Inverter Compressor Benefits in a Mini Split Air Conditioner
Shopping for a mini split air conditioner got a little more difficult in the past couple of years. With the new federal regulations on minimum SEER ratings in the United States, manufacturers have started using inverter compressors to obtain 13 SEER or higher. This has created exceptional efficiency in wall mounted air conditioners, but also has increased the consumer cost.
The compressor is the heart and soul of every mini split air conditioner. It is the most essential component in an air conditioner and the most expensive. When purchasing a mini split air conditioner make sure to find a system with a solid warranty approximately 5 years in length. Also, make sure to purchase your mini split from a company that has parts available in the United States. Some companies can take up to three weeks to ship parts if they have to order them overseas.
I have read many articles talking about inverter compressors versus standard rotary compressors, but I think this sums it up best. A standard rotary or scroll compressor operates like a light switch: either on or off and nothing in between. An inverter compressor operates like a water faucet: it only uses enough power to reach the desired setting.
An inverter compressor is programmed to run at optimum speed, which is regulated by the input frequency as it varies between heat load requirements. Example: Your mini split is set at 72° F. The room becomes hot and the compressor needs to cool it by a couple of degrees. A standard compressor will turn “On” with full power, while an inverter compressor only uses enough resources (RPM) to reduce the room’s temperature to the desired setting.
Over a full day of operation, a standard compressor will have to turn on and off a substantial number of times. An inverter compressor will turn on and reach the desired setting and then idle at that setting until needed further.
By using different rotation speed, the inverter compressor is saving energy and operating more quietly than the standard compressor. Not having to constantly turn on and off at maximum RPM increases the lifespan of the inverter compressor.
When a large temperature change is needed, the inverter compressor can operate at a much higher RPM speed than the standard compressor, reducing the amount of run time and reducing your energy costs. Some researchers show a reduced power consumption as much as 60% versus a fixed speed standard compressor.
Inverter compressors offer a more precise temperature control for your mini split air conditioner. I hope this helps you understand how an inverter compressor operates and will help you make a decision with your ductless air conditioner purchase.