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Inverter vs. Non-Inverter Air Conditioners: Pros & Cons

Inverter vs. Non-Inverter Air Conditioners: Pros & Cons

Summer in Australia really is something else. Our temperatures can climb to unbelievable highs, and so it’s essential to have a powerful air conditioner at the ready to battle off the extraordinary heat.

Considering how important air conditioning is for us Aussie locals, it’s also vital to buy the right AC. Not only will a unit need to keep your home comfortable and cool, but it will also need to have the right technology to suit your own individual needs.

There are two main types of air conditioning models: ones with inverter technology and ones without. Both unit types have similar functions, however, they operate very differently.

Depending on your individual needs, either air con technology could be your perfect match. If you’re unfamiliar with these systems, it may be tricky to decide which one is for you. Luckily, we’re here to do the hard work for you and help you find the best air conditioner for your needs. Have a look below at the pros and cons of each AC system, as well as everything you need to know about both.

 

What is Inverter Technology?

When we say ‘inverter technology’, we are referring to the compressor that is contained within the outdoor unit of an air conditioner. For inverter units, this compressor is a variable speed model. This means the compressor’s speed will vary when in use, in order to consistently maintain the set temperature. To achieve this, the air conditioner’s output either speeds up or slows down to compensate for temperature changes across the day. The compressor is able to adjust in response to a room’s natural temperature fluctuation, in order to constantly deliver a comfortable climate.

Think of an inverter air conditioner functioning like the human body when running a marathon. In order to last the long distance, marathon runners need to pace themselves. They maintain a steady tempo throughout the run in order to conserve energy and not burn themselves out too soon. An inverter system works in the same manner. Once it reaches an efficient output level, the speed of the compressor continues to run at a steady tempo. Essentially, the air conditioner system is able to reliably deliver the desired temperature whilst also keeping the power required to a minimum.

 

What is Non-Inverter Technology?

Unlike inverter heating and cooling systems, non-inverter models have a fixed speed compressor motor. Fixed speed system air conditioners essentially operate on an ‘all or nothing’ principle. This means that, once switched on, a non-inverter air conditioning unit will run at its full capacity until it reaches the desired environment temperature. Once it reaches this point, the system automatically shuts down. When the room temperature increases again, the air conditioner will turn back on at full power to control the climate, before repeating the same cycle.

In contrast to the marathon runner, fixed speed air conditioners work more like someone running sprints. A sprinter will run in short, sharp bursts that expend a lot of energy in a small amount of time. After each burst, they will come to a complete stop, before starting up again from resting to full speed. This uses up a lot of energy in an inefficient way, and replicates how non-inverter air conditioner systems operate.

Inverter vs. Non-Inverter Air Conditioners: Pros & Cons

Pros: Inverter Technology

Energy Efficient

As we’ve briefly covered above, inverter air conditioning systems are highly efficient in their energy output. Due to their variable speed controls, inverter air conditioners are not always running at full capacity. This makes these heating and cooling systems highly efficient and friendly to the environment.

Smart Investment

A new inverter air conditioner is widely considered a fantastic long term investment for inside your home. This is due to the impressive functionality, durability and flexibility of these systems. Inverter technology can be found in most air conditioners, including reverse cycle split systems and ducted air conditioner units. Alongside this versatility, they also have a superior life span to their non-inverter counterparts.

All of these qualities make these heating and cooling systems a highly reliable choice that is well worth their price point.

Noise-Friendly

As mentioned, an inverter air conditioner uses less power than the alternative choice. Due to this, inverter cooling units run much quieter when in use.

Inverter systems also regulate their mode in line with the room temp, making for smooth noise control throughout their operation. As these air conditioner models don’t abruptly turn on and off, you won’t need to worry about the loud starting and stopping sounds that come with non-inverters.

 

Pros: Non-Inverter Technology

Lower Initial Costs

The best selling point for a non-inverter air conditioner is its initial affordability. These heating and cooling systems typically come with a much lower price point for home installation. As non-inverters are significantly cheaper, they are a more accessible choice for people with a limited budget for their home indoor cooling options.

 

Cons: Inverter Technology

More Expensive

Inverter technology is far more advanced than its counterpart, making it the more expensive option. Beyond just the unit itself, inverters also have higher installations costs, and are generally more expensive to repair or to have parts replaced.

 

Cons: Non-Inverter Technology

High Long Term Costs

As we’ve previously covered, non-inverter models are not known for their efficiency. In fact, they are notorious for inflating electricity bills due to the nature of their start-stop control. If you aren’t smart with your home indoor cooling usage, a non-inverter may lead to outrageous long term expenses.

Noisy to Run

In contrast to inverter units, non-inverters are known for their loud running features. As these models turn completely off and back on depending on the room climate, they can create a lot of noise inside the home which some people may find irritating.

Shorter Life Span

The start-stop functionality of non-inverters does result in a more limited life span. Constantly turning on and off speeds up the systems wear and tear which, over time, will cause it to break down.

Inverter vs. Non-Inverter Air Conditioners: Pros & Cons

Which AC is Right For You?

The ultimate goal when buying a new AC system is finding a unit that can heat and cool a room appropriately to keep your household reliably comfortable. It’s important to factor in the pros and cons of both models to opt for the choice that best suits your lifestyle.

Important things to consider include how often you will actually use your air conditioning system, how many people will be using it, and what sort of climate you live in to determine what level the unit will primarily be set to.

While inverter systems look like the smarter choice for home investment and reliable cooling, non-inverters also have benefits to consider. At the end of the day, it depends entirely on which is the best fit for you.

Regardless of which choice you make, Jim’s Air Conditioning can supply, install, repair and service your new air conditioner. Our expert technicians are available 24/7 and can be on site within an hour* of booking. Put your new air con in trusted hands, and give Jim’s a call today!