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What is Inverter Aircon?


Buying an air conditioner can be one of the biggest decisions you make for your household, especially in a tropical climate like the Philippines. An air conditioner is one of the most convenient appliances in modern society, and it’s pretty much the best way to beat the heat. But one thing that new buyers have to think about is energy efficiency, and our guide on ‘What is Inverter Aircon?’ is here to help you figure out what that means.

The Philippines is warm all year round, making air conditioners an essential part of any household. If you have the budget and the space for an air conditioner, then you probably already own one, or at least are thinking about getting one

However, not only is this country one of the warmer locales in the world, it’s also home to one of the highest electricity rates in the region. Thus, air conditioners, while essential for a cool and comfortable home, can also be some of the biggest burdens on a household’s electricity bill.

While non inverter air conditioners are popular and often cheaper, there’s a reason why inverter type air conditioner models are getting more popular than ever. An air conditioning system is a lifetime investment, so more people prefer to put their money into something that promises energy savings. And the best option for that is usually an inverter type air conditioner.

Inverter vs Non Inverter

If you’re a potential buyer who’s just started shopping around for a new air conditioner unit, it’s more than likely that you’ve encountered this term. What exactly is it that sets an inverter air conditioner apart from a non inverter air conditioner? Why are non inverter air conditioner units identified as such, and what’s the difference? 

Non inverter air conditioners have been the most popular option for years, and technology has advanced so much that they’re probably the cheaper options if you’re a buyer on a budget. The non inverter air conditioner is the most common type, and you’re likely to find it in most appliance stores or on air conditioner website pages.

However, a non inverter air conditioner, while cheaper upfront, can actually cost you more in terms of power consumption and other costs over the years. A non inverter AC will simply not be as efficient.

What An Air Conditioners Compressor Does

Your non inverter AC may be cheaper and more widely available, but you’re likely to deal with quite a few more headaches than you would with inverter air conditioning. For one, a non inverter AC has a fixed speed compressor motor, compared with inverter technology which allows your AC compressor motor to adjust its speed according to room temperature.

AC compressors are what enable your air conditioners to do their jobs. These AC compressors compress the refrigerant gas, and the faster the speed of the compressor of your AC, the faster your room temperature falls.

Why You Need Inverter Technology In Your AC Unit

But is that all there is to air conditioners? Not exactly. When the speed of the compressor of your AC is fixed, it basically means that it’s going to keep cooling at the set temperature. That means that even if the room temperature is already low, your AC compressor speed remains the same.

A fixed compressor speed in your AC unit can mean a constant level of energy consumption, even if the room temperature may no longer need that level of cooling. Sure, you can adjust the cooling settings, but what happens when you’re asleep or busy?

Put simply, a non inverter AC unit is likely to waste more energy in the long run. Your non inverter AC won’t be able to adjust to changes in the temperature on its own, unlike in an inverter air conditioning system. That just means that your electricity consumption remains constant, even when it doesn’t have to.

Why Picking an Inverter Air Conditioner Is Better For Your Unit

What does this mean for your AC compressor? For one, your AC compressor will be working at a constant speed for longer periods of time, regardless of room temperature. This means that your AC compressor will undergo more wear and tear. You might even end up replacing your AC compressor much faster than you would have otherwise.

Another downside is, of course, the electricity cost. The difference between an inverter and non inverter unit is that the inverter technology allows inverter air conditioners to adjust their AC compressor motor speed.

Thus, if the room temperature is already cool, an inverter AC compressor motor speed can slow down, putting less strain on the unit and the motor. This lessens your AC power consumption and increases AC energy efficiency, keeping air conditioners in better condition for the long term.

How Does An Inverter Type Air Conditioner Work?

If you need a little more convincing, it might be time to look at how exactly an inverter AC is able to work, and what inverter AC technology could mean for you and your household. The best way to do this is to compare an inverter and non inverter AC.

All air conditioners follow the same principle at their core. Every air conditioner unit, including inverter air conditioners, makes use of compressors in order to create the cool air that will then flow around the room. Fan speed plays a vital part in this role, as it’s the fan speed of the compressor electromotor that determines how powerful your cooling capacity is going to be.

In a non inverter model, your non inverter AC compressor maintains its speed throughout its operation. When you need to adjust the temperature of your AC unit, your compressor is already operating on full power.

Once the desired temperature is achieved in the room, the motor then shuts off completely. Soon after, when temperatures rise again, the compressor starts up again, but at maximum speed so cooling the room happens at the same rate. The downside to this is, of course, higher electricity consumption.

Contrast this with an inverter AC, where the electromotor simply slows down or speeds up instead of turning on and off all the way. This is made possible thanks to the variable frequency drives inside inverter air conditioners.

The drive converts AC currents to DC currents, which then pass through an inverter to produce the desired current strength. There’s also a microcontroller that samples the temperature of the air, allowing the inverter to adjust automatically as needed.

In the end, the inverter air conditioner’s performance is much more efficient, leading to longer life for the parts of the inverter air conditioner, as well as lower electricity costs.


Choosing to buy an air conditioner is an investment, and one that should pay off in the long run. In the Philippines, there are tons of inverter and non inverter air conditioner models available for every budget and room size. With so many choices available, why should a Filipino consumer choose to invest in an inverter AC?

Put simply, an inverter air conditioner is the smarter and more efficient choice. Sure, at first glance inverter air conditioner models may have higher prices than non inverter AC units. However, that higher price isn’t for nothing.

You’re actually paying for a lower electricity bill and longer life for your AC parts. That means less maintenance costs and fewer headaches. A home appliance like an inverter AC is meant to last you for years, so every decision you make should be related to that longer lifespan.

A non inverter air conditioner may be cheaper now, but you might find yourself struggling under heavier costs as time goes on. Your cheaper unit might suffer under the strain of repeated use, especially in a tropical country like the Philippines. Your wallet could also face some heavy blows as the summers get hotter and hotter.

By investing in an inverter AC, you’re investing in your future. An inverter air conditioner is more efficient and longer lasting than any other option, and it’s definitely worth the price. If you’re hesitant about putting that money in, don’t be: picking inverter is absolutely the right choice.

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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