If you’re new to off-grid power systems that use devices like inverters you’ve probably got a ton of questions!
And that’s fair enough because there’s a wide range of pitfalls to avoid.
Fortunately for you, I have made plenty of dumb mistakes in my own use of inverters over the years.
That’s why I thought I should write this article about whether you can leave an inverter on all the time or if you should turn your inverter off when not using it.
There is no yes or no answer to this question.
Instead, the solution to ‘Can I leave my power inverter on all the time?’ depends on your system and planned usage.
In this article, we’ll go through leaving your inverter on all the time along with the pros and cons of each decision.
So let’s dive in.
In This Article
Should I Leave My Power Inverter On All The Time?
Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to leave your power inverter on all of the time.
This is particularly important if you have a limited energy supply in your batteries and don’t have access to regular recharging from the mains, vehicle engine, or solar power.
The reason is that a power inverter still uses electricity even when you are drawing now load.
When switched on, inverters need the power to maintain their internal systems such as cooling fans, sensors, LED lights, and digital displays.
The amount of energy varies but it is often between 0.5A to 1A. Some inverters do have power-saving modes that can reduce this to 0.2A. But it could use between 15 – 25Ah of energy a day. That means that over the course of a couple of days you would lose a fair amount of your battery supply.
If you have your batteries and inverter connected to a solar panel or switch relay charging from a vehicle engine this might not be a problem as you can easily recharge your batteries.
However, if you leave your inverter on all the time without recharging it will eventually deplete your battery.
Why Leave an Inverter Switched On?
Based on the fact that an inverter draws power whenever it’s switched on, you might wonder why you would ever leave it on all the time.
Well, the main reason is convenience.
You will need the inverter running to operate electronics like lighting. Of course, we don’t keep lights on all the time but we switch them on and off as needed. It would be inconvenient to need to power on your inverter every time you want to operate a light switch.
Adding to this, the inverter might have appliances attached that need to draw power all the time. For example, more and more people use 4G/5G Wifi routers in RVs. These routers need a constant supply of electricity to operate otherwise your internet connection will die.
Or perhaps you have a refrigerator you run via an inverter? In this case, you would want electricity 24/7 to keep your food fresh.
I think you get the idea, about the convenience and necessity of constant electricity.
If you plan to run these sorts of appliances then I suggest you add a way to charge your inverter battery such as solar panels.
Why Switch Invert Off When Not In Use?
As we now know, it is good practice to turn an inverter off when not in use.
Otherwise, the inverter will slowly drain your batteries.
This is very important if you don’t have access to electricity to recharge your batteries.
Unfortunately, this might be quite frustrating for you to keep switching things on and off manually.
The good news is that some modern inverters now come with remote switches (wired and wireless), plus you can even get Bluetooth control which means you can adjust the power settings from a mobile app.
Final Words: Can I Leave My Inverter On All The Time?
Yes, you can leave your inverter on all the time but it will drain your battery.
It’s up to your whether you want to keep your inverter running 24/7. It can come down to what appliances you are running and if they need constant electricity.
As long as you install your inverter correctly, there should be no safety issue with keeping it switched on.
Hi, I’m Michael, the editor here at Watt A Lot.
After years of experience with off-grid power like solar panels, inverters, and batteries I decided I should share my hands-on knowledge with you. In my professional and personal life, I’ve needed to find electrical solutions for remote situations from owning a food truck, to running events at the top of mountains, to my converted campervan. So whether you’re looking for the best products or fixing an electrical problem, you can rest assured my advice comes from real hands-on experience.