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

Aircon Types

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What Are Inverter Air Conditioning Units?

Inverter air conditioners have soared in popularity over the years due to its energy-saving capabilities. These types of air conditioners refer to the function of the compressor motor, which slows in speed once the desired temperature has been reached. Doing so lowers the energy consumption required to maintain the room's temperature.


Energy Efficiency

Inverter air conditioner systems are energy efficient - they were made specifically to consume less energy while providing the same output. These lower the operating costs of the unit, and allow homeowners to run their inverter air conditioner for a longer period of time. While they may cost 30% more than a conventional AC, they save 30%-80% in operating costs. 

Cooling Capacity

While inverter air conditioners are energy efficient, some people tend to think their cooling capacity diminishes. However, this is not the case as inverter air conditioners are just as cooling as non-inverter AC units.

Space Requirements

Inverter air conditioner systems come in a variety of models and brands which can fit into virtually any space requirement. From window units and portable ACs to central air conditioning systems, you will most likely find an inverter AC made by any popular aircon manufacturer.


Maintenance of the unit will ultimately depend on the type of inverter AC you're purchasing, but inverter units are generally low-maintenance. Many smart models that use inverter technology may have self-diagnostics and troubleshooting features, which makes maintenance straightforward and easy.



The main disadvantage of an inverter unit is the cost of its variable speed compressor. An inverter compressor unit can cost as much as 30% more than a non-inverter unit, with smart models priced even higher. The initial costs may not be affordable for every income bracket.

What Are Non-inverter Air Conditioner Units?

Non-inverter air conditioners are the traditional, conventional types of AC units that consistently run the air conditioner at the same compressor motor speed, regardless of whether the room temperature reaches the set temperature on the thermostat. Because of this, non-inverter AC systems tend to consume more energy, leading to high running costs.



Non-inverter AC systems are often priced much lower than inverter air conditioner systems. Depending on the model and type of aircon, non-inverter AC units can cost as low as $100 for portable units, to as high as $10,000 for central ACs. Non-inverter units are considered the basic air conditioning units, so they are often the lowest-priced models of a brand.

Cooling Capacity

Cooling capacity is not compromised despite the lower prices, however, as non-inverter air conditioners are known for their cooling power. Because they do not slow the compressor speed, the AC unit will keep cooling the room even if the desired temperature has been reached. These units are best for large spaces where the temperature must stay constant.

Space Requirements

Non-inverter AC systems boast a wider range of models across different brands when compared to inverter air conditioner models. Because non-inverter air conditioners are the standard, nearly all aircon brands carry non-inverter air conditioner models throughout their product lines, fitting into any space requirement!


Energy Efficiency

Non-inverter air conditioners are not energy efficient, particularly as these traditional models run the compressor at the same speed throughout its use. Because of this, non-inverter ACs incur high amounts of electricity consumption, which translates to high electricity bills. Especially for large areas, non-inverters generate high operating costs.


Non-inverters may tend to overwork the compressor, which can be a problem for low-quality brands and parts. Reputable brands ensure the durability of their units, but because the compressor motor's rotation speed remains constant throughout use, non-inverters can overheat, overwork, or break down faster after a long operation period.

Air Conditioner: Inverter vs Non-inverter Differences

Factors Inverter Non-inverter
Budget Around 30% more costly than non-inverters. 3 out of 5 rating Standard line of AC units. 5 out of 5 rating
Energy Consumption Optimized energy consumption for cost-efficient operations. 5 out of 5 rating Consumes high amounts of energy during usage. 2 out of 5 rating
Space Requirements Space requirements vary across models and brands. 3.5 out of 5 rating Space requirements vary across models and brands; Non-inverter is the standard in air conditioners. 4 out of 5 rating
Cooling Power Efficient cooling. 4 out of 5 rating Efficient cooling. 4.5 out of 5 rating
Maintenance Smart AC units can self-diagnose, and inverter compressors use light operations. 4.5 out of 5 rating Prone to overworking and breaking down. 3 out of 5 rating

The Verdict

Looking at the long-run benefits of these aircon types, it is clear that inverter-type air conditioners offer lower operating costs at peak performance, providing cooling comfort at a lower running price compared to a non-inverter type.

However, budget is the main constraint in choosing between an inverter and non-inverter AC. The fixed speed compressor motor of a conventional air conditioning unit is much more affordable than an inverter one, and non-inverters offer a wider range of models and brands as well. If budget and space are your constraints, consider getting a non-inverter AC instead.

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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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