Buying and installing a new air conditioner can be a chore. There are so many brands and models to choose from, and you don’t really understand the technical terms they use in featuring the specs of a unit.
What’s more is that air conditioner sellers will often ask you if you prefer an inverter type, or a non-inverter type unit. What is the difference between the two, and which should you choose for your home? Read on, and find out how you can make deciding easier!
For any kind of air conditioner, you will need to get air conditioner servicing at some point, so make sure to have a reputable HVAC technician in your contacts for any time you need to schedule a cleaning service or repair.
Choosing which type of air conditioner – inverter or non-inverter, you should get for your home depends on a number of factors. First, you’ll need to consider how big the room you’ll be placing the air conditioner in is. The bigger the room, the more you should consider non-inverters if you’re trying to save up on electricity.
Second, your budget has to play a part in your decision-making process. If you have extra budget to spare, an inverter type air conditioner would work well in most rooms, especially if you consider the savings that come with your electric bill.
However, if you don’t plan to use your air conditioner for more than 4 hours a day, then getting an inverter type air conditioner may just have the same power consumption as a non-inverter type unit of the same horsepower. You may just be better off purchasing a non-inverter type unit at a more moderate price instead.
What’s the Difference between an Inverter and Non-inverter?
The main difference between an inverter type air conditioner and a non-inverter type air conditioner is the compressor speed. The compressor is what transfers the warm air outside, and replaces the air in the room with cooled air. As such, the compressor is an essential aspect of an air conditioner, and is what uses up a lot of energy in the unit.
With an inverter type unit, the compressor speed is controlled once the room reaches the temperature set by the thermostat. The sooner the room reaches the optimum temperature, the sooner the compressor speed slows down to conserve energy. Simply speaking, the inverter type air conditioner uses more advanced technology than non-inverter types.
Non-inverter types work similarly to inverter types, albeit a bit simpler in technology. With a non-inverter type air conditioner, the compressor speed stays constant throughout the entire time the air conditioner is in use, even if the room has surpassed the temperature set by the thermostat. Non-inverter types generally provide cooler air than inverter types.
The claim to fame of the inverter type air conditioning unit is that it conserves more energy and consumes less electricity over time than the non-inverter types. In reality, an inverter type air conditioner will need to run for at least 4 hours each use, up to 12 hours for the maximum effect of its decreased electrical consumption. Any more or less doesn’t contribute to the decrease.
A non-inverter type unit, on the other hand, has a consistent energy consumption, but steadily increases the longer the unit is running. In terms of electrical consumption, the non-inverter type of air conditioners have a zigzag graph of power consumption as the compressor works at full capacity at all times.
Because an inverter air conditioner is more advanced, and uses less power consumption over time, it is priced higher than conventional or non-inverter units, typically 30% increase in price point. While this may seem like a good investment in the long-run, you will need to assess your budget, as well as availability of reputable suppliers and service companies.
When to Use an Inverter
For any home, an inverter type unit works well in a multitude of rooms and spaces. However, if your budget does not allow it, a conventional unit can be used instead, as long as the unit is maintained properly.
In the long-run, you get more savings with an inverter type air conditioner, regardless of the size of the room. Large rooms, however, can be cooled with a moderately powered conventional unit as the consistent compressor speed allows the room to be cooler.
Horsepower really comes into play when it comes to how cool a room can get with any air conditioning unit. A typical studio room can use a 1HP-1.5HP to comfortably cool the space. Any higher, and the air conditioner will not be able to operate at optimal conditions. Large homes and spaces will need upwards of 2HP to cool sufficiently.