Everyone wants to save money and everyone wants to be comfortable. New air conditioners are expensive, and so are energy bills these days. Between initial cost, installation, maintenance, repair, and energy cost, we spend a lot of money on our comfort at home. This means it’s worth considering all options thoroughly before making the big decision of what model and type of air conditioner to purchase next.
In Austin, air conditioning is a big deal. So it makes sense that many people are looking for better air conditioning at better prices. Maybe you’ve heard about the increasingly popular, relatively new air conditioning technology known as inverter systems, maybe you haven’t. Either way, if you want to increase the comfort of your living space, and save money in the long term, you should consider upgrading to an inverter air conditioner. Before your next AC installation, learn about the differences between inverter air conditioning and traditional air conditioning. Switching won’t be the right choice for everyone, but it’s worth knowing about the benefits either way.
What is an Inverter System?
An air conditioner inverter is a system that changes the way an air conditioner operates. Normal, non-inverter air conditioners have two modes, on, and off. When you set a traditional air conditioner to a temperature value, it will run at maximum power, cooling the air continuously until it reaches that temperature, then it will shut off. Once the temperature rises to a certain level above the set temperature, the air conditioner will turn back on.
In contrast, an inverter system can control the cooling power of the air conditioner. So instead of having two modes, fully on and fully off, an inverter air conditioner can vary the speed at which space is cooled. Like a traditional air conditioner, you set your desired temperature with the thermostat. The inverter air conditioner will turn on to full capacity and quickly cool the room. As the room reaches the set temperature, the cooling power of the air conditioner will ease up slowly. The room will reach the set temperature as the air conditioner slows to a halt. Then as the room temperature rises, the inverter air conditioner will constantly adjust its power output and cooling speed, keeping the air continuously just a few degrees around the set temperature.
Essentially, traditional air conditioners have stop and start cycles that waste electricity by running either at maximum capacity or not running. Inverter air conditioners vary their cooling power, keeping the temperature more consistent and optimizing energy usage, which is why it is also called a multi-stage system.
The Science Behind Inverter Systems
Air conditioners use refrigerant to cool spaces. Inverter air conditioners have something called variable refrigerant flow. This means, unlike non-inverter ACs, the amount of refrigerant pumped out is varied. This way, the air conditioner can optimize its energy usage, instead of frequently switching between full power and no power.
Inverter systems are comprised of a variable frequency drive. The variable frequency drive converts incoming AC power into DC power (alternating current and direct current). Then an electrical inverter controls the amount of power that it releases. Like a traditional air conditioner, a microcontroller in the air conditioner will sample the ambient temperature of the room, but unlike a traditional air conditioner, the microcontroller will then adjust the speed of the refrigerant output by adjusting the speed of the compressor motor.
So, to summarize, inverter air conditioners are equipped with a variable frequency drive. This incorporates an electrical inverter which uses a system of converting electricity from AC to DC and back, in order to adjust the speed of the air conditioner’s motor, thereby adjusting the speed at which the compressor releases refrigerant. As the room reaches the set temperature, the speed of cooling slows, and as the temperature rises, so does the speed of refrigerant release.
Benefits of an Inverter Air Conditioner
The biggest advantage that inverter air conditioners have over traditional air conditioners is the lowered electricity bill you’ll see every month. The sophisticated technology that inverter systems use is designed specifically to achieve energy-efficiency. Because the air conditioner is running only as much as it’s needed to maintain the set temperature, no energy is wasted. By some estimates, inverter systems run on 2 to 2.5 times less energy than a traditional air conditioner. On average, inverter systems will cut the cost of your electricity bill by 30%.
The more often you use your air conditioner, the more you’ll save by switching from a non-inverter air conditioner to an inverter air conditioner. For those living in Austin and the surrounding areas, we often have our air conditioners running almost constantly during the hotter months, which often seems like most of the year. It’s estimated that running your AC for 8 hours a day, you’ll make up the extra cost of an inverter system in energy savings in a couple of months.
The first thing you might notice if you make the switch to an inverter air conditioner is the speed at which the desired temperature is reached. By increasing the motor speed, inverter systems achieve a quick startup, which results in faster cooling. Startup time for inverter-equipped air conditioners is around 30% less than that of traditional air conditioners. This means you’ll be more comfortable, sooner.
Also, inverter systems will keep the temperature more consistent. Rather than letting the temperature rise a significant amount above the set temperature like traditional air conditioners do, inverter air conditioners will keep the temperature consistently around the set temperature. Comfort is maximized as energy usage is minimized.
Inverter air conditioners are also noticeably quieter than traditional air conditioners. Because non-inverter air conditioners are either powered off or at full power, every time they switch on the noise level jumps up significantly and stays loud until it suddenly switches off. Inverter air conditioners only use as much power as necessary to keep the temperature steady, and as such, they run much quieter.
- Air Conditioning Repair and Lifespan
Another perk of an inverter system is that its optimal energy usage means the air conditioner will last longer. Due to the decrease in energy usage, the air conditioner will undergo less wear and tear. This effect is significant over a long period of time. The end result is a longer-lasting machine. Because an inverter air conditioner contains more sophisticated technology, air conditioning repair is more expensive, but because the quality of the machine is higher, and the wear and tear due to use is lower, repairs won’t be needed as often as with traditional air conditioners. AC repair, in Austin and anywhere with hot summers, is something we all want to avoid as long as possible. Inverter air conditioners can help you do that.
Who Should Consider an Inverter System Air Conditioner?
Whether investing in an inverter air conditioner would be worth it for you depends mainly on how much you use your current air conditioner. For those who use air conditioners year round, for 8 hours or more a day, switching to an inverter air conditioner is a no-brainer. The extra cost of the inverter system will be paid off in energy bill savings in a matter of months.
If you live in a hot climate, as is the case for those in Austin, Leander, Round Rock, and the surrounding areas, air conditioning is probably very important to you. You’ll have your air conditioner running nearly constantly, especially if you spend a decent amount of time at home. In such a case, it is very likely that over its lifespan, an inverter air conditioner will pay for itself in the savings you’ll reap through its energy-efficiency.
So when you figure in the lowered energy bills with the longer lifespan of an inverter air conditioner and add the fact that inverter systems will need air conditioning repair less often, it’s easy to see the benefits. For those who value a comfortable home, and live in a warm area, inverter air conditioners will be worth the extra initial cost in the long run.
Inverter Air Conditioning in Austin
For those who are looking for a superior air conditioner, an inverter system might be the way to go. Speed and efficiency are what you get with an inverter system. In short, an inverter air conditioner will run quieter, reach your desired temperature more quickly, maintain temperature more steadily, and use less energy in the process. And because of the decrease in energy usage, inverter air conditioners take less wear and tear and therefore require less maintenance and repair than their non-inverter counterparts. And being in Austin, AC repair is something worth trying to avoid. Inverter systems will last longer, run smarter and smoother, and cost less money to run.
Anyone who is thinking of getting a new air conditioner, and plans on using their next air conditioner for at least a few years, would be well advised to look into getting an inverter air conditioner. If you only use your air conditioner around 10 or 20 days of the year, such as at a summer lodge or the like, then an inverter system might not be worth it. In most other cases, especially in Austin, air conditioner with an inverter system will prove worth it. The initial cost might be steeper, but the more you use it, the sooner it will pay itself off in savings, and over the long term, it will be the better deal, both economically, and practically.
For those you who do need any kind of air conditioning repair or maintenance, you’ll be happy to know that regardless of whether you have an inverter air conditioner or a traditional air conditioner, AC Express can help. Our trained and certified technicians are skilled in air conditioning service, in Austin and the surrounding areas, from Lago Vista to Manor and in-between. Get quality same-day AC repair whenever you need it by calling today! (512) 866-5520