Inverter Air Conditioner: What Is It? Explained With Pros and Cons

Inverter Air Conditioner

Air Conditioners in today’s market is consistently evolving and integrating brand new technologies into their operation to make life easy as a breeze for homeowners.

From a wide variety in terms of sizes, types of models, features, and installation types- you can find anything that suits your needs now. A highly significant and notable technology that has come up and is gaining popularity by the day is called ‘Inverter technology’.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the market, you’ve probably heard of Inverter Air Conditioners- this is precisely where inverter technology is employed.

Inverter technology is not entirely new. In fact, it has been prevalent since the 70s and 80s, when it was first introduced into mini split air conditioners of the time.

Although the movement lost momentum for a bit, inverter technology seems to be on the rise again, with modern-day brands quickly adopting it into their manufactured Air Conditioners.

Inverter technology is mainly focused on the compressor’s motors. Here, it works its magic to transform normal, everyday electro motors into state-of-the-art facilities that can detect changes in temperature and switch between compressor speeds in order to bring about the desired change in the room’s temperature.

In this article, we’ll explain Inverter Technology in detail. We’ll cover all the good and bad aspects of this technology.

Inverter Technology and Inverter ACs- What Are They?

Inverter Technology and Inverter ACs are leading innovations of the modern age when it comes to ACs. Let us begin understanding what these terms really mean.

Inverter technology, as mentioned previously, has everything to do with the electro motors of the compressor.

The main takeaway here is that Inverter Technology, when employed, seeks to control the speed of the motor, and consequently monitor and regulate the resulting room temperature.

Through a microcontroller, inverter technology is able to establish the temperature of its surroundings. Consequently, it modulates the compressor speed to whatever is suitable for a given temperature.

When compared to traditional ACs, units powered by inverter technology are said to have higher efficiency as well as a higher life span. They are also generally quieter than traditional ACs.

Thus, any HVAC heating or cooling system that is driven by inverter technology is an inverter AC/system. These air conditioners have specialized compressors as opposed to single-stage or two-stage compressors, where the energy is sent directly.

However, in inverter-driven compressors, an inverter receives the electrical charge first. In turn, the inverter modulates how much power is discharged to the compressor, which consequently affects the refrigerant flow speed.

What this means is that the system can smartly control its capacity and operate at a higher or a lower BTU level in brief periods.

Additionally, the inverter-driven compressor is constantly in a state of speeding up or slowing down, i.e, it does not entirely stop. Thus, the inverter AC/heating system operates in cycles at different speeds, which are set as needed for the surrounding temperature.

Compressor Types

If you want to understand compressors better, this section gives a brief overview of the different types of compressors you’ll find across various AC units.

The single-stage compressor is simple and straightforward. Its operation is based on delivering powerful heating and cooling. In terms of speed, you’re bound to get a full-speed up or a fully slowed down cycle with no in-between speeds. Due to its charged operation, this compressor tends to consume more energy, and thus, does not display the best energy efficiency ratings.

Two-stage compressors have two refrigerant flow speeds operational at different levels to help maintain the temperature better. The first stage is powered by a 5 percent charge, while the second stage uses 100 percent power. If outdoor temperatures pick up suddenly, the two-stage compressor activates stage 2.

Inverter Air Conditioners: Pros and Cons

Here, we cover some significant advantages and disadvantages concerning inverter ACs.

Pros
  • Cost-Effective: A major appealing factor about inverter ACs is that, since they are also mini-split systems, they tend to cost way less than the Standard split systems, all while being backed up by inverter technology. In my opinion, this makes them very cost-effective and valuable.
  • High Energy Efficiency: Inverter-driven compressors have shown higher energy efficiency ratings compared to traditional ACs. Since they run slow cycles in accordance with the temperature, they do not waste energy on start-ups and shutdowns. This makes them more resourceful compared to single-stage or two-stage compressors.
  • Temperature Control: The most delightful thing about Inverter ACs is that they are naturally smart and sensitive when it comes to temperature regulation. Additionally, with consistent cooling cycles, these units can also combat moisture and humidity in the air, and make it an all-around pleasant atmosphere for you to live in.
  • Noiseless operation: The inverter system operates at a slow speed by default. This contributes to quiet operation on its part. Most split inverter systems can be credited for their low and non-disruptive noise levels.
  • Consistent Temperatures: By maintaining steady temperatures, the inverter system ensures that it doesn’t disturb the home in any way. This is especially helpful during the nights as it enables you to get a good night’s rest without fluctuating to an uncomfortable temperature.
  • Value: These units can be considered well worth their price- though they are expensive. However, no thanks to their insightful temperature regulation, high energy efficiency, low noise levels, and so on, they really justify the price tag. Additionally, these units also tend to have bigger life spans considered to noninverter driven systems
Cons
  • Costly: The biggest and only major drawback of inverter systems is their cost. Due to their cutting-edge technology, these units amount to a big number on the price tag. Owing to their advanced nature, even their installation, repair, and replacement costs are considerably high. In fact, single-zone standard split and mini-split systems with inverter technology are considered to be about 50% more expensive than non-inverter units run on single-stage or two-stage compressors. Similarly, multi-zone systems can be 100% more expensive than their non-inverted counterparts because of the number of indoor units.

Comparing Efficiency Between Inverter And Non-Inverter ACs.

As you know, Inverter Air conditioners have higher efficiency ratings than Non-inverter systems with single or two-stage compressors. Efficiency also can depend on whether you choose a Standard Split or a Mini Split.

However, even an inverter-driven mini split by far has shown higher efficiency ratings than Standard split non-inverter ACs. Most inverter-driven models have around 16 to 38 SEER ratings, while others are placed around 13 to 18 SEER ratings.

Which Inverter System Should you Buy?

Inverter systems come in different makes, models, and installation types too. Of course, the best way to deduce the right inverter-driven system for you is to do a comparison as you go on looking through different units in the market. However, here are some options to consider:

Mini-Split Systems

You can always go for a zoned mini-split system, as this entirely eliminates the need for ductwork. This can save you a ton of money as you don’t have to get any ductwork installed to support your heating or cooling system. However, depending on the number of units, a zoned mini-split might get slightly expensive.

You can also opt for a high energy-efficient mini-split, which can eliminate future electricity costs by a bunch.

Standard Split Systems

If you have ductwork installed already, you can also consider a standard split system as it tends to cost less than a zoned mini-split. However, you might have to compromise on efficiency with this model.

Finally, a single zone mini split works great if you want to cool one area at a time. It costs slightly less than a zoned mini-split but maintains excellent energy efficiency all while working with inverter technology.

Conclusion

The new and improved inverter systems are working well to ensure quality temperature control and lower electricity bills across various homes.

Despite their hefty costs, most people consider them worth it for the payback period, which yields low electricity bills and ultimately helps save money. However, this also depends on how much one uses their inverter system.

Heavier usage will obviously dole out costlier bills. Regardless, when you put the issue of cost in the back seat, you’ll find that inverter-driven ACs have opened doors to more comfortable, easy, and convenient living in carefully controlled and regulated environments.

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