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Inverter vs. Non-Inverter Air Conditioner Unit: Pros & Cons

Aircon Types

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For those living and working in Singapore, air conditioning is considered essential to the comfort of daily life. Therefore, buying the right air conditioner is a significant investment decision in comfort and convenience. You will need an air conditioner for cooling to your specific and personal needs.

Aside from your usual aircon types, there are two popular types of air conditioners in the market: inverter vs. non-inverter. Both have the function of cooling or warming your residence, but not everyone is familiar with them.

The following article will give you a more general and specific overview of Inverter and Non-inverter Air Conditioners. The advantages and disadvantages of these two aircons can help you choose the most suitable air conditioner for your home or office.

What is an Inverter Aircon?

To put it simply, inverter air conditioners use compressors with inverter technology to operate.

Many people will wonder what the inverter technology in new air conditioners is like. But it’s actually quite simple: the technology regulates the room temperature through an intelligent microprocessor circuit instead of the technology known for using thermal sensor relays of conventional air conditioning models.

An inverter air conditioner's operation method is different from conventional machines, which consumes a lot of energy. For example, if the user adjusts the temperature to only 70% of the capacity, the device operates for 70% of the time, then pauses for 30% of the remaining time.

The operation of turning on and off the air conditioner frequently will affect the machine's operation mechanism, and at the same time, consume a lot of power in restarting the engine, compensating for heat. As for inverter air conditioners, when the room reaches the set temperature, its compressor will slow down, but won’t turn off completely.

Advantages of Inverter Aircons

Energy saving

When the inverter aircon operates, the motors will automatically start up slowly to maximize energy savings; then, the new motor gradually speeds up to the full load. When the refrigeration system reaches the required temperature, it will not immediately disconnect like other non-inverter aircon.

Still, the inverter air conditioner will slow down to help you conserve and save energy. This is one of the very important advantages of inverter air conditioners. Inverter air conditioners can save 30-80% of electricity compared to others of the same capacity.

Cost saving

A high electricity bill since the installation of air conditioners has always been a concern among consumers and aircon owners. However, you won't have to worry about this if you have an inverter aircon. It works by varying the compressor's frequency, so it can meet the need for cooling and achieve the desired temperature with a constant degree of temperature change.

With the operation mechanism not completely disconnected and having to restart the machine like a non-inverter aircon, inverter air conditioners can save up to 30%-60% of electricity cost.

Ability to maintain a stable temperature

When a desired temperature is reached, the machine motor will not wholly shut off automatically. It slowly rotates, making the temperature always stable, and giving way for no overheating or extreme coldness.

Quiet operation

If you used to "suffer" because the air conditioner was too noisy, then the inverter air conditioner is your best bet. Thanks to the inverter engine that always operates stably, the noise (due to friction when turning on and off the fan blades) is almost absent, making the user feel quiet and comfortable.

User's health protection

In addition to operating smoothly and without causing noise, an inverter air conditioner also equips itself with the feature of plasma deodorization, creating ions to help the atmosphere in a room become cleaner and more comfortable.

Long-term warranty

You can be completely assured to use the product because the inverter air conditioner often has an extensive warranty of about 5-10 years.

Disadvantages of Inverter Aircons

Higher price

Because of the preeminent features of inverter technology, the cost of an inverter aircon is always higher than that of conventional air conditioners with the same capacity.

However, if your family regularly uses air conditioning for about 8 hours/day, this will be a solution for your pocket when paying monthly electricity bills. Therefore, you need to carefully consider your family's needs before making the final decision.

Difficult to repair, transport, and install

Inverter aircons include many complex components, making them difficult to preserve and sensitive to hot and humid environments. Moreover, because the components used are of high technology, manufacturers only sell whole machines. Finding parts to replace when they become broken is almost impossible. 

What is a Non-Inverter Aircon?

Compared to inverter aircons, when non-inverter air conditioners are turned on, they will operate at a maximum capacity. When the air conditioner's temperature sensor detects that the room temperature is equal to that of the remote, the machine will automatically turn off the cooling mode completely. So when the room temperature rises, the air conditioner restarts and starts cooling from the beginning.

Advantages of Non-Inverter Aircons

Can work in large rooms

Because non-inverter aircons are always running at a powerful level, they can meet the need to run overload or run in rooms with larger sizes than machines. If the aircon inverter easily reduces cold and increases heat in the outdoor unit, the non-inverter can still run despite the temperature difference.

Low price

The cost of a non-inverter aircon is much cheaper than an inverter with the same capacity due to fewer features. Typically, an Electrolux ESM09HRF 9000BTU 2-way air conditioner will be much cheaper than a Daikin FTXM25HVMV 2-way inverter with the same capacity.

Easy repair and installation

Another outstanding advantage of Non-Inverter air conditioners is that it does not need to synchronize both the heater and the manufacturer's cooler. Moreover, components are easy to maintain, simple, and not as complicated as inverter air conditioners. Assuming the non-inverter air conditioner fails, you can still easily find replacement parts. Transporting and installing the non-inverter air conditioner is also simpler, so maintenance and repair costs are also affordable.

Easy to use

Because there are only a few essential functions, users do not need to spend time to learn how to use a non-inverter aircon.

Disadvantages of Non-Inverter Aircons

Not energy-saving

The biggest downside of a non-inverter air conditioner is the inability to save power because it is always running in power mode. So as the electricity goes up, as does your electricity bill.


Since the non-inverter aircon is created with two on and off modes when the room temperature is reached, it can cause unpleasant noises. This has the potential to annoy the user while sleeping or working.

May become harmful to user's health

Non-inverter air conditioners are always running at full capacity, creating strong and harsh cold air, often causing respiratory diseases for users. Compared to inverter air conditioners, these units also do not have the same air filters and antibacterial features.

Inverter vs Non-Inverter Aircons: Comparison Summary

Comparison of Advantages


  • Automatically slows down to save energy
  • Can save up to 60% of your electricity bill
  • Stable temperature
  • Operates quietly
  • Certain health benefits due to cleaner and comfortable air
  • Up to 10 extensive warranty


  • Capable of cooling larger rooms
  • Cheaper than inverter aircons
  • Easy and affordable to repair and maintain
  • Easy to use due to fewer essential functions

Comparison of Disadvantages


  • Relatively more expensive than non-inverter aircons
  • Due to complex components, it may be difficult to repair, transport and install


  • Consumes more power resulting to higher electricity consumption and bills
  • Generally noisy to operate
  • Creates harsh and strong cold air which may become harmful to health

Our Verdict

In general, when evaluating based on outstanding features, the inverter aircon reigns supreme over a non-inverter aircon. However, when put in different circumstances, the inverter air conditioner is not entirely reasonable or suitable compared to that of a non-inverter aircon.

You can choose a non-inverter aircon if you do not have high functional requirements and do not have many cooling or usage requirements. For example, if you live in a rental apartment or want to install air conditioners for containers, you should opt for a non-inverter aircon for the added convenience and savings.

Inverter air conditioners on the other hand are a great choice when you need to use them for a long period of time like working at your company's office.

Read more about aircon units: What is an FCU aircon?

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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