Come summer and we all have our air conditioners running all day, isn’t it? But the heat actually flares up when we see the electricity bill at the end of the month because of the big bad energy guzzler AC. What if we tell you a way that will help you save around 30 to 40 percent of your AC running cost, if you use an Inverter AC?
What Is An Inverter AC?
Wait, don’t get confused with inverters and batteries that are used for power backup. An inverter is actually an electronic device or circuit that controls the frequency of power supply to change the speed of compressors in Inverter ACs. Sounds confusing? In simple words, normal ACs have fixed speed compressors, while Inverter ACs have variable speed compressors.
In a normal AC, the compressor runs at a fixed speed or wattage and blows the coldest air it can till the desired temperature is reached. Once the desired temperature is reached, it cuts off and restarts again when the room becomes warmer. This frequent start-stop cycle due to temperature fluctuation causes a waste of energy.
In an Inverter AC, the compressor doesn’t turn off. Like a car’s engine, it slows down and speeds up when required – hence consuming just the power required. It runs in step sizes – a 1.5 ton Inverter AC can run at 0.3 ton, 0.75 ton, 1 ton, 1.2 ton, 1.5 ton to 1.7 ton capacities. After cooling the room as desired, it maintains the temperature at a lower compressor speed. Thus a 1500 watt Inverter AC can step down to 500-1000 watts after some time. This process saves a huge amount of power. Users of Inverter ACs swear by their reduced electricity bills.
- Inverter ACs are much more comfortable. If you set the temperature at 25 degrees Celsius, it maintains the room temperature by blowing air of around 25 degrees Celsius, unlike fixed speed ACs which blow the coldest air (16 degrees Celsius), hence you feel cold when the compressor is running. After reaching the set temperature, the compressor turns off and you feel warmer. With Inverter ACs, no more looking for the blanket or removing it in the middle of the night.
- Starting power required in normal fixed speed ACs is high, almost double or more. Hence higher capacity voltage stabilizer and power backup equipment are required. Also the electricity grid load is higher. All these are eliminated in Inverter ACs, which have a ‘softer’ low speed start. It also helps if you’re planning to go for solar power.
- The sound is lower as they operate at lower speeds after set temperature is reached.
- Compressor life is longer, as there are no frequent start-stops and it doesn’t run at full capacity all the time.
- Cools faster, a 1.5 ton Inverter AC can operate at 1.7 ton if the room is very hot.
Inverter ACs typically cost 10 to 20 percent more than a normal fixed speed AC. You can recover the additional investment in energy bills in a year depending on your use. Lesser energy consumption means more environment-friendly. You’re definitely looking at saving a couple of thousands a year if you replace your old AC with an Inverter AC. The savings are substantial over normal 5 star rated ACs too.
Things To Look For While Buying An Inverter AC
Check the BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) star rating label. 5 stars and a higher ISEER (Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) number mean lower energy consumption. Most Inverter ACs are still not rated because it will be mandatory only in 2018. If an Inverter AC is not star rated, you can check the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) at rated capacity like it is done for normal fixed speed ACs (to check the EER, divide the heat removed in watts by the watts consumed by the AC). This will give a rough comparison of the efficiency of an inverter, though an inverter has a different EER at different step sizes – usually more efficient at part load. Don’t go for an inefficient compressor with inverter tech – it is an oxymoron.
In Japan and Australia, almost all ACs are inverter controlled. In India, currently it is only 9 percent of the market. It is just a matter of time when this will be a standard feature in all ACs.
The most efficient 1.5 ton inverter ACs as rated by BEE are Hitachi KASHIKOI 5400I (ISEER = 5), Godrej GSC 18 GIG 5 DGOG (ISEER = 4.9), Daikin FTKM50QRV16 (ISEER = 4.69), Videocon VSX57.WV (ISEER = 4.59), Voltas 185V DYE (ISEER = 4.50) and almost every AC maker has introduced Inverter ACs in their portfolio.
If you have any query regarding inverter and non-inverter ACs or are confused with some of the technical terms, feel free to ask un in the comment section below.
Image source: Wikipedia Commons and BEE Star Label
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