to complete a process. This results in better-operating efficiency and brings several benefits with it as well. Some of these benefits include:
1.) Lower operating costs
Since inverter motors will only use as much energy as they need for your desired temperature settings, you can expect to see huge savings on your energy bills when you switch to an inverter-based air conditioner. You can save up to 58% on your energy consumption, compared to when you use a traditional air conditioner. Considering that air conditioners tend to be the most power-hungry appliances in most households, these savings may very well cover your initial investment in just a few years.
2.) Longer service life
Since an inverter motor does not need to work as hard as a regular fixed-rate motor, less wear and tear is incurred on its moving parts. There are also fewer if any, voltage peaks compared to a regular air conditioner, preventing potentially hazardous electric system failures. This also translates to less waste heat and warping of components, resulting in much longer service life for your air conditioner. This ultimately means that compared to a regular air conditioner, an inverter air conditioner will present a much better value.
3.) Quieter operation
If you’re used to the noise of a regular air conditioner in your home or office, the reduced noise of an inverter air conditioning unit can be a pleasant surprise. Many users report that they sometimes forget the unit is there. As the motor only works as hard as it needs to, there is less of a need to keep it running at full capacity, thereby reducing the amount of running noise.
Regular air conditioners also have a characteristic thud when they start-up and when they reach the desired thermostat temperature, an unavoidable consequence of having a static motor speed. An inverter unit’s compressor motor can speed up and slow down much more smoothly.
4.) Faster start uptime
An inverter AC will generally reach the desired thermostat temperature faster than a non-inverter equivalent. An inverter will be able to use much more power for the initial phase, then progressively diminish it as it gets close to the needed temperature. This will be much slower for a non-inverter AC, as their motors’ stop-start cycles necessitate a less precise operation. They will tend to make the room colder than the target temperature for a short time before shutting down, restarting when the room becomes warmer than the target temperature.
5.) Better comfort
The biggest reason for getting an inverter boils down to user comfort. The quieter operation and precise temperature control make them perfect for getting a good night’s sleep and preventing untimely distractions in the office. The enormous energy savings and the reduced impact on the environment can also quell some of the guilt and mental stress many of us have to overrun what was traditionally a very power-hungry appliance.
Air conditioners with a DC-AC power inverter present more than enough benefits to outweigh their slightly higher initial cost compared to non-inverter units. As the technology improves and becomes more widespread, the initial costs can only come down further. We may even see non-inverter air conditioners disappear from the shelves in our lifetimes.