What is an inverter?

inverter graph

How it works

A non-inverter air conditioning system acts as a switch. They are either cooling (or heating) 100% or off. When cooling or heating is required they switch on and give the maximum cooling available. When the desired room temperature is reached, the unit switches off and waits until the cooling or heating is required and then goes through the process again.

An inverter system works differently. The inverter can control the speed of the compressor. The faster the compressor is running, the more cooling or heating is available and more power is consumed. When an inverter is switched on, it gradually speeds up to the amount of cooling or heating required. The micro-computer in the air conditioning system is constantly monitoring how much cooling or heating is required and adjusts the compressor speed accordingly. As the desired temperature is reached, the inverter slows down, if the difference between the desired room temperature and actual room temperature increase, then the inverter speeds up. This greatly reduces power consumption as the air conditioning unit only consumes the amount of power that it needs.

Benefits of an Inverter System

Reduced power consumption - Lower power consumption results in a reduction in running costs. The better the inverter system, the more control it will have and the better the energy savings will be.

Steady room temperatures - With a non-inverter type system, there can be slight fluctuations in temperate as the unit is in its on and off stages. Inverter systems do not have this problem as they maintain the temperature to a much tighter target temperature. This is more noticeable in small rooms.

Power inrush - A motor requires a lot of power to get it to spin. Once it is spinning, the power consumption reduces significantly. With a non-inverter type system, it is often observed that lights will dim very briefly when the air conditioning starts. This is the inrush of power starting the spinning motion for the compressor motor. With an inverter type system, the method for starting the compressor is different, so you do not have the inrush of power and no dimming of lights. This also helps with the power consumption of the air conditioning.

Wear on components - Due to the lower number of starts/stops, there is considerable less wear on the components, especially the compressor. This greatly improves reliability and the life of the system.