How Does an Inverter Air Conditioner Work

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Updated May 12, 2023

If you’re looking for the best air conditioner, you may wonder how an inverter air conditioner work, especially if you’re concerned about energy consumption and operating costs. An inverter air conditioner regulates the electric current to a variable-speed compressor motor. The inverter system controls the powerful cooling by slowly raising or lowering the current to the compressor unit. In addition, when comparing inverter vs non-inverter AC, inverter technology offers lower energy costs. That said, an inverter-driven compressor is not as energy efficient as an air cooler. After all, homeowners want an energy-efficient model that provides optimal comfort during extreme temperatures.


  • Inverter air conditioners utilize variable speed compressor motors to regulate the temperature in your home.
  • Inverter units can lower your electricity bills, but the installation and maintenance cost is higher than non-inverter systems.
  • Thanks to the variable motor, the inverter models are some of the quietest air conditioners on the market.

So, how does inverter technology work, and is the best inverter air conditioner the best choice for your energy bills? Read on to find out.

What is an Inverter AC?

An inverter air conditioner is a special type of AC that can change how hard it works. This helps it cool your room more precisely and saves energy. Unlike regular ACs that turn on and off at the same time, the inverter AC can adjust how fast it works to match the temperature you want.

Insider Tip

You should not power cycle an inverter air conditioner unit if you want energy-saving benefits.

See our Midea U-Shaped Inverter Window Air Conditioner review for an example of a choice for homeowners.


While a dual-hose air conditioner is better for large areas, an inverter unit features a variable compressor speed ideal for the long-term cooling of a home or apartment. An inverter compressor can operate at between 30% and 120% capacity to adjust the refrigerant flow, leading to lower than average power consumption for an AC unit.


Just like standard models, inverter air conditioning systems need regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure good respiratory health for your household.


Thanks to the variable AC compressor in inverter models, this type of air conditioner can outperform non-inverter units in cooling and heating power. Once the AC unit reaches your perfect room temperature, the compressor motors reduce their power output while maintaining a consistent temperature. This results in fewer temperature swings compared to non-inverter air conditioners.

Operational Efficiency

Inverter AC units offer a more efficient technology compared to non-inverter air conditioners. Regular air conditioners operate at either 0% or 100% power, while inverter models maintain your perfect room temperature by fluctuating the compressor motor. This leads to gradual climate control and maintenance without wild variations in room temperature.

STAT: According to a 2021 Pew Research Center, less than 10% of Americans do not use air conditioning technology. (source)


Are Inverter technology air conditioners slow in cooling?

Inverter air conditioners do not take long to cool a room compared to a non-inverter system. Inverter models offer faster cooling thanks to the variable-speed compressor that can operate up to 120% of max capacity during the initial cooling period.

Should I turn off my inverter air conditioner?

One of the most significant benefits of inverter technology is the air-cooling efficiency of the controllable compressor unit. This type of air conditioner relies on long cycles to maintain your comfort levels. While turning off your inverter AC may seem like an energy-efficient choice, you won’t lower your cooling costs.

What is the disadvantage of inverter AC?

The main drawback of inverter AC units is the unit’s initial cost and potential maintenance. An air conditioner with inverter technology costs more than non-inverter models, thanks to the additional components and advanced tech. In addition, the installation is more expensive, and inverter models cost more to maintain.

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