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Does Inverter Air Conditioner Save Electricity?

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We often hear that inverter air conditioners may save us up to 50% on our electricity bill compared to a traditional air conditioner, suggesting that the minimum savings we can have are estimated to be about 30%. 

The real question is, do inverter ACs really make less energy for consumers to save money, or it is just another marketing hype? If you are curious about inverter air conditioners and their energy efficiency, keep reading to have a better idea of how inverter technology helps save electricity.


What is an Inverter Aircon (Inverter AC)?

Inverter Air Conditioner

Inverter technology maintains a set temperature to save energy consumption. In an inverter aircon, the compressor runs by reducing the speed of the motor after the room achieves a certain temperature. 

In layman’s terms, an inverter aircon is a technology that stops air conditioners when the room reaches the cooling requirement, making the energy costs less.


How Do Inverter Air Conditioners Work?

Inverter air conditioning runs constantly at a variable compressor speed. The inverter compressor will manage the motor speed to keep the desired temperature. For example, the set temperature is at 20°C. To achieve this temperature setting, the compressor will run at full speed. Once the set temperature is achieved, the compressor will slow down to a pace sufficient to keep the low temperature, but it will not switch off, unlike non-inverter ACs. 

Inverters boost the ability of the compressor by cooling to attain the set temperature faster. It also regulates the frequency of the compressor to keep the set temperature stable without consuming too much electricity. Therefore, inverters work by controlling the compressor while maintaining the room cool. 

An inverter air conditioner never switches off its compressor and adjusts the load based on the temperature of the room. This simply means that it will never operate at maximum power, saving more energy.


Inverter Aircon Versus Non-Inverter Aircon

The main difference between inverter aircon and non-inverter aircon is their compressor motor. The compressor is the component of the air conditioning system that compresses the refrigerant gas into liquid form.

An inverter aircon works with a controllable compressor speed basis. The lower the speed, the less power is consumed, making the electricity cost cheaper. With an energy-saving AC, you can save on your electric bill even if you are running the AC for more than 8 hours.

Non-inverter air conditioners, on the other hand, will run at full speed to achieve the desired temperature. It will switch off once reached. When the temperature changes, it will restart at high speed and will repeat the procedure. Non-inverter air conditioners tend to maintain the temperature in the room by constantly cooling them.

Every time the compressor of the non-inverter aircon is turned back on, a large current spike occurs, causing more electricity consumption. The compressor motor speed of the non-inverter type is set to default as the procedure will be repeated indefinitely. In this instance, you may wind up spending even more money on your electricity bill. 


Which One Should You Choose?

Inverter air conditioners may provide more energy savings and better cooling, but they are also more expensive. If you want to use an air conditioner for a short period of time during summer, chances are, you would choose a non-inverter air conditioner.

If you are planning to use your AC frequently for a long period of time, you may want to opt for the inverter model. It may cost you a little more today, but you will undoubtedly save a lot more money on your electric bill. 

Another factor to consider is the heat load. Since the day-to-day temperature tends to be unstable, it may affect the heat load that the AC has to bear. If you are planning to use the aircon frequently, it is best to let the external unit decide on the running capacity according to the heat load and the temperature you set using inverter types.

Both inverter and non-inverter ACs are largely available in the market. You may also find dependable and quality aircon brand based on your preference. If you are still scouting for the right aircon for your room, you may want to check out our guide on choosing an air conditioner.


Advantages of Inverter Technology

An Inverter AC has a unique feature among other air conditioners. These are the most evident reasons for its popularity:

Energy Efficient Operations

There are no fluctuations and power surges in electricity since the compressor is not continually turning on and off. Inverter air conditioners minimize power usage by over 40% on a yearly basis. They enable the preservation of an ideal temperature while producing cool air and utilizing less energy.

Cost-Effective

Because the power consumption in the operation of an inverter AC is minimal, the electricity bill is likewise low. Therefore, inverter types save money while keeping you cool. It is also cost-effective to buy an inverter air conditioner as it provides better comfort while functioning in low temperatures.

Rapid Cooling

The compressor of non-inverter AC only runs at a predetermined pace, so cooling a room takes a little longer. On the other hand, an inverter AC runs the compressor at high speed to set the temperature more quickly. Just make sure that the outdoor unit of the inverter AC is not exposed to direct sunlight.

Silent Operation

One thing important to mention is how a non-inverter aircon tends to produce more noise. Compared to non-inverter AC, the inverter type of air conditioning operates at a low speed. As the compressor is rather quiet, it makes little to no noise inside your room. 

Longer Pipe

If outdoor units are making your room look ugly, you may want to switch to an inverter AC. Inverter air conditioners have a longer length of pipe, taking the unit away from your line of sight.

Other Advantages

Lesser known but equally essential advantages of inverter aircons include their capacity to run on solar panels and their environmentally benign feature due to their high-quality refrigerants.


Disadvantages of Inverter Technology

However, not everything is perfect when it comes to air conditioning. The main drawbacks of inverter ACs are as follows:

Size

If the inverter AC is quite undersized compared to your room, it will still be able to reach the desired temperature. However, the required compressor speed to maintain the temperature will stay relatively low.

Insulated Space

Inverter air conditioners are only efficient when the space is appropriately insulated. If the insulation is inadequate, the power consumption will be excessive, making your electricity bill rise accordingly.

Expensive Repair and Maintenance

The components that go with inverter AC are costly since their repair and maintenance are expensive. Before making a decision, consider the costs associated when problems arise.

Increase Humidity

If your inverter AC is too strong for your space, it will run numerous brief cycles to keep the temperature stable despite its variable speed. If this happens, the room will become hot or cold without successfully dehumidifying the air. Despite achieving the set temperature, it still maintains a high humidity level that makes the air uncomfortable.

Expensive

Inverter AC is a novel concept as the technology involved is quite new. The market demand for these air conditioners is still low. To top it all off, it is pricey because of its premium components, so inverter AC is not a cost-effective option for those on a tight budget.


Is an Inverter Aircon Worth Buying?

We believe that an inverter air conditioner is a worthwhile investment for your home remodeling. 

While it is more expensive than standard non-inverter air conditioning, the inverter air conditioner saves more money on power costs in the long run, outweighing the price difference.

However, you can only save money with an inverter type of air conditioner if you know how to utilize it correctly. By knowing a few tricks, you can optimize your savings while keeping your room cool.


Final Thoughts

Inverter

If you’re thinking about buying an air conditioner, one of the greatest concerns you might have is how much it will cost on your electric bill. Improved inverter technology in air conditioners may be the answer to lessening your concern about its effect on your electricity bills.

However, if you would want an air conditioner to just help you through the heat without using it frequently, you may want to buy a traditional air conditioner.

When choosing the best aircon unit, you would want to buy the most efficient aircon that will suit your preference, be it an inverter air conditioner or a regular one.

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JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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