Inverter vs. Conventional AC Compressors

When it is time to decide which split air conditioning system to install, there are two main components that need to be recognized. Inverter air conditioners and conventional air conditioners are two systems that offer similar function yet different in terms of which kind of compressor motor runs the system. The compressor is part of the air conditioner that is in charge of compressing the refrigerant into the liquid which then shuts off and allows to expand. As this cycle occurs, the refrigerant cooling begins, therefore, producing the desired cooling effect that we all love during the warm season. What it comes down to is choosing which system best fits your needs and how both the inverter and the conventional AC compressors are different.

What Does Roy’s Know About AC Compressors?

Roy’s Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling understand the differences between an inverter and conventional AC compressors because we have a boat load of experience installing and repairing these systems.  Our HVAC technicians are well-trained and experienced and know what kind of advice to give homeowners when the time comes to choosing an AC system. Our entire HVAC department is readily prepared to handle all your HVAC concerns when you need us most. So, when you need advice on what to choose for your home, contact us because we will be more than happy to help you with all of your HVAC needs.


To begin, the differences between an inverter and conventional AC compressor begins at the speed. With an inverter controlled unit, there are variable speeds associated with its system. An inverter unit includes variable speed compressors rather than a fixed speed. Although it sounds somewhat complicated, it actually is a lot simpler than that. Variable speed allows the unit not to run at full power 24/7 and instead controls its operation when needed. Therefore, this compressor is designed to consistently regulate the temperature based on the homeowner’s desires.

On the other end, conventional compressor units utilize a fixed speed operation. These air conditioners are considered the most common unit available in the market, and when it comes to controlling them they run on an all or nothing basis to produce cooling. This AC compressor model runs on a simple switch that turns the unit on or off in controlling temperature. The only similarity in terms of speed between both AC compressors is that neither the conventional unit runs at full power the time that it is on. The compressor motor on the conventional system controls the compressor as needed. A consistent amount of energy is then delivered to the compressor which allows it to run at a fixed speed.


With an inverter air conditioner, you can expect a quieter operation. This is because they do not automatically turn on and off every time they reach certain temperature limits. Rather, these units cruise along and maintain and adjust the temperature constantly. Also, the inverter uses less power and ultimately they work less. that makes the wear and tear on inverter units less meaning they last longer. Even though these systems end up costing more, they are a wiser investment in the long term.

The conventional compressor unit turns on and off any time they reach a certain temperature that is programmed to be their limit. The conventional unit freezes for one minute and then another minute starts warming up. As a result of this temperature change, the system works harder and produces a lot more noise. Unlike its counterpart, these models are a lot noisier. This also affects the wear and tear on these AC compressors, making it last shorter compared to the inverter air conditioner models.

Cost and Efficiency

In terms of energy efficiency, inverter AC compressors are a more economic investment to use. The reason for this is because the inverter model is automated in a consistent energy efficient cycle. It operates this way due to a censor adjusting the power based on the current temperature. It can be compared to the way the pressure of a car is controlled when you decide to increase or decrease the pressure on the accelerator. On the other end, conventional AC compressors cost significantly less to purchase yet installation of this unit will cost a little more based on how much it costs to install an inverter unit.

However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to which AC compressors benefit you and your home the most. You must determine how frequently and at what level system you might use, and how much concern you have over the environment and your out of pocket expenses. In reality, that will be a determining factor in choosing which model you will end up with.

Know which AC compressors work best for you and learn more by calling Roy’s Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling today!