Inverter vs Non Inverter AC | Power Consumption | Which is better?

What are the things that people look for when purchasing an AC? Obviously, the cooling power is crucial. Secondly, power savings is critical.

Inverter AC vs Non Inverter AC

Air conditioners can guzzle power and inflate your electricity bills like no other appliance in your home can. Therefore, it is better to opt for BEE 5-star Inverter ACs even though they are initially expensive.

Inverter AC – What is it?

Many people confuse inverter ACs by presuming that these air conditioning machines work on your home inverter system.

There is absolutely no connection between inverter ACs and your home inverter system.

We shall look at what inverter ACs are and compare the difference with a non-inverter AC.

The primary drawback of a Non-Inverter AC

The primary disadvantage of a non-inverter AC (Fixed Speed AC) is that the compressor works at a fixed speed, either on or off. Therefore, it works at peak load when it switches on until it reaches the set temperature. Subsequently, it stops working and turns off completely.

Non Inverter AC vs Inverter AC working

The problem with compressors is that they consume a lot of power when they switch on. Therefore, a non-inverter AC wastes a lot of electricity when switching on.

How does an inverter AC work?

The inverter AC compressor works differently than the non-inverter compressor. Here, the compressor does not switch off at all. Instead, the inverter function controls the frequency of the current inflow that goes towards the compressor. Thus, it enables the compressor to work at variable speeds.

Inverter vs non inverter fixed speed ac

Once the AC reaches the set temperature, the inverter AC does not switch off entirely but operates at a low frequency. Hence, it works at different frequencies, depending on the temperature level. Furthermore, as it does not switch off intermittently, there is no question of switching on at intervals. Therefore, it saves power.

Difference between Inverter and non-inverter AC

Inverter ACNon-inverter AC
The compressor works at variable speeds and does not switch off in between.The compressor runs at a fixed speed, on or off.
The inverter AC consumes less power.The non-inverter AC consumes more power.
A 1.5 Ton Inverter AC have a better cooling capacity as it can work from 0.3 tons to 1.7 tons (Variable cooling)A Non-inverter 1.5 Ton AC can work at a 1.5 tons only (fixed cooling)
Inverter ACs are expensive than non-inverter ACs.The non-inverter ACs cost less than inverter ACs.
The inverter ACs help maintain the room temperature at constant levels because the compressor does not switch off but keeps running at low frequencies.The non-inverter ACs work on a switch on/off mode, and hence you find temperature fluctuations in the room. Thus, it is uncomfortable in comparison.
The inverter AC does not make any sound because the compressor runs at lower speeds.The non-inverter AC makes more sound because the compressor switches on and off at regular intervals.
An inverter AC has a lower operational cost than the non-inverter AC models. (under ideal conditions)The non-inverter AC has a higher operational cost than the inverter ACs. (under ideal conditions)
The inverter AC has a longer lifespan.Comparatively, the non-inverter AC has a shorter life expectancy.
LG Dual Inverter Compressor

Advantages of an Inverter AC

Technology has continuously improved over the years. The advantages of an inverter AC bear ample testimony.

  • As the inverter AC compressor works at variable speed, it consumes less power. Hence, you end up with substantial savings in power over the ACs lifespan.
  • Compared to non-inverter ACs, the inverter ACs last longer. Therefore, you find inverter AC manufacturers offering a higher warranty on their machines.
  • Inverter ACs can cool quickly compared to their non-inverter counterparts. In addition, they can sustain the cooling temperature for extended periods to provide comfort and save power.
  • Today, you have inverter ACs capable of working at capacities varying between 40% and 110% of the AC tonnage. Hence, it can adjust to your cooling demands.
  • Inverter ACs work exceedingly well even when the temperature outside your home is uncomfortably hot. Thus, it provides immediate relief from the heat.
  • The modern-day inverter ACs come equipped with various modes, like dehumidifying mode, sleep mode, etc., to add to your comfort and convenience levels.
  • Unlike non-inverter ACs, these machines do not make much noise because the compressor does not switch on/off at regular intervals.

Drawbacks of an Inverter AC

While the inverter AC performs better than the non-inverter air conditioners, they have a significant drawback.

  • Compared to a non-inverter AC, the inverter AC is expensive and costs nearly 25% more (if you opt for similar BEE star-rated ACs). Therefore, if you do not intend to purchase the AC for intensive use, it can take more than three years to recover the upfront cost. However, if the power supply cost is high, you can save power and recover the upfront cost earlier.
LG Dual Inverter AC
LG Dual Inverter AC

How does an inverter AC save power?

People argue that the non-inverter AC compressor switches off at regular intervals, whereas the inverter AC compressor keeps working at lower speeds. Under such circumstances, how does the inverter AC consume less power?

  • The non-inverter compressor runs at full speed whenever it is switched on. Hence, it consumes maximum power. In comparison, the inverter AC varies the speed, thereby reducing power consumption accordingly.
  • The inverter ACs do not switch off and run at the lowest speed after reaching the set temperature. Hence, they keep consuming power but at minimal levels. In contrast, the non-inverter compressor switches off completely. Thus, it does not consume power, but the fans keep working in the AC to consume power equivalent to what the inverter ACs do.
  • When the non-inverter compressor switches on after a break, it consumes the maximum power. Therefore, it is not the same with an inverter AC compressor.
LG Dual Inverter AC Compressor
LG Dual Inverter Compressor

Thus, an inverter AC compressor consumes less power than a non-inverter compressor AC.

Inverter AC vs Non-inverter AC Cooling Capacity

Non-inverter ACs work at a fixed cooling tonnage, depending on the AC’s capacity (0.5 tons, 1.0 tons, 1.5 tons, etc.). In contrast, the inverter ACs, especially the latest models, can work at variable tonnage, depending on your cooling requirements. Thus, even a 1.5 ton AC can work at capacities ranging from 0.3 tons to 1.7 tons. Hence, you can notice that inverter ACs display a better cooling performance.

Besides, the inverter ACs can sustain a specific temperature level for extended periods because of the compressor’s variable speeds. Hence, they are better at providing comfort to the user.  

Daikin Non Inverter AC Compressor

Inverter AC vs Non inverter AC – Power Consumption

If you go through the BEE data (applicable to 2021), you will deduce that the inverter ACs consume less power than their non-inverter counterparts.

BEE makes the following assumptions – Average power consumption – Number of units for 1600 hours annually

AC Type0.75 Ton1-ton1.5 ton2 ton
1-star (non-inverter)62584512451650
2-star (non-inverter)59580011851625
3-star (non-inverter)62583012351550
3-star (inverter)54574511001450
4-star (inverter)4656459451295
5-star (non-inverter)57576011301412
5-star (inverter)4505558401115

Let us compare some ACs available in the market in real-time.

LG 1.5T MS-Q18YNZALG 1.5T LS-Q18PNXA1Blue Star 1.5T FS318EBTU
Capacity1.5 tons1.5 tons1.5 tons
Compressor TypeInverterInverterNon-Inverter
Star Rating5-Star3-Star3-Star
ISEER Value4.733.683.51
Energy Consumption818.81 units per year1050.84 units per year1124.78 units per year
Price43,69034,79033,290
WarrantyTen years on the compressor with gas chargingTen years on the compressor with gas chargingFive years on the compressor

How do you save power using inverter ACs?

Let us use the BEE specifications and see how much power we can save using the three ACs discussed above. We shall assume the average cost of one unit of current to be Rs 5.00. This value can change from one state to the other. We have taken this figure for calculation purposes alone.

LG 1.5T MS-Q18YNZALG 1.5T LS-Q18PNXA1Blue Star 1.5T FS318EBTU
Power Consumption818.811050.841124.78
Power cost555
Annual power expenses4,0945,2545,624

Related: Dual Inverter vs Triple Inverter AC

From the comparison, we can make out that the LG 3-star inverter AC consumes less power than the Blue Star 3-star non-inverter model and save around Rs 400 per annum. On comparing the prices, you can see that the LG AC costs just about ₹1,500 more.

One should also note that the inverter ACs offer ten years warranty on the compressor with gas charging. That should take care of all the maintenance throughout the ACs lifespan. On the other hand, the Blue Star AC offers a maximum of five years without any gas charging.

The 5-star inverter ACs are the best for saving power and delivering quality cooling performance from our discussion. However, they are the most expensive ACs in town. The choice of the perfect AC for your home entirely depends on individual preferences and usage patterns.

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