Inverter Air Conditioner vs Non-inverter Air Conditioner: What’s The Difference?

Inverter Air Conditioner vs Non-inverter Air Conditioner: What's The Difference?

Whether it’s the cooler autumn evenings reminding you that you need to think about warming up for winter, or the scattered warmth of the late summer days that have you looking for somewhere cooler – it’s time to get an air conditioner. 

This may seem like an easy task. After all, you just choose the cheapest option you can find and you are sorted, right? Cold air is cold air.

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. 

There are a couple of things you need to consider. Like are you going to upgrade to an inverter air conditioner or a non-inverter air conditioner? And is there even a difference between these two?

That’s where we come in. Keep reading and we will answer some questions about the inverter ac unit and how it works. 

What Is an Inverter Air Conditioner?

Back in the day, air conditioning units were considered to be the height of luxury. It was something that only the wealthiest families had in their homes. 

Over time, AC units have evolved and become more budget-friendly, and a common sight in many households. Inverter air conditioners are one such evolution.

The first inverter split AC unit was developed in Tokyo in the early 1980s. Created to help prevent temperature oscillations, inverter technology offered the perfect solution to avoid electricity waste.  But how does an inverter air conditioner work?

The nutshell version is that they start up at a low speed and slowly increase to maximum capacity. There is less power used on startup, and less time waiting for the room to cool. Win-win all round.

Non-inverter Air Conditioning 

Non-inverter AC units are standard air-con units. They are the original air conditioning units found in older houses – some of which sound like a 747 when you start them up!

They still cool the air effectively, however. And the newer models such as the Samsung 24000BTU are a lot more energy efficient than their older counterparts. But they remain less efficient than inverter ACs.

Because they were the only choice 20 years ago, you will still find them in houses and they are used because they are there. 

And why spend more money when you already have something that works perfectly well? Unfortunately, you are spending more money every month by running this dinosaur unit.

inverter aircon

Inverter vs Non-inverter Facts and Figures

Are you still feeling a little confused? We get it. Looks-wise there is not much difference, and you will not be able to tell at face value whether a unit uses inverter technology or not. 

You may be wondering if inverter air conditioner units are better. Let’s take a look at some of the pros of these units against the standard AC units and you can decide for yourself.

Energy Efficiency

An inverter AC is more energy efficient. Because the compressor is not turning on and off regularly it does not use as much electricity as the standard units.

Noise Factor

Inverter air conditioners – Samsung 18000BTU for example are quieter than their aged counterparts. Again, this is mostly because the compressor only runs when you turn the unit on and not continuously throughout the cooling process. 

Samsung 18000BTU Inverter Air-conditioner - AR18TSHG

Samsung 18000BTU Inverter Air-conditioner – AR18TSHG

Even Cooling of Rooms

Inverter ACs offer even cooling throughout the room. If your current unit is not doing this, then maybe it is time for an upgrade. Inverter units cover small and large rooms without a fuss. 

Solar Power

Many people are moving towards solar and the great news is that inverter units are compatible with solar power

Repairs and Maintenance

Since non-inverter air conditioners have been around for a long time, the parts and maintenance are readily available and inexpensive. Services are easy to do, and technicians are familiar with the units.

Parts are also more readily available for the non-inverter units. If something breaks, there will be less downtime and less money spent looking for or bringing in replacement parts.


Most standard AC units are less expensive than air conditioners with inverters and if you have limited income, they are still a great buy. If you are careful about the number of times you use your unit then you will be able to keep the electricity cost down every month. 

While inverter ac units are a little pricier at the point of purchase, they more than make up for it with lower maintenance costs and higher efficiency.

If you have a limited budget though, a standard ac unit will still do the trick. A non-inverter air conditioner like the Alliance Neocool is going to be your best friend. And any aircon is better than no aircon in face-melting heat!

Alliance Neocool 9000 BTU Non Inverter Air Conditioner - MHP09

Alliance Neocool 9000 BTU Non Inverter Air Conditioner – MHP09

Effective in Extreme Temperatures

Non-inverter grade AC is designed for extreme temperatures. Since they are the more “heavy-duty” of the two kinds, they can take on any challenge heat-wise. 

Is Inverter Airconditioning Good for Home Use?

Inverter aircon units are the perfect solution to keeping your home cool. Since aircon is one of the biggest consumers of household electricity, wouldn’t you feel better about running your AC at home if you knew it wasn’t costing you nearly as much as your old standard unit?

In addition to the savings you can make by buying an inverter air conditioner, there are a few other tips to help save on that monthly bill.

  • Don’t run the AC in empty rooms
  • Avoid using the unit to heat a room unless necessary – heating uses more power than cooling
  • Use curtains and blinds to help keep rooms cool
  • Service the unit regularly 
  • Keep the lights to a minimum to avoid heating a room 

Currently, air conditioners in South Africa cannot be sold unless they are on an energy efficiency rating of class B or better. This will automatically mean that any modern unit you purchase – be it a Samsung, LG or Alliance air conditioner will be more energy-efficient and eco-friendly than in previous years.

BTU Rating

Each unit also comes with a BTU rating. What does this mean though? BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is a measurement of energy, most commonly used in regards to heating or cooling. 

In simple terms, the BTU rating lets you know how powerful a unit is. So how do you know if your unit is the correct one for your space? This is based mostly on the square footage of your home. Using this calculator, you can find out what size unit you need for your room, and then you can choose the right AC unit for your home’s needs.

Inverter Air Conditioner

While it is not the only model available, the inverter air conditioner is a great choice for your home. It is energy-efficient and eco-friendly, as well as being a silent companion. This means no more nights lying awake because of A) the heat, B) the noisy air-con or C) worrying about the cost.

If you are in the market for a new AC unit, give Hirsch’s a call today at 031 582 4401 or email [email protected] and we will be happy to point you in the right direction of an aircon that suits your lifestyle and your budget.