An inverter AC is very often marketed as a magical product. The propaganda is very obvious that it uses less power, is more economical, quiet in operation, environment-friendly and so on. However, there are a few factors which a consumer should consider before jumping to the conclusion of buying an inverter AC.
- High Upfront Cost:
An inverter AC often costs nearly 20-25 % higher than normal AC of same rating. So unless the usage is not very heavy or the electricity cost is not that high, it may take up to 5-7 years just to recover high upfront cost of an inverter AC.
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- High Maintenance cost.
An inverter AC consist of very sophisticated circuitry and relatively higher number of moving parts, so the maintenance cost of inverter AC shall turn out to be higher.
- High operation cost in case of frequent opening and closing of room.
In an inverter AC, the compressor adjusts its speed according to the heat load in room. If there is intermittent leakage of cooling from the room, the compressor shall run at higher speed thereby increasing power consumption.
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- Inadequate dehumidification.
Dehumidification is one more advantage of air conditioning. It is achieved when the air comes in contact with very chilled air heat exchanger (indoor unit). However, in inverter AC, the degree of chilling achieved is varied according to heat load rendering it inadequate for dehumidification in case the set temperature is not very low.
- Initial cooling delay.
The compressor paces up to desired speed with some programmed lag.
There is some requisite amount time for an inverter AC to achieve a desired degree of cooling in initial stage.
- The over and under-capacity effectiveness.
If an inverter AC has lower capacity than requirement, the compressor runs at higher speeds for longer duration of time thereby increasing power consumption. On the other hand, if an inverter AC has higher capacity than heat load, it will run for short cycles and render the room over cooled and uncomfortable. However, these issues shall also persist with a normal AC as well.
- Specialized technician required.
An inverter AC consist of very sophisticated mechanisms. Often local, less qualified technicians are unable to comprehend the issue and end up escalating the problems rather than resolving them. Therefore, it is advised that one should only get it serviced/repaired from original equipment manufacturer’s technician which often is costly if the unit is not under warranty. Moreover, the availability of technician is also something important to be considered.
- Inadequate cooling in case the outside weather is very hot.
It has been particularly reported in the areas where temperature reaches above 45oC that the cooling achieved by an inverter AC is inadequate due to insufficient heat removal from outdoor unit pertaining to high ambient temperature and low compressor speed.
- Uncommon refrigerant.
Often inverter ACs use R410A as a refrigerant instead of very common and popular R134A. This makes service and repair of an inverter AC very difficult in tier 2/3 cities where this refrigerant is not easily available. That said, however, R410A is environmentally good refrigerant and is free from CFC.
If you’re looking to learn more about how does an inverter AC and a normal AC stack up against each other, you can read our detailed comparison here.