During our first post of this series, we discussed how DC Inverter air conditioners operate. We went into detail on what types of DC Inverter Type ACs exist and whether the energy saving claims made by the manufacturers are true.
For today, we want our readers to get up to speed about the various pros and cons of a DC inverter AC over a conventional AC.
DC inverter tech brings a lot of advantages, but more often than not, there are some shortcomings with technical advances which tend to get ignored. There is no doubt that DC Inverter ACs will save you money but let’s go through an easy to understand list of pros and cons of an AC.
Benefits of Inverter Technology:
- The efficiency of an AC is enhanced since the start/stop cycles are eliminated in a DC Inverter AC. The AC does not operate at full power, but still maintains the desired temperature. This is another reason why these ACs can still save energy even if there are regular power outages.
- Inverter ACs are cheaper to operate in almost all types of conditions.
- Quicker cooling or heating (based on feature availability) can be achieved since an inverter AC can pull the required current on its own to increase initial cooling or heating. The inverter AC can calculate the current draw by using the indoor and outdoor temperature difference.
- DC Inverter ACs don’t put extra load on its power supply. Therefore you don’t see fluctuations in electricity caused by them.
- The life of components (used in the AC and other electrical household components) is increased due to the same reason i.e. gentle power draw.
- DC Inverter ACs are much quieter compared to conventional ones. The outdoor unit usually makes far less sound as the unit is operating at a reduced rate. It eliminates the jerky start-up sound as well.
- These types of ACs often use an environment friendly refrigerant gas (R410A) which do not cause harmful effects like the CFCs on the Ozone layer.
- Inverter ACs offer a more stable operation and you usually won’t notice any changes when it is operating. Cooling or Heating is maintained much more accurately as the AC doesn’t turn off and the other aspects also add to its stable and gentle operation.
- Most inverter ACs come with dual-mode air conditioning, which more or less makes up for the higher price compared to cooling-only ACs. A dual-mode AC, which cools or heats depending on the weather, will get you more savings throughout the year, making up for its higher cost much faster.
- It is possible to use DC Inverter ACs with UPS, Batteries or Solar Panels.
- Most DC Inverter ACs keep working even at low voltages without any issues.
Drawbacks of Inverter Technology:
- DC Inverter ACs cost more. Even without the dual-mode function, they still come with high price tags.
- The built-in circuit becomes far more complex due to multiple conversions from AC (Alternating Current) to DC (Direct Current) and back to AC (Alternating Current). 3-DC, 4-D or All DC inverter ACs have even more conversions taking place as there are more components working on DC.
- Repair costs increase as components are more sophisticated and as a result, more expensive. They require more effort to build or repair.
- Specialist technicians are hard to find for inverter ACs. Most local technicians have little to no experience with these new ACs. Users might even have to get their AC fixed from its manufacturer’s service centre, translating to more expense, if they can’t find a skilled technician.
- Conversion energy losses occur on every single one of the conversion steps. The losses can go as high as 4-6%, depending on the conditions and quality of the equipment. Manufacturers are aware of this and count it in the final power savings.
- These ACs often come with R410A refrigerant gas while most technicians still only have an R-22 (CFC-based) refrigerant gas. Users will have to ask their technicians to refill the AC with R410A when required.
- Only a few of the local brands offer 3-DC/4-D/All-DC Inverter ACs. So users might have to wait for a while before their brand of choice starts selling a more energy saving type of DC inverter AC.
Going through the advantages/disavantages above, one can see a more favorable view of DC Inverters emerging as a whole.
Most of the pros and some of the cons circle around the basic working of a DC Inverter AC. Gentle power draw and controlled, continuous air conditioning are the behind most of the advantages. The cons, while still there, aren’t deal breakers.
DC Inverter ACs do not possess any shortcoming which could be problematic. New ACs often come with years of warranty and by the time that ends, the current problem of unskilled technicians will be resolved. And as far as the ‘huge’ cost of buying an Inverter AC is concerned, you end up paying less in the longer run as your electricity bill goes down significantly.
Our advice would be to go for a DC Inverter AC if you have the cash. Even if you don’t want to or cannot afford an extra 10k-20k for an AC, you should consider the fact that these ACs will pay you back, with savings, within the first season of use.