UPS vs Inverter – Which One Should You Buy?

Electricity has become a necessity for everyone, and our day-to-day work depends on it. Right from charging a mobile to washing clothes in a washing machine, everything requires electricity to run.

To run all the devices at home smoothly, you need a backup. For this purpose, you need to either buy a UPS or an inverter. However, there are many doubts regarding key differences between UPS and an inverter, which are covered in this article.

What is an UPS?

UPS means Uninterrupted Power Supply. This appliance provides enough power to small devices like laptops during a power cut. It helps the users to save their data and shut down their systems safely instead of sudden blackout.

A UPS consists of a charge controller, batteries, and a circuit that switches between the backup battery and the mains. It also has an inbuilt inverter that converts DC current to AC.

What is an Inverter?

An inverter is another electric appliance that converts DC power to AC and then supplies that power to the entire home. The inverter takes AC power from AC mains and converts it into DC power with the help of a rectifier. This DC power helps in charging the battery.

When a power cut occurs, the power is supplied to the inverter from its battery, and no external power supply is needed to run the inverter during the power cut.

An inverter consists of a charger, an inverter circuit (to convert DC power to AC power), and a battery.

Difference Between UPS and Inverter

Below are the important points on which we will compare both devices and suggest which one is better according to your need.

Use case

An UPS can instantly switch to AC power when the power cut occurs. It provides instant backup to your PC or Laptop in case of a power cut. However, due to its low capacity, it can only be used as a backup for PCs and laptops. On the other hand, inverters take a bit more time than the UPS to switch from DC to AC but can provide power supply to the entire home like fans, TV, washing machines, etc.

Backup time

As mentioned above, the UPS has lesser capacity than the inverter. Hence, UPS can provide only a backup of 15-20 minutes to the systems. On the other hand, inverters come in different capacities; based on the capacity; they can power up the entire home. They can provide power supply to your home appliances for hours together.

Switch over time

UPS’s switch over time is negligible, as it instantly provides backup when a power cut occurs. The usual switch over time in the case of a UPS is 3 to 8 milliseconds. On the other hand, it takes 500 milliseconds for an inverter to provide backup when a power cut occurs.

Maintenance

A UPS requires significantly less to negligible maintenance, whereas an inverter requires a lot of maintenance, like refilling the distilled water at regular intervals, etc. Moreover, a lot of wiring needs to be done across the home for an inverter to provide a power supply.

Lifespan

UPS tends to wear out quickly compared to an inverter because it charges and discharges frequently, irrespective of the power cut. Hence, the lifecycle of a UPS is 4-5 times less than an inverter.

Price

The price of UPS is lower compared to an inverter. Moreover, UPS and inverters are available in different capacities and features. Hence you might find a lot of price variations from model to model. But, overall, the price of a UPS is lesser than an inverter. 

Conclusion

If you stay in a place where there are no frequent power cuts, then it is recommended to buy a UPS, as it provides backup to your computer or laptop for a few minutes.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an appliance that can provide prolonged hours of power backup, then an inverter is the best choice. However, before buying any of the two appliances, you must look for factors like charge cycles, capacity, charging time, backup time, and warranty.

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