If you have been looking at new air conditioners for your Phoenix area home, you may have noticed that many models come in either a single-stage or two-stage option. So what’s the difference?
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the three biggest differences between single and two-stage air conditioners: price, efficiency and comfort.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage: Price
Generally, the purchase price of two-stage air conditioners is more than comparable single-stage models. But the reason for this price difference is the internal components included in each system.
As the name suggests, single-stage air conditioners contain a compressor with a single speed. Two-stage air conditioners, on the other hand contain a compressor that can run at two different speeds. Why is this a good thing? Read on to the next sections.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage: Efficiency
Most of the time, an air conditioner turns on to adjust your home’s temperature only a few degrees. A normal single-stage air conditioner would turn on at 100% capacity, cool the home for a few minutes and then shut off. When the temperature in the home falls below the thermostat setting, this cycle is repeated.
These short cycles on and off greatly reduce your system’s efficiency. Can you imagine having to shut off your car at every red light and then turn it on when the light changed to green? It would be a very inefficient use of gas and time.
A two-stage air conditioner remedies this problem by cooling your home at a slower speed for longer periods of time. That’s right, your two-stage air conditioner will run longer, and still reduce your energy costs. Of course, it can still also run at 100% capacity for those especially hot Phoenix summer days.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage: Comfort
As discussed earlier, two-stage air conditioners will run more efficiently for longer periods of time. This longer running time also helps increase the comfort of your home. Because your fan will be running more, it will also be circulating the air throughout your home, contributing to more even cooling and eliminating most hot and cold spots.
Going Beyond Two-Stage with Variable Speed
You can increase the efficiency and comfort of a two-stage air conditioner even further with a variable speed air handler. Similar to two-stage air conditioners, the fans operate at different speeds to maximize your energy savings. The lower speeds can also help your system operate even more quietly.
So while two-stage air conditioners may have a higher initial cost, they can make up the difference for you in increased energy efficiency and home comfort.