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April 26, 2018

Are you looking into purchasing a new HVAC system? If so, chances are you have heard about variable speed, two-stage and single-stage air conditioners. But what is the difference?

Single Stage Air Conditioning

Most homes with central air conditioning use a single stage compressor.  Single stage compressors always run at 100% capacity when working on reaching the desired temperature in your home. Once that temperature is reached, they turn themselves off. Because this happens frequently, while they’re working at 100% capacity, single stage compressors are the least energy-efficient of these options.

Two Stage Air Conditioner

Unlike the single stage compressor, which only offers one speed (high), a two stage unit operates at two levels, high and low. The two stage will run at high speed to handle extreme temperature changes or low speed while maintaining a set temperature. Two stage compressors do not run continuously, so they do not switch on and off as frequently as single stages.

Variable Speed Air Conditioner

As its name suggests, a variable speed motor operates at a wide range of speeds to maintain the preferred temperature in your home. Since they operate continuously at a lower capacity, they consume less energy than single stage compressors. Variable speed motors are highly efficient, lowering your energy bills and saving you money.

What does all of this mean?

While oftentimes the simplest choices is the best one, that is not the case here. While each of these AC units will meet your cooling needs, there are definite benefits to the more complex systems. Single stage units, while more cost effective up front, will be much costlier to operate in the long run. Since two stage and variable stage compressors don’t turn on and off nearly as often, they are far more efficient than single stage models, lowering your utility bills and saving your money over time.

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