What's An Inverter Air Conditioner

Family in their home


Arizona heat is no joke. Homes and offices in Phoenix can get so hot that an efficient AC system is a necessity. As something so vital to the comfort of everyday living, buying the right air conditioner is a must! You’ll need an air conditioner that not only keeps your place cool and comfortable but suits your specific, individual needs as well. 

The two popular options for air conditioners in Phoenix are inverter and non-inverter air conditioners. Both can cool down or warm your place up—but they’re quite difficult to tell apart! Thus, it’s best to familiarize yourself with each air conditioner type to be able to choose which one would more suit your home or business.

What is An Inverter Air Conditioner? 

In a nutshell, inverter air conditioners are advanced machines that utilize a controlled compressor, while non-inverter air conditioners are less advanced with a default compressor, though generally less expensive and much more common. By utilizing a heat pump, this system can maintain the desired temperature of indoor spaces with great efficiency. It operates through a refrigerant cycle, using the outside air to absorb heat and then releasing it back into the environment once it's cooled down. The inverted air conditioner system also offers multiple additional benefits, such as providing improved air quality and filtration, better noise control, and quicker cooling capabilities while consuming comparatively less energy than other traditional systems. Though they may seem similar, the inverter AC and the non-inverter AC are distinctive from each other in a myriad of ways such as in functionality, how each unit actually works, their built-in features, and more. Read on to find out the differences between each type!

Inverter vs. Non-Inverter AC: Category Comparison

Compressor Unit

This is the main difference between the two systems, as the inverter AC has a different compressor motor running its system than the non-inverter ac. 

The compressor refers to the part of the AC unit that compresses the refrigerant gas into a liquid form. Once this occurs, the refrigerant begins to cool, creating the cool air that regulates the temperature in the room. Inverter AC operates with a controllable compressor unit. When cooling or heating is required, the compressor works harder to increase or decrease its output. With a non-inverter AC, however, there’s no way to control the compressor, so the non-inverter AC will cool the room either by operating at either its full capacity or not running at all.

Functionality and Efficiency

As an inverter AC controls the compressor speed and changes the temperature as required, the inverter AC is a more likely choice when you need to save electricity, as it limits energy consumption. The way non-inverter type functions can cause excessive and unnecessary use of energy, and will more often than not inadvertently rack up your electricity bill. Inverter AC's are inherently more energy-efficient and will help you save on your monthly bills. Also, because of this energy-efficient feature, inverter AC's are regarded as an environmentally-friendly system as it uses 30-50% less energy than a non-inverter type.


The inverter AC is a more versatile and flexible unit due to the controlled compressor system. It will adjust to the temperature you’ve set for the room and will adjust its processes based on what the thermostat senses. This versatility usually makes inverter AC's winners in terms of performance, as non-inverter AC's operate on a fixed level of cooling power. Generally, though, both inverter and non-inverter AC's do a fine job of cooling a room, so your decision should take other factors into consideration.


This is probably the one aspect where non-inverter AC's will win out against an inverter AC, as non-inverter AC's are cheaper. Really, the primary drawback of an inverter AC is the initial price to pay upon buying one. Installation costs are also higher with an inverter unit. 

However, many will argue that the costs involved with an inverter unit should be considered as an investment, as an inverter type is a more versatile and advanced machine compared to a non-inverter. Not to mention, if you’ll be using the AC for the long term, you’ll be saving much more money on electricity bills than if you were to get a non-inverter type.

Inverter vs. Non-Inverter Air Conditioner: Pros & Cons

Inverter AC Pros

  • Comfort: Inverter AC offers absolute comfort to your home or business. No more hot or cold spots- just an even temperature throughout space. 
  • Energy Efficient: The compressor is not constantly running at full power, as the system utilizes a controlled compressor that works at variable speed settings. This makes the inverter AC a much more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly option than a non-inverter.
  • Quiet: Since it uses less power, the inverter AC will be much quieter than a non-inverter. Also, since the unit regulates its processes according to room temp instead of abruptly turning on and off, you’ll avoid the loud start and stop sounds that occur in non-inverters. 
  • Good Investment: Though expensive, the inverter AC can be considered a good investment given its functionality, flexibility, and durability. Not to mention, its life span is much longer compared to non-inverter units. These qualities and all other aforementioned aspects make it a reliable air conditioning system worth its higher price.

Inverter AC Cons

  • Cost: As inverter AC's use more advanced technology, they are more expensive than non-inverters. They also have added costs such as a higher installation fee, and have parts that are more expensive to replace. 

Non-Inverter AC Pros

  • Cheaper and More Accessible: The non-inverter AC’s primary pro over the inverter AC is its affordability. Since this AC is cheaper, it’s a much more accessible option for homeowners with a limited income.  

Non-Inverter AC Cons

  • Noisy: As the non-inverter AC is built to turn on and off every time a certain temperature is reached, it can create a lot of noise that may annoy some occupants, especially if sleeping or working.
  • Shorter Life Span: The frequency of the non-inverter turning on and turning off consequently speeds up wear and tear on the system, shortening its life span.
  • High Electricity Bills: non-inverter AC's are notorious for skyrocketing electricity bills due to the start-stop process of their compressor system. Mismanagement of your air conditioning habits could lead to unmanageable expenses in the long run.

The Final Decision

At the end of the day, the main goal of buying an air conditioner is to keep you and the occupants of your house or business comfortable in the midst of the Arizona heat. While it’s always great to get an advanced HVAC system with the latest tech, don’t forget to think of other factors that will affect your decision, such as how frequently you’ll be using the air conditioner, or at what level it will primarily be used. 

While the inverter AC is definitely the better investment and the more reliable choice, the non-inverter AC is much more accessible, especially for families who won’t be using the air conditioner too often. 

No matter your choice though, you can rely on Arrow Pro Services to help you with financing your new inverter AC unit, AC advice, installation, and maintenance. Contact us now and our team of expert AC technicians will make sure you have the best service at the best price!