One of the first features you check out when purchasing an AC is the compressor. Nowadays, almost all AC manufacturers offer Inverter compressors in their latest ACs.
For example, LG does not have any non-inverter compressor AC at all. However, other manufacturers like Samsung, Daikin, Blue Star, Panasonic, Voltas, Godrej, etc., offer both inverter and non-inverter compressor ACs.
Obviously, inverter ACs have their advantages like power savings, less noise, convertibility features, etc. However, they have their demerits that everyone should know. So, let us examine the disadvantages of inverter ACs in this article.
Compared to non-inverter compressor ACs, the inverter ACs are expensive (other aspects being equal). Here is a simple example to prove our point.
- Samsung 1.5-ton 3-Star Inverter Split AC (Copper, Convertible 5-in-1 Cooling, Anti-bacterial filter, 2022 model, AR18BYLZAUR – Rs 35,990
- Samsung 1.5-ton 3-star Fixed Speed Split AC (Copper, AR18RG3BAWK, 2022 model – Rs 32,990
The inverter AC costs around Rs. 3,000 more than the non-inverter AC models. However, you can argue that the non-inverter AC consumes more power. Hence, you can recover the extra cost by saving energy. Let us now compare the power consumption of both these ACs.
The inverter compressor AC has an ISEER of 3.71 and consumes 1044.19 units of power annually. On the other hand, the non-inverter AC has an ISEER of 3.58 and consumes 1091.49 units annually (As per the BEE Star label).
The non-inverter AC consumes 47.30 units more annually than the inverter AC. In my area, the power tariff is Rs 6.50 per unit. Therefore, the annual power savings would be Rs 307.45. At this rate, it will take nearly ten years for me to recover the cost. Since Samsung offers a 10-year warranty on the compressor, we can safely presume that the AC works for ten years.
Related: Inverter vs Non Inverter AC
Thus, we can conclude that inverter ACs are higher priced than non-inverter ACs. However, if you are a heavy user, you might recover the cost quickly, but your AC might not last for ten years under such circumstances.
Maintenance and Servicing Costs
As far as general maintenance is concerned, like cleaning the filters and fins, the maintenance costs for inverter and non-inverter ACs are the same. However, inverter ACs come equipped with comparatively complicated circuitry. Hence, it can incur higher repair costs. Though many people feel that local technicians cannot service inverter ACs, it is not valid. Skilled personnel is available everywhere to service inverter and non-inverter compressor ACs.
Under optimal conditions, the inverter AC consumes less energy than the non-inverter AC. The BEE Star label itself certifies the power consumption of all AC models. However, if there is a periodic leak of cooling, like a partly-open window or door, the inverter compressor functions at a higher speed than it should normally do. Therefore, the power intake is more.
However, this problem is also observed with the non-inverter ACs. In these appliances, the compressor functions at a fixed speed, but if there is a leakage, the compressor keeps working longer before switching off. Therefore, the power consumption should even out. So, one should close all doors and windows and ensure against any cooling leaks to get the best out of their ACs.
Related: BEE Star Ratings
Dehumidification occurs when the air in the room comes into contact with the cool air from the AC indoor unit. It is one of the primary benefits of an AC. As a result, it provides greater comfort to the user. You can quickly experience this in a non-inverter AC because the degree of chilling is fixed, regardless of the heat load.
In an inverter AC, the cooling varies depending on the heat load. Therefore, the chilling could be insufficient for dehumidification, especially if you do not set a low temperature.
The fixed-speed compressor starts functioning at full speed immediately after it switches on. However, a programmed time lag in the inverter AC does not allow the compressor to attain top speed quickly. Therefore, the inverter AC can take more time initially to achieve the desired cooling.
The Modern Day Inverter ACs come with Turbo Cooling Modes that provide Instant Cooling.
Strictly speaking, one cannot term this factor as a disadvantage of an air conditioner. If your AC has a lower capacity for a large room, it can take more time to cool the room. Consequently, it will consume more energy.
On the other hand, if your room area is small for the AC’s capacity, the room can get over-cooled and feel uncomfortable. These issues are expected for the non-inverter ACs also. So, please purchase the ideal AC considering your room area.
Related: AC Tonnage Calculator
Some people point out issues like inadequate cooling if the external temperature is very high. However, that should not be a problem today because you get powerful ACs that can cool the rooms quickly even if the temperature outside is as high as 48 to 50 degrees Celsius. Usually, you do not experience such high temperatures in India, save for a few places like Churu in Rajasthan.
So, you can infer that inverter ACs do not have any notable disadvantages, except maybe for the pricing and higher repair costs. Therefore, almost all manufacturers offer inverter compressors in their AC products.