Of late, one of the buzzwords manufacturers use for marketing air conditioners and other cooling appliances is “Inverter”. Often, consumers may wonder whether this means the AC has an in-built stabilizer or an inverter itself that can take care of power fluctuations or maybe even work when the power is off. Let us clear the myths associated with it and help you understand what it really means.
What is Inverter AC?
An inverter AC simply means an AC that uses an inverter compressor instead of the conventional fixed-speed compressors. For a better understanding, let us first look at what a fixed-speed compressor is.
A compressor is a device that compacts the refrigerant gas so that it can absorb the heat from the surroundings. Fixed speed compressors have 2 modes. Either an off or an on. When on, it runs at the maximum speed, absorbing the heat and reducing the room temperature. As soon as the thermostat detects that it has reached the desired room temperature, it alerts the compressor to switch itself off. Again, after a while, when the thermostat detects a rise in the external temperature, it alerts the compressor to start running again. As it constantly switches itself on and off, there is higher wear and tear. Also, the power consumption of a fixed-speed compressor is higher.
An inverter compressor, on the other hand never switches itself off. When you switch on an AC initially, it runs at a high speed and brings down the room temperature. When it reaches the desired temperature, the compressor keeps running at a low speed to sustain that temperature and doesn’t switch itself off. Depending on the ambient conditions, an inverter compressor constantly keeps adjusting its speed so that the right temperature is maintained. Most inverter compressors run at around 7-speed levels for best results. As it doesn’t keep turning on and off, there is minimal wear and tear. Also, power consumption is much more optimal.
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Let us now explore the pros and cons of an inverter compressor.
Pros and Cons of Inverter AC
- The temperature variation in a room with inverter AC is minimal. This is because the compressor runs continuously to maintain the climate in a room.
- Power consumption is optimal. Switching on an appliance and bringing it to speed takes more energy than running it at a minimal speed. That is why the power consumption of an inverter AC is minimal. For example, if a 3-star split AC with ISEER of 3.99 uses 1.35 units of electricity, the same AC with an inverter compressor uses just 1 unit per hour.
- The wear and tear are minimal. Maximum wear and tear occur when switching on an appliance. Here, again, as the inverter compressor keeps running at an optimal speed always, the wear and tear are minimal.
- Noise levels are lower. You may have noticed that fixed-speed AC makes noise when running at its maximum speed and then when it switches off, there is silence. You won’t notice such a variation in noise levels in an inverter AC as it runs at a low speed at all times.
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- Inverter ACs cost higher than fixed-speed ACs. As an inverter compressor is a much superior technology, it costs higher than a conventional AC. So, unless you use it for a long duration, the energy savings won’t compensate for the cost difference.
- Inverter technology is found mainly in split ACs. Most window ACs don’t come with inverter technology.
- As inverter ACs use sophisticated technology, their maintenance cost will be comparatively higher.
- Compared to fixed-speed ACs, inverter ACs take a bit longer time to reach the desired level of cooling initially when you switch it on.
So, next, coming to the main question.
Do Inverter ACs Need Stabilizers?
As you can see, inverter ACs refer to their compressor technology and has nothing to do with the power backup. Though most refrigerators have built-in stabilizers, air conditioners with built-in stabilizers are hard to come by.
Air conditioners take a high load when you switch them on. If you live in an area with constant power fluctuations or more importantly, power surges, then it is important that you use a stabilizer for your ACs. Often, we see, voltage stabilizers enhance the durability of appliances. So, when you spend 30-50K on an AC, it is well worth spending a few thousand extra for the stabilizer.