You should know what you need: A UPS or Inverter

You should know what you need: A UPS or Inverter

When it comes to keeping your home running at all times, you need reliable energy in order to keep appliances, computers, and other devices operating without interruption. The two most popular options for uninterrupted power flow are uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and inverters.

But before you make your purchase, it is important to understand the difference between inverter and home UPS and what their purposes are.

We will provide some handy tips so that you can decide which one best meet your requirements. 

What is a UPS?

A UPS is an electrical equipment used to provide emergency power in case of an outage. It works by providing electricity through emergency power sources, like batteries or a generator. This way, when a power outage occurs, the UPS will take over, providing your devices with electricity.

The most common type of UPS is an online UPS. This type of UPS contains its own internal battery and provides consistent voltage regulation for your home or office. It also allows for seamless switching from mains to emergency power without any disruption or flicker in operations. Additionally, it comes with built-in protection from surges and overvoltage, helping to ensure that your electrical appliances are protected from sudden spikes in voltage.

How does UPS work?

A UPS, or an uninterruptible power supply, is quite self-explanatory – it offers electric power without any interruptions, particularly during blackouts and power grid disturbances. 

Nonetheless, having uninterrupted power only happens when two conditions are satisfied: 

  • Energy storage, which the UPS utilizes when the electrical service is cut off. Typically, the energy storage function is done using batteries and a charge controller.
  • Instant reaction, so that each device connected to the UPS keeps running when the blackout occurs. For instance, UPS units are employed in data centres to protect hardware and information when there are power grid issues.

What is an Inverter?

An Inverter works by converting direct current (DC) from a battery source into alternating current (AC) that can be used by household appliances. This helps to regulate power flow and maintain a steady level of electricity, ensuring that these appliances keep running effectively.

An inverter not only helps to provide stable electricity but also conserves it during times of low power input or when there are interruptions in the power supply. It is able to do this thanks to its ability to switch seamlessly between the input source, either AC mains or a battery - depending on which one is available at any given time. This helps protect against fluctuations in energy supply, which are inevitable sometimes.

The inverter also has a feature called ‘load shedding’, which enables it to turn off certain appliances that are not needed while still providing energy for essential devices such as lights and charging ports. So, if you are looking for a simple and cost-effective way to keep your home powered up at all times, an inverter could be the perfect choice for you.

How does an Inverter work?

So, what is the function of inverter? An inverter's main purpose is to convert DC power to AC. It cannot generate electricity or store it, so if it is disconnected from its DC source, the AC voltage stops. Inverters are rated in terms of their power, with residential systems typically using ones below 10 kW. Furthermore, they are designed to work within a specific range of voltage and current on both the DC and AC sides.

Difference between inverter and home ups

The main difference between inverter and home UPS is the kind of power each machine provides. A UPS supplies consistent power and quality that is backed up by a battery, whereas an inverter changes DC power from a battery into AC power—it can provide short-term power while the main source of electricity is unavailable.

A UPS is generally more expensive than an inverter when taking into account the same rated power, given it has extra features. A UPS is necessary for instances where constant power during a blackout is critical while using an inverter with external batteries can be a more cost-effective solution when this isn't an issue. An example of this would be a data centre that needs to remain powered (UPS) versus lights that can tolerate a brief power interruption (inverter + battery).

When battery charging is powered by the main electricity, two power transformations occur. Firstly, the AC supply is converted to DC for battery charging and secondly, the battery output must be changed back to AC. To use an AC input and charge batteries, a rectifier is needed. UPS units have this component built-in but an external charge controller is required if batteries are connected to an inverter.

A UPS is a device that switches over to a battery power source in the event of a power outage. This ensures that your electronics are still running when the lights go out and prevents any data loss you might experience if you would have used an inverter instead. A UPS also prevents power surges by regulating the amount of current coming in from your power source, so you don't need to worry about buying additional surge protectors when using a UPS.

An inverter simply converts the DC from your battery into an AC for your electronic devices. This means that during a power outage, any data you were working on may be lost as soon as the battery runs out of charge and there will not be any surge protection from an inverter either.

The main difference between an inverter and a UPS, however, is that with the latter you get added features like switching over capability, surge protection, and improved data safety if there is ever an unexpected blackout.

Choosing the Right UPS or Inverter for Your Home

If you are wondering which UPS is best for home, remember choosing the right UPS or Inverter is an important decision. You need to understand what each option offers and what will best suit your needs. 

Both UPS and inverters come in a range of sizes with different levels of power storage capacity. Thus, when selecting the right invertor or UPS, it is important to consider factors such as cost, capacity, and features like surge protection, remote monitoring, and phone charging ports. Your budget will also play an important role in helping you decide which option is best for you. So, do shop around before making a decision.

Power outage frequency

Firstly, consider how often you experience power outages. If you have frequent outages throughout the year, an inverter is probably the best choice as it offers a more reliable power backup than a UPS. On the other hand, if outages are sporadic in nature and last only a few minutes at most, a UPS may be more suitable.

Need for mobility

Do you need your power source to be portable? If so, then a UPS is definitely the way to go since they are much smaller and lightweight than inverters. This makes them ideal for camping trips or any kind of travel where electricity may not available or reliable.


Of course, budget plays a major factor in deciding which power backup solution to get. Generally speaking, a UPS is cheaper than an inverter and offers decent performance for short periods of time. But if you are looking for something more long-term with superior reliability, an inverter is probably the better choice. Just keep in mind that they tend to be more expensive upfront.

When to Choose an Inverter

An inverter can be used to provide backup energy for electronics during short outages or fluctuations in voltage. It works by converting 12 volts DC into 220 volts AC. Think of it as an emergency source of power if your electricity goes off.

When to Choose a Home UPS

If your electronic devices need to be protected against frequent blackouts and voltage fluctuations, then you should opt for a uninterruptible power supply (UPS). It is designed to provide stability and protection for expensive electronics like computers, protecting them from damage in case of sudden dips or spikes in the electricity supply. It works by providing continuous DC-to-AC conversion using a high-capacity battery backup.

Read Also: How to Pick the Right UPS for Your Desktop Computer

Find the best quality UPS and inverter at the Schneider Electric eshop

To conclude, an Inverter can provide emergency backup power during short outages but doesn't offer long-term solutions whereas a UPS has long-term solutions and provides protection from frequent blackouts and voltage fluctuations.

 It is paramount that homeowners take the time to research and decide between a UPS or an inverter. One must evaluate their home's electrical load, power capacity, and energy efficiency before purchasing either. Ultimately, your choice should reflect the individual needs of each household.

But regardless of which one you decide to buy for your home, you will find the best quality UPS and Inverter at affordable rates only at the Schneider Electric eshop. Browse through the options available to select one that fulfils your requirements.
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