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How does an "inverter" air conditioner differ from a non-"inverter" air conditioner? What is the advantage of an inverter air conditioner over a standard one?

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An Inverter AC has a compressor that contains a induction motor (commonly, 3 phase) that is driven from a VFD (variable frequency drive) rather than from the mains directly. Due to that an Inverter AC has a compressor that is capable of variable speed operation. Which results it it being able to modulate its cooling capacity. Thus you could have a 2 ton AC that when not so much cooling is needed operates at 1 ton continuously rather than switching on and off. This results in a more even temperature and better dehumidification.

Non-inverter AC have a compressor that operates at constant capacity and as such it must be properly matched with the cooling load. A state that never happens as they are only properly sized for the hottest days and oversized the rest of the year. As they turn on and off, the evaporator coil get too cool when on and too warm when off to dehumidify.

The problem that result from having an oversized AC do not happen with a Inverter AC and its a variable capacity compressor. As it dynamically matches itself to the cooling load of the building. Allowing it to slows down (before turning off) and speed up rather than turning off and on.

  • They also save on the power bill, less cycling on and off. Good answer @Dan D – Ed Beal Mar 9 '16 at 16:12

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