Do Air Conditioners Need Inverters?

With the economy jumping around and the cost of electricity traveling north, consumers now prefer to buy appliances that guarantee payback through long-term savings. As old gadgets, especially air-conditioners become non-functional, more and more users are replacing them with appliances using inverter compressor technology. This not only uses energy more effectively, it saves the user from paying large electricity bills.

While regular air-conditioners consume a fixed amount of energy depending on the temperature setting, those using the inverter compressor technology consume only the power necessary for the cooling—ensuring maximum savings of electricity, while offering maximum comforts to the consumers.

With rivers running dry in most parts of the world, dams are no longer producing enough electricity to sustain entire cities. That is forcing people to purchase environmentally friendly products that utilize electricity effectively. When the temperature difference is low, such as during the night, a regular air-conditioner does not reduce its power intake, but those using the inverter technology automatically slow down the compressor so that it consumes less power. When the compressor speed varies with temperature difference, and it consumes electricity only as needed, energy requirement reduces by as much as 30-50%.

While the inverter technology is more expensive, equipment using the technology pay back over time with savings through lower power consumption. Acting as heat pumps, air-conditioners with inverter technology are highly efficient at utilizing lower energy compared to their regular counterparts.

Another advantage in using the inverter technology is the relatively quiet nature of its operation. Regular home appliances such as air-conditioners and refrigerators are notorious for their noisy operation, especially noticeable at night, when the ambient noise levels are lower. As the inverter technology is quieter, users can enjoy better sleeping times.

As the compressor speed adjusts itself with temperature fluctuations, the device using the inverter technology runs with greater stability, ensuring the durability and a longer life span for the device.

For the more technically oriented, inverter technology works with DC motors of the compressor in a refrigerator or air-conditioner, controlling the speed of the motor, thereby continuously regulating the temperature. The inverter units usually have a variable-frequency drive for controlling the speed of the compressor motor, resulting in better control of the cooling or heating output.

In practice, the drive converts the incoming AC into Direct Current and using pulse width modulation creates the desired frequency for operating the motors. A micro-controller does all this including sampling the ambient temperature to control the speed of the compressor.

Compared to the regular air-conditioners and refrigerators, the inverter units have increased the efficiency of operation, extended the life of various parts, and have avoided the sharp fluctuations in temperature.

With a quieter operation, lower operating costs, and requiring lower maintenance, inverter air-conditioners units are better than regular constant speed air-conditioners are. Although these new type of air-conditioners are more expensive, they balance this with their lower energy bills. Although it depends on the actual usage, the payback time is usually two years on average. Modern air-conditioners are typically split units, with the heat exchanger placed outside for higher efficiency.