The best AC to buy for home in India is an inverter AC. This is due to the fact that there are many advantages for inverter AC Vs normal AC. The inverter AC not only saves electric power cost but is more silent and comfortable with steady cooling. Inverter ACs are now the best selling AC in India. This page explains why the inverter AC is so good and the AC of the future. Very soon we may see non-inverter AC being phased out.
What is inverter AC? Advantages of inverter ACs or air conditioners
An inverter Air Conditioner or AC means an AC which has an electrical system to control the speed at which the compressor of the inverter AC can run, so an inverter AC compressor has the ability to run at different speeds. The difference between a normal AC and an inverter AC is that in a normal AC the compressor can run only at one speed. The advantage of an inverter AC running at variable speed is that the the inverter AC is more efficient and uses less electricity or electrical energy.
How the inverter AC controls the speed of its compressor motor is like this: First the incoming 220 volts 50Hz single phase AC or Alternating Current electric supply to a DC or Direct Current. The DC is then converted back to AC with an inverter which can control the frequency of the output AC. The speed of an electric motor depends on the frequency of the electrical supply. So, an inverter AC with a variable speed compressor can save electric energy by running at the most optimum efficient speed depending on the temperature of the room and thus save on electric energy consumption, which in turn saves on electric bills.
With the compressor of an inverter AC running at different speeds, the AC becomes a variable tonnage AC. For example, a 1.5-ton inverter AC becomes a 0.5 Ton AC by running at a low speed when the cooling load is less and when the cooling load is more, it runs faster and becomes a 2.5 ton AC. Because an inverter AC can vary its cooling ton output according to the load, it is very efficient and able to reduce monthly electric bills by as much as 50%.
Disadvantages of inverter air conditioner
The disadvantages of Inverter Air Conditioner is that it is more expensive than a regular AC. But every month the inverter air conditioner will save 30 to 40% on electricity bills. Thus, the extra cost of the inverter AC will be recovered in a few months. After that, it is pure savings and in another few >months you will recover the full cost of the inverter AC. Savings in electric power consumption and steady room cooling are the main benefits of an inverter air-conditioner.
The only disadvantage of an inverter AC is that it costs more to buy it. The advantages of an inverter AC far outweighs the disadvantage of being more expensive.
Advantages of inverter air conditioners
There are several advantages using an inverter air-conditioner like lower power consumption, faster cooling of the room, etc. The main advantages of inverter AC vs normal AC are listed below:
- Lower Electric bills: An inverter AC saves about 40% electricity compared to a normal AC. This is how an inverter AC saves electricity:
- A: An inverter AC compressor works at very low speeds most of the time. From our Physics lessons we know that frictional losses are more at higher speeds. Friction losses vary according to the square of the velocity. So the inverter AC is much more efficient than a normal non-inverter AC and saves electricity.
- B: A normal AC starts and stops regularly. The starting current drawn by an electrical motor is very high because it has to overcome the inertia forces of a static mass. Thus an inverter AC compressor which does not stop during operation is much more efficient and saves electricity.
- Steady cooling: A normal non-inverter AC first over cools the room by about -2°C from the set temperature. Then it switches off the compressor. For example, if the thermostat of the AC is set at 23°C, the room will become 21°C when the Compressor is switched off. Then only the fan of the AC is working in the room. After some time, the room warms up and when the temperature reaches +2°C of the set temperature, that is 25°C, the compressor restarts. You will hear the noise of the compressor restarting and the AC starts to cool again till it reaches 21°C. This process is repeated over and over. So a normal AC makes the room either too hot or too cold for some time. In an inverter AC the maximum variance from set temperature will only be about +or- 0.5°C or a total of 1°C. Therefore the inverter AC maintains a steady cool temperature and does it without the sudden noise of the compressor stopping or restarting. The image below graphically depicts the temperature difference in a room cooled by an inverter AC and a normal AC.
- Better Sleep: An inverter AC allows you to have a much better sleep because it keeps the temperature of the room steady. Also being more silent helps you to sleep better.
- Faster cooling: A non-inverter normal AC cannot adjust the rate of cooling, so it cannot cool the room faster when required. An inverter AC, on the other hand, can run the compressor at a higher speed to cool a room very fast when required.
- Silent: An inverter is very silent. Because the inverter AC runs at a very slow speed, it is much more silent. In split inverter ACs, apart from the low compressor noise, there is also less noise inside the room because there is no noise from the rush of Freon gas into the indoor unit of the inverter AC.
The graph below shows the room temperature of a normal AC compared to inverter AC. It shows graphically the temperature difference in a room cooled by an inverter AC and a normal AC.
What is the difference between inverter AC and non-inverter AC?
The difference between inverter AC and non-inverter AC is that a normal non-inverter AC compressor works with just one speed. The inverter AC, on the other hand, has a variable speed compressor which can vary the cooling rate and thus save electricity. So to the question ‘Is inverter AC better than non inverter AC?’ The answer is an emphatic YES.
How does inverter AC work
How the inverter AC works is explained as follows: first, the inverter in the inverter AC converts the incoming electricity at 50 cycles per second (or 50Hz Alternating Current AC electric voltage) to DC voltage. The DC voltage is then converted back to AC voltage with the ability to change the frequency of the Alternating AC current. This device can be called a VFD (Variable Frequency Device).
The speed of electric motors depend on the frequency of the Electric Voltage driving the motor. A higher frequency electric current will make the motor run faster, and a lower frequency will make the motor run slower. Thus variable frequency enables the main compressor motor of the inverter AC to turn at different speeds. With the fixed 50Hz AC of our electric supply, the compressor motor of a normal air conditioner can only turn at one speed, but with a variable frequency, the compressor motor of the inverter AC can run at different speeds, from very low to very high speeds. There are many advantages if Air Conditioner compressor can be run at different speeds. It is the ability of an inverter AC compressor to run at different speeds that lead to the power savings in an inverter AC.
Which AC is better inverter AC or 5 star normal AC?
A 5 star normal AC is the most efficient normal AC, but it consumes more electricity than a 3 star inverter AC. So a 5 star AC vs inverter power consumption figures show that the inverter AC is better. This is because inverter and non-inverter AC works on a totally different principle as explained earlier. In a regular AC, the compressor has only one speed and the cooling is controlled by on-ing and off-ing the AC compressor. As explained, this is a very inefficient way for an AC to work. So even a 5 Star non-inverter normal AC will not be as good as a 3 Star inverter AC and a 5 Star non-inverter normal AC consumes more electricity than a 3 Star inverter AC
Inverter AC Vs non inverter AC, which is better?
An inverter compressor in AC solves all the disadvantages of the normal AC and saves more than 40% on electricity bills as claimed by some of the manufacturers. Apart from this the inverter AC is very silent compared to a normal AC and the compressor lasts much longer, because it is never stressed.
When an inverter AC is put on, the compressor starts slowly and picks up speed gradually and reaches a higher speed than a normal AC. For a short period the inverter AC runs at a higher speed than normal AC to cool the room faster. Once the set temperature of say 22 degrees C is reached, the compressor slows down and has just enough speed to maintain the 22 deg C. The compressor never stops while the inverter AC is on; it just runs very slowly cooling the room just enough to maintain the 22 deg C. The variance in temperature in the room will be in decimals, in our example of 22 degrees it may go down to 21.9 and up to 22.1 degrees, which is negligible. The steady cool temperature and the silent operation of inverter AC allows for a very comfortable sleep.
So to the question ‘Is inverter AC better than non inverter AC?’ The answer is an emphatic YES.
Power consumption comparison of inverter AC vs normal AC
A normal one ton AC uses on an average about 1.25 units of electricity every running hour. This of course will vary depending on many factors like outside temperature, insulation factor of the room, and so on. 1.25 units is about the average power consumption of a regular non-inverter 1 Ton AC. Compare to a normal AC, the power consumption of an inverter AC will be about 40% less. So for a 1 ton inverter AC, the power consumption per hour will be about 0.75 units of electricity. Assuming 8 hours of operation per day, that will be 10 units of electricity per day for normal AC and only 6 units per day for a 1 ton inverter AC.
Assuming Electricity cost at Rs.5- per unit, the monthly power bill for a normal AC, will be Rs.1,500- per month compared to Rs.900- for a 1 ton inverter AC. Therefore the saving in electricity cost of a 1 ton inverter AC per month is Rs.600-, and Rs.7200- per year.
In the above example let us say that the 1 ton inverter AC costs Rs.10,000- more than the normal 1 ton AC, then with the monthly electric bill saving of Rs.600 per month, you will have paid off this extra money for the inverter AC in a matter of about one and half years. If you use the inverter AC for 5 years, then you will have saved more money with the inverter AC than the cost of the AC itself.
Apart from the cost savings in the running costs of an inverter AC, you will have a much more silent AC. The room temperature with an inverter AC will be always comfortable without the room becoming too cold for some time and then becoming too warm like with a normal AC.
Best 1 ton and 1.5 ton inverter split AC in India
We have a dedicated page showing all available models of inverter air conditioners available in India. This is the clickable link to it: Best inverter split AC available in India.
One important consideration when buying an inverter AC is the Star Rating of inverter ACs. We have pages explaining what star rating of inverter ACs mean and also how much more monthly electric bill you can save by buying a 5 star inverter AC instead of a 3 star inverter AC.
Advantage of buying AC, Fridge, Washing Machine, etc. online
Buying online fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and other major kitchen appliances is now the better option in India, just like it is in the USA and other advanced countries. There are several advantages of buying online. First of all, you get unbeatable bargain prices. Secondly, you get new and genuine products. Other benefits include no interest EMI payments, able to return the product for a full refund if not satisfied, etc.
Just to give you an example, below are some of the benefits Amazon India, the leading global online retailer, offered in India during their last sale. The same deals are not always available, but it is a good idea to check this link to the special offers page on Amazon.in India website.