What Is An Inverter Air Conditioner & Its Pros And Cons

Air conditioners are a must-have on hot summer days. But they are notorious for having high electricity costs. If you have been in the market for a while, you may have heard that inverter air conditioners are energy-saving but don’t know what they are exactly. 

You are not alone. Many of my friends often ask me about this new type of AC. Therefore, I decide to talk about the fundamentals of inverter AC in this post.

If you want to know if this type of AC is a good fit for you, you will definitely find the answer you want by continuing to read.

Let’s get started!

What is an inverter air conditioner?

An inverter air conditioner, as the name suggests, is a type of air conditioner that uses inverter technology to control the speed of the compressor.

I won’t bore you with too many technical details, but in a nutshell, it is an air conditioner with a compressor that has adjustable speed by controlling the current to the compressor.

When you turn on an inverter air conditioner, the compressor operates at full capacity.

However, as the temperature in the room approaches your target temperature, it will slow down and continue to run at a low speed but will not turn off.

Inverter air conditioner vs. non-inverter air conditioner: what is the difference? 

Now, you may be wondering what the point of having an inverter air conditioner is, rather than a standard non-inverter unit. To make it clear, I want to compare the two types of ACs in this section.

Non-inverter air conditioners have an old-style compressor motor that can only run at full speed when activated.

When your room temperature reaches the preset level, the compressor will turn off completely. When the room temperature rises or falls to a certain level, the compressor will restart at full capacity. Air conditioners, as you may be aware, consume a significant amount of electricity when operating at full capacity.

An inverter AC requires more power when it starts up because it has a higher rotation. However, the speed will slow down when the room is cool or warm. More importantly, the compressor will not turn off. Instead, it will continue to operate at a low level to ensure that the room temperature does not fluctuate significantly.

Simply put, the significant difference between an inverter unit and a traditional unit is that the former will not turn on and off repeatedly.

Advantages of using an inverter air conditioner

Inverter ACs can offer many advantages you love due to the use of variable-speed compressors. Let’s take a look at what these advantages are right away.

Lower energy consumption

As previously stated, when activated, air conditioners consume more electricity. Because an inverter unit only needs to start once and runs at a low speed most of the time, it is more energy efficient and will lower your electricity bills.

Longer lifespan

A compressor, the main component of an AC, can cost as much as a new AC. Therefore, you are likely to buy a new unit once the compressor fails.

Given that the compressor will operate at low capacity, it will encounter less mechanical tear and wear. In other words, the appliance will last longer.


Air conditioning is the key driver of electricity demand growth, putting a burden on our environment. For instance, air conditioners account for 12 percent of monthly power bills.

The inverter AC is more environmentally friendly than its competitors due to lower power consumption.

Aside from that, having a longer lifespan means having less garbage to deal with.

Quiet operation

When the compressor rotates at high speed, it will vibrate and cause a loud noise. After the initial phase, the compressor of an inverter AC will run at a low speed, which means it will be quiet as long as you don’t turn it off and on manually.

If you are the type of person who is sensitive to noise, inverter units will take the win in the noise control category.

Improved comfort

Again, because the compressor will continue to run, it will be able to keep the room temperature within a narrow range, making you feel much more comfortable.

Disadvantages of using an inverter air conditioner

While an inverter AC seems to be a perfect solution for everyone, it does have some drawbacks.

Higher upfront cost

The mechanism of an inverter air conditioner is more complicated. As a result, you can expect to pay more for it. However, the higher price can be offset by a reduction in the electricity bill after two or three years.

However, it is not suitable for people on a tight budget right now.

Higher repair cost

More components are used in inverter units. As a result, they will have a higher repair cost because you will require a more skilled HVAC technician. However, because the inverter AC is not prone to failure, this would not be a major issue.

To sum up

As a new type of air conditioner, inverter air conditioners are gaining a lot of attention these days. Since it can control the compressor speed, it is quieter, more energy-efficient, and make you more comfortable.

However, it has a higher price tag and is expensive to repair.

With any luck, this guide has helped you make steps toward a decision between an inverter unit and a conventional unit.

About The Author

Avatar photo

Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

Leave a Comment