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What is the difference between an inverter heat pump air conditioner and a conventional one?
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Converts AC To DC And Runs Continuously
The compressor inside the outdoor condenser unit of a conventional heat pump runs on regular house alternating current (AC). It turns on when it receives a signal from the thermostat, and runs at full speed until the desired temperature is reached. Then the compressor shuts down until a difference in the indoor temperature requires it to start up again on a new cycle.
An inverter heat pump does things differently. It converts the single-phase AC to direct current (DC), then reconstitutes the DC back to AC current in three-phase format, and varies the voltage and frequency of the current to modulate the speed of the compressor.
The lifespan of an electric motor is measured by the number of on/off cycles, not the length of run time, so reducing the number of cycles extends the life of the system. An inverter compressor accomplishes this feat by running continuously and simply slowing down as the indoor temperature approaches the desired set point.
Also, running continuously eliminates the large surge of electricity necessary to overcome inertia each time a conventional compressor starts up. This saves on electricity.
A secondary function of a heat pump system is dehumidification, and yet another feature of an inverter is that it improves the dehumidification of a home by continuously removing moisture from the air. A regular system would over-cool if it ran constantly to dehumidify.
Inverter heat pumps do have a single disadvantage: they are new technology and, of course, more expensive.
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To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:
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