Renovations 101

Choosing between inverter and non-inverter air conditioners

14 March 2013 by

Find out the differences between the two types of air conditioners

Let’s face it; in Singapore’s hot and humid weather, many of us find having air conditioning in the hot a welcome respite from the heat. Many homeowners find air conditioning a necessity in their homes. For many years, purchasing air conditioners for the home is a clear-cut affair. That’s because air conditioners only came in the non-inverter variety. Today, you’ll find that there are inverter air conditioners.

What are non-inverter air conditioners?
First, let’s look at the traditional air conditioners. The compressor motors of non-inverter air conditioners operate at alternate cycles of running at full power and then switching off completely. If you are able to listen to your air conditioner compressor run, you’ll notice that it’ll rev up and then die down. The compressor starts running again when it detects an increase in temperature. The compressor goes through this cycle repeatedly to keep the temperature cool.

As a result, this process is not efficient, hence highly energy consuming. That is why air conditioning bills can run up high. Because of the start-stop operation, compressors tend to break down easily.

What are inverter air conditioners?
This category of air conditioners controls the speed of the compressor motor. As a result, the temperature is regulated continuously, so energy is used efficiently. Where the non-inverter compressor switches off and on at cycles, the inverter compressor maintains the required temperature at low power usage. That translates to savings in your electrical bills.

This feature of the compressor also means that the likelihood of the compressor breaking down is much slimmer than a non-inverter air conditioner. Another plus point is that inverter air conditioner compressors tend to be quieter than the traditional ones. Inverter air conditioners also tend to start up and reach your required temperature faster.

Which one suits you best?
Non-inverter air conditioners are still considerably more affordable than inverter air conditioners. The price difference between inverter and non-inverter air conditioners can run anywhere from $700 to $2000.

So when making the purchase, consider how long it will take to break even the cost of purchasing inverter air conditioners. If you plan to make your new home your permanent home for many years to come, an inverter air conditioner would be a worthwhile investment.
That is, once you’ve reached the breakeven point. This can be anywhere between five to 10 years. Also consider your life plans. If you are a young married couple, you may be only using air conditioning in one room at the moment. If children are in your plans, air conditioning will be used in more than one room in the future. As such, inverter air conditioners may offer you more savings in the long run.