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Not all air conditioners are made equal; inverter air conditioners are supposedly a lot better than their non-inverter counterparts. But how much truth is there to this claim?

So, whether you’re moving into a new place or looking for replacements, here’s the low-down on air cond inverter vs non inverter.

And which is the better system for staving off the heat!

Table Of Contents:

What Is an Inverter Air Conditioner?

The main difference between inverter and non-inverter AC units is the compressor motor.

An inverter air conditioner has a variable compressor motor, allowing it to regulate the motor speed whilst adjusting the temperature of the room.

Without having to switch off entirely as with non-inverter air conditioners.

Once the desired temperature is reached, the compressor motor slows down, saving both energy and coolant.

This also results in less drastic fluctuation in the overall temperature, compared to non-inverter air conditioners. For a more thorough explanation of how inverter ACs work, check out this article by Daikin here.

Panasonic 1.0HP Premium Inverter ECONAVI Nanoe-G Aero Series Air Conditioner CS-U10VKH

What Is a Non-Inverter Air Conditioner?

On the other hand:

Non-inverter air conditioners have a compressor that runs on an ON-OFF system.

This means that the compressor motor works at full speed which then temporarily shuts off when reaching the desired temperature.

This process is repeated as necessary to maintain said room temperature. And it is this constant ON-OFF state of the motor that makes non-inverter ACs noisier and more energy-hungry (I.e., inefficient).

Panasonic 1.0HP Non-Inverter R32 Air Conditioner CS-PN9VKH

Do Inverter Air Conditioners Save Electricity?

Inverters ACs are the best aircond for power saving. Because the compressor motor adjusts to run at the minimum required to maintain room temperature after the initial start-up.

This is in contrast to non-inverter ACs, where the compressor only runs on max. They consume more electricity since they have to turn it on and off several times.

Furthermore, an article published in Volume 4.2 of the Energy Transitions Journal does state that inverter ACs can save up to 44% more energy, compared to their non-inverter counterparts.

The same article also states that inverter ACs save 49% more CO2 emissions compared to non-inverter ACs, making them more environmentally friendly.

Will Inverter Air Conditioners Always Save Electricity?

If you’re cooing a room larger than your AC can handle, there will be minimal difference in electricity consumption between inverter and non-inverter air conditioners.

This is due to the fact that both types will be running at maximum to keep the room cooled, and will thus have a similar impact on your electricity bills.

So, for the most economic outcome, it’s important to get an inverter air conditioner that is adequate for the room size that you want to cool.

Are Inverter Air Conditioners Expensive to Maintain?

Due to the complex circuitry and more expensive components, inverter ACs are relatively more expensive to repair and maintain than non-inverter ones.

That being said, an inverter ACs compressor motor is also less likely to breakdown, due to its smoother running compared to the fluctuating non-inverter AC motor.

So, while Inverter ACs will set you back when they do need repairs or maintenance:

The added benefits of cheaper electricity bills and more durable usage is worth it for most people.

As an aside:

Your regular air cond service in Malaysia doesn’t make a distinction between service prices for inverter and non-inverter ACs, which is definitely a plus.

Are Inverter Air Conditioners Worth Buying?

Despite the higher initial cost and maintenance fees, inverter air conditioners are worth it for long-term use, or if you often use your AC, due to the lower electricity usage.

Now that’s not to say inverters are the default options; non-inverter ACs are significantly cheaper upfront.

Furthermore, if you’re someone who rarely uses their AC, the savings you get from an inverter AC compared to a non-inverter AC might be minimal.

As such, get an inverter air conditioner if you intend to keep your AC on for long periods of time, as it offers both lower electricity bills and fewer fluctuations in temperature.

If not, a non-inverter AC works just as well for occasionally cooling you down.

York 1.0HP Inverter R410A Air Conditioner YWM5J10AAS-W

Air Cond Inverter VS Non Inverter

The best aircond for you is one that’s suited to your needs, so we’ve prepared a handy pros and cons list to see what you’re getting into with each system:

Inverter Air Conditioner

Pros:

  • High Energy Efficiency: 
    • Inverter air conditioners use a lot less electricity than non-inverters, due to the variable compressor motor running at the minimum required; they do not have to constantly turn (the motor) ON and OFF.
    • Due to this, inverter air conditioners have a much lower effect on your electricity bills, saving you a substantial amount of money in the long-run.
  • More Environmentally Friendly:
    • As inverter air conditioners don’t constantly run at max, they produce less CO2 than non-inverter ACs, making them the preferable choice for the environmentally-conscious user.
  • Quiet:
    •  Due to the fact that inverter ACs run at a slower rate and don’t have the periodic ON-OFF start-up sounds, they’re a lot quieter than non-inverter ACs.
  • Great Long-Term Investment:
    • While initially expensive, inverter ACs run quieter, costs less in electricity bills, and have more durable, longer lasting compressor motor.

Cons:

  • Expensive:
    • Inverter ACs are pricy, have higher installation fees and have complex parts, which leads to more expensive repairs if they do break down.
  • Only Benefits If You Use the AC Often
    • If you’re someone who only uses the AC on occasion, an inverter ACs high asking price might not be worth it, especially since you won’t obtain the full benefits of using one.

Non-Inverter Air Conditioner

Pros:

  • Accessible and Cheap: 
    • Non-inverter air conditioners offer great affordability, and comes with cheaper installation and maintenance fees.

Cons:

  • Noisy: 
    • Non-inverter ACs have their compressor motor turn ON and OFF repeatedly to regulate the temperature. Which can be fairly noisy and disrupt your sleep or work.
  • Less Durable Compressor Motor:
    • Due to the constant start/stop of the compressor motor, non-inverter ACs tend to wear out faster, leading to more frequent replacements.
  • High Electricity Bills:
    • While you do save on the upfront costs, non-inverter ACs do use more electricity than inverter ACs, drastically increasing your electricity bill as well.

Conclusion

More stable temperatures, lower electricity usage, and quiet running all make the inverter AC the premier choice for cooling your house down, in spite of the high initial costs.

Meanwhile, if you rarely use your AC or keep it running for only short periods of time, a non-inverter’s affordable costs might be the better option for you.

Now that you know what you’re getting into, have a look at our Best Air Conditioners article, where we have a curated list of the best air conditioners available in Malaysia.

And if you’re looking for portability, our 9 best portable air conditioners in Malaysia article should help keep you cool on the go.

Guan Hong

Guan Hong is the tech writer for BestBuyGet.com. He grew up loving stories so much he did a degree in English. Currently works as a content writer and has written far more listicles than he’d like to admit. His interests include tech, music, video games, and animation.